MLB: Tyler O’Neill homers in opener again as Red Sox edge Mariners

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Tyler O’Neill set a major league record by hitting a home run on Opening Day for a fifth consecutive season as the Boston Red Sox defeated the host Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Thursday night.

O’Neill, a native of nearby Burnaby, British Columbia, went deep to right-center field off Mariners reliever Cody Bolton leading off the eighth inning. A former Mariners draft pick acquired from St. Louis in the offseason, O’Neill broke the record of four set by Yogi Berra (1955-58) and matched by Gary Carter (1977-80) and Todd Hundley (1994-97).

Right-hander Brayan Bello (1-0) pitched five solid innings for the Red Sox, allowing two runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for the save.

Boston’s Rafael Devers went 2-for-5 with a double and a two-run homer.

Mitch Haniger and Dylan Moore hit two-run shots for the Mariners, who had won their previous three openers and 14 of 17.

Seattle’s Luis Castillo (0-1) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits over five innings. The right-hander walked two and fanned five.

The Red Sox opened the scoring in the third and added runs in four of the next six frames.

Devers hit a two-run shot to left-center field with two outs in the third to break a scoreless tie.

The Red Sox added to their lead in the fourth as Triston Casas singled and, after a fielder’s choice, Masataka Yoshida doubled into the right-field corner, putting runners at second and third. Ceddanne Rafaela hit a one-hopper to third baseman Josh Rojas, whose throw home glanced off the top of the runner’s helmet and went to the backstop, giving Boston a 3-0 lead.

The Mariners got on the board in the bottom of the inning as Haniger homered just over the right-field wall with two outs to make it 3-2.

Boston got one of those runs back in the fifth as Jarren Duran singled with one out and Devers doubled. A walk loaded the bases before Casas hit a grounder to second for a 4-2 lead.

The Red Sox scored in the sixth off reliever Tayler Saucedo as Rafaela lined a one-out triple to left and Connor Wong blooped a two-out single to right.

Haniger led off the seventh with a single off Isaiah Campbell. The Red Sox brought in Joely Rodriguez, and Seattle countered with Moore to pinch-hit. He homered to right-center to make it 5-4.

–Field Level Media

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