BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval homered in the third inning off Pirates right-hander Ryan Beckman to erase a deficit and lift the Boston Red Sox over Pittsburgh 5-1 Thursday.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett pitched 2 1-3 hitless innings but left two runners on base who scored on Ortiz’s three-run drive. Burnett struck out two and walked three.
Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz survived a rocky first inning that included two singles, a hit batter, a wild pitch, a wild pickoff, and a sacrifice fly. He allowed four hits in three scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Pirates closer Mark Melancon allowed two hits and a run in an inning, giving up an RBI double to Shane Victorino that boosted Boston’s lead to 5-1 in the fourth.
Sandoval, who signed a $95 million, five-year contract during the offseason, went 2 for 3.