PHILADELPHIA – A pair of well-traveled veterans spoiled Rick Porcello’s debut as the highest-paid pitcher in Red Sox history.
Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run homer, Aaron Harang took a one-hitter into the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Porcello and Boston 4-2 Wednesday night.
After the Red Sox beat the Phillies 8-0 on Monday, Porcello (0-1) signed an $82.5 million, four-year contract through 2019. But he didn’t have ace stuff against Philadelphia on a cold, chilly night. Porcello allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
“One big mistake was the difference,” Porcello, a Chester native who now lives in Tewksbury, said of the pitch to Francoeur. “Sometimes that’s all it takes. I left a slider up in the middle of the plate. I wanted it down and away.”
Harang (1-0) gave up two hits, walked one and struck out eight in 6 1-3 innings in his first start for the Phillies. Jonathan Papelbon got four outs against his former team for his first save.
Francoeur went deep for the first time in two years for Philadelphia’s first runs this season.
Xander Bogaerts hit an RBI single off Ken Giles in the eighth to cut it to 4-1. Giles struck out pinch-hitter David Ortiz with two runners on for the first out. But he walked Pablo Sandoval to force in a run with two outs.
Papelbon entered and retired Hanley Ramirez on a deep drive to left with the bases loaded to end the inning. Ramirez hit two homers, including a grand slam in Boston’s 8-0 win on opening day.
“We hit some balls to left that just hung up there,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, referring to the wind that kept Ramirez’s drive in the park. “Conditions are part of the game.”
The Red Sox got Porcello from Detroit in an offseason trade for slugger Yoenis Cespedes. They made sure he wouldn’t test free agency after the season by giving him the most lucrative contract for a pitcher in franchise history.
“It’s all business when I’m on the mound,” Porcello said. “I didn’t think about it.”
Porcello ran into trouble in the sixth when he walked Darin Ruf on a close 3-2 pitch. Cody Asche followed with a single. Francoeur then drove one out to left-center for his first homer since June 16, 2013, for Kansas City at Tampa.
Harang retired the first 11 batters he faced before Sandoval lined a single to center for his first hit with the Red Sox.
Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning made it 4-0.