By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

Final, 9-4 Red Sox: Tazawa’s pitch count climbed quite a bit that inning, with Ryan Zimmerman fouling off three pitches before ultimately earning a one-out walk. Clint Robinson followed up the walk by striking out swinging at a splitter down and away from the lefty.

Ian Desmond stepped up, representing the final out, and he eventually struck out swinging.

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In all, it took Tazawa 25 pitches to get through the ninth, but he was able to secure the victory.

That was quite a win for the Sox, who are now 5-2 on the season.

End 8th, 9-4 Red Sox: The Sox didn’t score, and they lost Hanley Ramirez along the way. Hanley fouled a ball off his toe and looked to be in extreme discomfort. He ended up staying in the game and working a walk, but he promptly was taken out of the game once he reached first base. That’s obviously something to keep an eye on, as Ramirez has held down the cleanup spot so far this year.

For the time being, the Sox are three outs away from improving to 5-2 on the year and 1-0 at home.

Junichi Tazawa is on to finish it off, in a non-save situation.

Middle 8th, 9-4 Red Sox: Porcello did give up a homer, a shot off the bat of Danny Espinosa, but that was the extent of the damage done in the eighth.

Porcello got a ground out, fly out and strikeout to get out of the inning, likely bringing his day to an end.

If so, his line isn’t too bad. Four runs, three earned, over eight innings, while striking out six and walking just one.

End 7th, 9-3 Red Sox: Mookie Betts struck out to end the inning. He officially hasn’t done anything spectacular in like, an hour and a half. What’s up with that, Mookie?

Aaron Barrett worked around a leadoff walk to Bogaerts that inning, getting Leon to ground into a double play prior to striking out Betts.

Porcello is indeed heading back out there for the eighth inning.

Middle 7th, 9-3 Red Sox: The Nationals added another run, unearned, thanks to Pablo Sandoval’s throwing error to start the inning.

Porcello got two groundouts, one of which allowed the run to score, before getting Lobaton to look at strike three.

So far, Porcello’s line is: 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 SO, 1 BB. That’s not a bad debut in front of the home fans. It looks like he wants to go back out for the eighth. He’s at 95 pitches so far.

End 6th, 9-2 Red Sox: David Ortiz led off the inning by cranking a homer out to left-center field, a no-doubter that scaled the Monster. When it came down, Ortiz had his second homer of the season.

Hanley Ramirez then worked a walk, and Pablo Sandoval followed it up with a scorching line drive single up the middle.

But Napoli grounded into a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning, and Victorino grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Roark has done a decent job of giving the Nationals innings today, something that ought to help Matt Williams manage the bullpen for the rest of this series.

Middle 6th, 8-2 Red Sox: Mike Napoli is getting in his work at first base.

With one out, Bryce Harper sent a grounder up the middle, which Pedroia fielded and then threw on the run. The throw tailed up the right field line, but Napoli was able to make the catch while holding the bag to get the second out.

Up stepped Werth, who sent a little dribbler up the third base line. Leon pounced on the ball, spun and threw to first, but he short-hopped the throw quite a bit. Napoli put his skills as a former catcher on display, getting into a semi-squat to secure the ball for the final out of the inning.

That’s now 78 pitches for Porcello through six. I’d expect him to have another inning in him. The Sox bullpen got a lot of work in over the weekend.

End 5th, 8-2 Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts just keeps getting hits. He sent a one-out chopper up the middle with one out, and though Desmond was able to field it and make a strong throw to first base, Bogaerts beat it out easily.

Sandy Leon followed that up with a ripped single past first base, which brought up the man of the hour Mookie Betts. Betts muscled one out to center field, but it hung up long enough for Taylor to make a catch. With one out already, Bogaerts stayed at third base rather than testing Taylor’s arm.

That brought up Pedroia with two down and runners on the corners. After Pedroia got ahead in the count 2-0, Roark evened it up at 2-2. After Pedroia fouled off a 2-2 pitch, he sent a grounder to short, where Desmond flipped to Espinosa for the final out of the inning.

Middle 5th, 8-2 Red Sox: The smooth sailing for the Red Sox hit some rough seas that inning, with Porcello giving up a dinger to Ryan Zimmerman to straightaway center field followed up by a triple from Robinson to nearly the exact same part of the ballpark.

Porcello settled a bit, getting Desmond to line out to second base and Espinosa to roll out to first. But a run did score on that Espinosa groundout, which brought the score to 8-2 before Taylor popped out to Pedroia in foul ground to end the inning.

All things considered, Porcello is still in good shape. He’s at 71 pitches through five.

End 4th, 8-0 Red Sox: Hey, look at that. The Red Sox can make three consecutive outs.

