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There were questions about Masataka Yoshida’s ability to hit MLB pitching, but he provided answers in his Red Sox debut

Masataka Yoshida was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

There were questions surrounding Masataka Yoshida’s learning curve against major league pitching, mainly regarding velocity. But Yoshida can hit, there’s no question about that.

Despite the 10-9 loss to the Orioles on Thursday at Fenway Park, Yoshida seemed to answer some of those questions.

The Red Sox left fielder went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. In the eighth inning, Yoshida stung a 95-mile-per-hour offering from reliever Bryan Baker for a single.

Baker attempted to go inside with a heater, but Yoshida turned on it, the ball leaving his bat at 100.5 m.p.h.

”He’ll catch up with the guys that throw hard,” manager Alex Cora said. “I think he’s so disciplined. That comes into play. He’s able to lay off the pitches and then will take his chances. Like he did there, turning on it.”


Yoshida was confident in his approach.

“I think I was able to adjust really good today,” he said through translator Keiichiro Wakabayashi. “But I need to keep doing it.”

Another adjustment might be the weather, though it didn’t seem to hinder his play. Yoshida is accustomed to playing in domes, not 40-degree temperatures.

”It was very cold, but my heart was burning,” he said.

Fresh perspective

At 23, Triston Casas became the youngest first baseman to start on Opening Day for the Red Sox since George Scott in 1967.

Casas called the opener special.

”There’s a lot of emotions, for sure,” he said before the game. “I’ve been thinking about my life a lot, and thinking about how I got here. It’s definitely been a lot of hours, a lot of work. A culmination of a lot of people’s contributions to me and you know, I can’t even begin to thank everybody.”

With the pitch clock looming in the background, Triston Casas takes his hacks at the plate Thursday against the Orioles.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Casas made his big league debut in September of last season. The team was essentially out of the playoff hunt. Regardless of expectations this season, Opening Day represents a fresh start, renewed hope. Casas said he would take it all in, but not too much.


He went 0 for 2 on the day with a walk and two RBIs.

Injury updates

The Red Sox transferred Adalberto Mondesi (knee) to the 60-day injured list, meaning he will be out until at least the end of May.

The Sox acquired Mondesi during the offseason with the hope that he would bring much-needed infield depth. However, his progression has been slow after not passing his most recent strength test for his surgically repaired left ACL.

”It feels like this was the right move,” said Cora, who insisted it wasn’t a setback for Mondesi. “We feel good about where he’s at. We want this guy to be the explosive guy that he was a few years ago. If he’s 80 or 85 percent, he’s still a good player, but not the one that’s explosive playing defense, running the bases. We want the closest version of Mondesi.”

James Paxton (hamstring) pitched two innings Wednesday at Fenway South, sitting at 95-96 miles per hour.

“He felt good,” Cora said. “I texted with him yesterday. I saw him today. He’s in a good spot physically. He felt a little bit off as far as command, but stuff was very similar to what we saw in his last outing [when he got hurt].”

The plan is for Paxton’s next outing to be with Triple A Worcester or Double A Portland.


Clock management

Reliever Chris Martin and Rafael Devers were both hit with pitch-clock violations. Devers’s came in the eighth inning, resulting in a strikeout, while Martin’s occurred in the ninth, before his first pitch of the season. Afterward, Devers talked about the adjustment to the clock, adding that the pitcher wasn’t ready, either.

”Of course, it’s not easy. It’s something that you have to adapt to,” said Devers who was 2 for 5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. “It’s something that is not easy when you’re facing a guy throwing that hard in the ninth inning. So that’s something that also needs to be considered and taken into consideration, but you can’t do anything about it right now. You need to adapt and they just keep going.”

Julian McWilliams can be reached at Follow him @byJulianMack.