Red Sox get first look at Porcello in middle tilt with Phils

( – Armed with a new contract extension, right-hander Rick
Porcello tries to give the Boston Red Sox another win to start the season when
they continue a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens
Bank Park.

Porcello, who will reportedly make $82.5 million over the life of the new
four-year pact, was acquired by the Red Sox from Detroit this offseason
following a career year with the Tigers. The 26-year-old won a career-high 15
games last season and also set personal bests in innings pitched with 204 2/3
and ERA at 3.43.

“Obviously I knew the opportunity in entering free agency,” said Porcello,
“but when I had first got to camp and saw the way from ownership to (general
manager) Ben (Cherington) to the coaching staff and the players that were
there, and how everything was run from top to bottom, and the devotion to win
a World Series here, I knew that as something I wanted particularly to be a
part of it. It wasn’t a very difficult decision for me at that point to stay

Porcello will hope for the same type of support his new team gave Clay
Buchholz in Monday’s opener, as Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez each hit two
home runs in an 8-0 rout.

Buchholz (1-0), though, did not need much support. He struck out nine and
scattered three hits to go with a walk over seven scoreless innings in his
first Opening Day start.

“Building up to this moment, I felt good all spring,” Buchholz said.

While Ramirez drove in five in his debut with the Red Sox, the team’s other
new addition, Pablo Sandoval, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Cole Hamels (0-1) allowed his four runs on five hits and three walks with six
strikeouts over five innings in the loss.

“That was the best fastball I’ve seen in 6-to-7 weeks,” Phillies manager Ryne
Sandberg said of Hamels. “I’m not worried at all.”

Getting the call for Philadelphia on Wednesday will be veteran righty Aaron
Harang, who inked a one-year deal with the Phillies this winter.

Harang was 12-12 with a 3.57 earned run average in 33 starts for the Atlanta
Braves last season. He finished ninth in the National League with 204 1/3
innings pitched.