This one was a bit unorthodox, as pitcher Tanner Roark made a sliding catch while running at full speed toward the Sox on-deck circle to get Ramirez for the first out. You don’t see that every day, and it stands in sharp contrast to the inability of the Washington outfield to catch the most basic of basic fly balls.

Sandoval then grounded out to the right side, and Napoli grounded out to the left side, and Roark is through 1.2 innings, having settled down the game a bit.

Here’s a fast-forward look of Betts stealing those two bases on one pitch earlier:

Middle 4th, 8-0 Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts made a throwing error to start the inning, but he made up for it by turning a 6-3 double play on Jayson Werth to end the inning. Porcello struck out Harper in the middle of that Xander sandwich, and the Sox continue to roll.

End 3rd, 8-0 Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia was able to muscle a sacrifice fly out to center field to drive in Bogaerts for the Sox’ eighth run of the day.

Ortiz then flew out to right field to end the inning, but the damage has been done.

The book on Zimmerman: 2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 0 SO. His ERA is now up to 8.64. He entered the game with a 1.50 ERA. of course, not all earned runs are created equal, as Taylor and Harper should have had those routine fly outs, but that’s baseball for yuo.

Bottom 3rd, 1 out, 7-0 Red Sox: That was a rather eventful series of events.

Zimmerman plunked Hanley Ramirez in the back to lead off the inning, and he followed it up by hitting Sandoval right in the gut. Napoli then hit a sky-high fly ball to left-center field, which Michael Taylor completely misplayed and let fall on the warning track.

With the bases loaded, Shane Victorino chased a 2-0 pitch and popped out to second base, but Xander Bogaerts followed up with a first-pitch single into shallow right field to drive home the fifth run of the ballgame.

Then things got even worse for the Nationals, as Sandy Leon sent another routine fly ball into the outfield, this one to right. Bryce Harper appeared to have a beat on it but instead pulled up and let the ball fall for a hit. It was truly bizarre.

A run scored on the play, and Mookie Betts then stepped to bat with the bases loaded. Betts actually fell behind in the count 1-2 but hit a ground ball into the shortstop-third base hole on the left side. Running from second to third, Bogaerts flashed in front of the eyes of shortstop Ian Desmond, who couldn’t handle the grounder. Even if he could have fielded it, it’s unlikely he would have made the throw in time at first, and it was ruled a hit.

For Mookie, that makes him 2-for-2 with a walk, a homer, four RBIs and two runs scored. It is the third inning.

That fiasco ended the day for Zimmerman, who leaves with the bases loaded after already allowing seven runs.

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Middle 3rd, 4-0 Red Sox: Another quick inning for Porcello, who got Lobaton to ground out to second, Espinosa to fly out to left (man, Hanley does not look confident catching even routine fly balls) and Taylor to fly out to right.

Porcello is cruising, at 32 pitches (25 strikes) through three innings.

End 2nd, 4-0 Red Sox: Mookie. Betts.

This kid is something else. After Xander Bogaerts reached on an Ian Desmond throwing error and Sandy Leon singled up the middle, Mookie Betts stepped to the plate looking to do some damage. He cleaned out an inside fastball and mashed it over the Green Monster for a three-run home run. It was Mookie’s second dinger of the year and it stretched the Sox’ lead to 4-0.

So in an inning-and-a-half, Betts has a walk, two stolen bases, two runs scored, one home run and three RBIs. And he also robbed a home run. Not a bad start to the day.

Dustin Pedroia followed up Betts’ homer with a single to left field, but Ortiz then grounded into a slow-rolling double play.

Middle 2nd, 1-0 Red Sox: The Sox infield defense will always be busy when Porcello is on the mound, and they came to play today.

Dustin Pedroia made an impressive backhanded stab of a Ryan Zimmerman grounder to start the inning, and Mike Napoli scooped the short throw at first base for the first out of the inning. Porcello then struck out Clint Robinson looking for the second out, before Ian Desmond sent a high chopper to third base.

Pablo Sandoval made a leaping stab of the chopper and then delivered a strike across the diamond for the final out of the inning.

Porcello’s thrown 24 pitches through two innings.

End 1st, 1-0 Red Sox: The one run was all the Sox could get that inning, as Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Pablo Sandoval singled past a diving Ryan Zimmerman, and Mike Napoli fouled out to first base.

Still, that was quite an inning from Betts, who robbed a home run in the top of the first and then stole the show on the bases in the bottom half of the inning.

Bottom 1st, 1 out, 1-0 Red Sox: Mookie Betts, ladies and gentlemen. Mookie Betts.

