CLEVELAND — There was a lot to like for Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell on opening day, and he liked all of it.
Starting pitcher David Price struck out 10 in six innings and Mookie Betts and David Ortiz each belted two-run homers to lead the Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday in an opening day game at Progressive Field.
“We did some good things on the bases, had a lot of good swings, and on a day when there wasn’t great (weather), David was outstanding,” Farrell said.
The game-time temperature was 34 degrees with a wind chill of 26 degrees, making it the coldest home opener in Indians history. The previous record was 36 degrees on opening day in 1907.
“Every pitcher was down a couple of clicks because it was so cold,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
In a battle of former Cy Young Award winners, Price outpitched Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. Price was untouchable in five of the six innings he pitched and Kluber gave up four runs in five-plus innings.
Cleveland scored two runs on four hits in the fourth inning. In the other eight innings, Price and three relievers combined to hold the Indians scoreless on one hit.
In seven career starts at Progressive Field, Price is 5-0 with a 2.77 ERA. In 14 career starts against Cleveland overall, Price is 10-2 with a 2.24 ERA.
Ortiz, who batted just .178 in spring training, hit the ground running on Opening Day. He doubled in the third, came within a few feet of a home run in the fifth and hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
“He struck three balls well. He’s showing no signs of slowing down,” Farrell said.
“When the lights go, Papi goes on,” Ortiz said with a smile.
Price quickly settled into the game and held the Indians hitless and scoreless through three innings, striking out six of the first 10 batters he faced, including four in a row at one point.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the Boston third with a single to right and Betts followed with a booming home run over the left field wall to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
“I tried to go down and away, but it came right back over the middle of the plate and he did what he’s supposed to do with a pitch like that,” Kluber said.
Betts said, “I hit a couple balls good in batting practice that didn’t reach the track, so I didn’t think it was going to be my day, but I got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”
The Indians tied it with a two-run fourth. Francisco Lindor led off the inning with a single and went to second on a one-out single by Carlos Santana.
Yan Gomes rolled a single into center field, scoring Lindor to make it 2-1. Santana raced to third on Gomes’ hit and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Marlon Byrd.
It was a 33-pitch inning for Price, but he was able to keep the damage to a minimum.
“Those kinds of innings can spin out of control, but I was able to get us back into the dugout, which was good,” Price said.
The Red Sox took the lead again in the sixth, which began with consecutive singles by Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Ramirez scored on Holt’s hit to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
Shaw went to third on Holt’s single and Shaw scored on a wild pitch by Kluber to extend the Red Sox lead to 4-2.
In 5 1/3 innings, Kluber gave up four runs and nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks. He threw 96 pitches.
Ortiz capped the Boston scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth off Trevor Bauer.
“He’s smart and he’s dangerous. I wish he retired this year,” Francona said of Ortiz.
NOTES: Indians OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) began the season on the disabled list. There is no timetable for his return, but it could be sometime in April. “Hopefully as soon as possible. I’m champing at the bit,” Brantley said. … Only 11 of the 25 players on the Indians’ opening day roster were on the 2015 opening roster. … Boston DH David Ortiz, who hit 37 home runs last season, will retire at the end of this year. The major league record for most home runs in a final major league season is 35 by Dave Kingman in 1986. … Entering this year, Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia led all active players with a .421 career batting average (16-for-38) on opening day (minimum 35 plate appearances), however Pedroia was 0-for-3 on Tuesday.