Orioles - 000 000 001 - 1 5 0 Red Sox - 000 000 30x - 3 5 0Daniel Nava broke up a pitchers' duel with a three-run home run in the seventh inning and Clay Buchholz (7-3-0-4-8, 113) relied on his breaking pitches to post another strong outing as Boston improved its record to 5-2. The Red Sox have won their last nine home openers (2005-13).
Buchholz and Chen (6.1-5-3-2-3, 107) put up zeroes until the stretch. The Red Sox had managed only two hits through the first six innings, but Dustin Pedroia began the seventh with an infield single and Mike Napoli doubled off the Wall. After Will Middlebrooks struck out, Nava - playing left field against the Orioles lefty in place of Jackie Bradley - blasted a 1-1 pitch into the Monster Seats.
Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect eighth, with two strikeouts. In the ninth, Joel Hanrahan allowed a leadoff home run to Adam Jones and a two-out double to J.J. Hardy, but was able to pick up the save.
Buchholz put the leadoff runner on base in three of his first four innings, but deftly worked out of trouble each time. He allowed only two runners to reach second base. ... Nava reached base three times with a home run, single, and walk. ... Shane Victorino had Boston's first hit, a single to begin the fourth.
After winning two of three games in both New York and Toronto, the Red Sox - in sole possession of first place in the American League East (a place they never occupied during 2012) - come home to Fenway Park to host the Orioles (3-3).
Boston is off to its best start through six games since going 5-1 in 2006. (And while traditional fielding stats are almost entirely worthless, for the first time since 1957 the Red Sox have played the first six games of a season without being charged with an error.)
Boston and Baltimore are the top two AL teams in average, on-base and slugging, with the Red Sox leading in OBP and SLG, and the Orioles on top in AVG. The Red Sox's OBP of .371 leads the majors. Top MLB teams in runs scored: Oakland/Cincinnati 38, Baltimore 37, Boston 36. The A's have played seven games, however, while the other teams have played six.
David Ortiz begins playing in extended spring training games today. He might continue his rehab in Pawtucket later in the week (possibly in time for its home opener on April 11). ... Stephen Drew is expected to rejoin the Red Sox on Wednesday. That means hot-hitting Jose Iglesias (9-for-17, .529, with no walks) will likely be headed back to AAA.
OMG: Through six games, the Pirates are hitting .119/.188/.159, with only eight runs scored.