The kid led off the inning with a five-pitch walk. He tried to steal second base when Dustin Pedroia was at bat, but Pedroia flew out on the pitch when Mookie took off. No matter, as Betts again took off on the next at-bat when David Ortiz was at the plate. Because the Nationals were in the shift, Mookie knew that he could pop up and take off for third base as soon as the throw came to second base.

And Betts did just that, beating Yunel Escobar in a foot race to third base as pitcher Jordan Zimmerman scampered to the bag. Zimmerman took a throw while on the run and tried to tag Betts but missed.

The Nationals challenged the play, thinking that Zimmerman had tagged Betts, but after a lengthy review, Betts was confirmed safe.

Ortiz then smoked the next pitch over the head of left fielder Jayson Werth, plating Betts from third base.

Middle 1st, 0-0: For a converted infielder, Mookie Betts plays a pretty decent center field. Actually, the play Betts just made is as good as it gets for anybody.

With Yunel Escobar on first base after a one-out, jam-shot single, Bryce Harper tried to get his Nationals out to an early 2-0 lead. Harper sent a high fastball deep into right-center field, and it looked like it might clear the short bullpen fence. But Betts had other ideas, as he channeled his inner Michael Jordan to leap and make an incredible catch to rob Harper of a home run.

Porcello then got Jayson Werth to strike out swinging to end the inning. Michael Taylor led off with a swinging strikeout as well.

Top 1st, 0-0: Rick Porcello’s first pitch to Michael Taylor was a strike right down Broadway, and this game is underway.

3:11 p.m.: After that touching pregame ceremony, it’s now time to actually play some baseball. Rick Porcello just led the Sox out of the dugout.

3:05 p.m.: And now Pedro Martinez is making his way out onto the field. Pedro gave everybody in Frates’ family a giant Pedro huge, and then along with Frates’ wife, announced to the crowd, “Play ball.”

3 p.m.: Pete Frates is now out by the mound. The Fenway crowd — as well as the Nationals and Red Sox dugouts — gave him a standing ovation in what is a very touching moment.

Ben Cherington is out there as well, and he’s got a professional baseball contract for Frates. That was pretty great on its own, and then the whole Red Sox team came out with Frates Red Sox jerseys to congratulate him.

2:56 p.m.: Brady took the ball from Henry Richard and tried to deliver a strike for the first pitch, but he skipped it in. Fortunately, he had David Ortiz behind the plate, and the big man has some fielding skills. Ortiz scooped it easily.

Brady, Ortiz, Belichick and the Krafts then posed for photos with the Richard family and also said hello to Pete Frates on the field.

2:53 p.m.: Following the anthem and the flyover, the Red Sox welcomed Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady — “one of the greatest sports heroes we have ever known” — onto the field.

2:46 p.m.: The teams have been introduced, and it’s now time for the national anthem. The team held a moment of silence for longtime Boston mayor Thomas Menino and longtime Sox employee Dick Bresciani.

Jane Richard is part of the children’s choir singing the anthem.

2:33 p.m.: The pregame festivities have begun. The Washington Nationals are being introduced on the field, one-by-one.

2:01 p.m.: Pregame festivities are set to begin at 2:30 p.m., so the clock is ticking.

1:48 p.m.: It’s 70 degrees outside, and there are a lot of happy folks trickling into Fenway right now.

Here’s the lineup they’ll see from the Sox today:

1. Mookie Betts, CF – .192
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B – .207
3. David Ortiz, DH – .130
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF – .320
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B – .300
6. Mike Napoli, 1B – .053
7. Shane Victorino, RF – .125
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS – .407
9. Sandy Leon, C – .000

12:30 p.m.: The calendar does not list today as an official holiday in Boston, but it might as well be. It is the Red Sox home opener.

And after a particularly dreadful winter, one that saw foot after foot of snow dumped on the region, Bostonians have been rewarded with perfect weather for the occasion.

The Red Sox will take on the Washington Nationals today at Fenway, but not before some pregame festivities on the field. And the whispers this morning about Tom Brady perhaps throwing out the first pitch were so loud that they collectively became a roar.

We’ll see if that turns out to be true. If so, I would imagine the reception for the Super Bowl champion would be rather warm at Fenway.

In the meanwhile, here’s some pregame reading to help pass the time:

Roche’s Red Sox Look Back, Look Ahead: Positive Signs From Boston Offense

Pitching Matchups: Red Sox Face Tough Trio Of Washington Starters

Tale Of The Tape: Red Sox vs. Nationals

Beyond that, we’ll have updates throughout the afternoon and throughout the entire game. Keep checking back with the live blog on this most glorious of glorious days on the sports calendar.

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Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here. You can email him or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.