Red Sox

Kiké Hernández is first Red Sox to do this on Opening Day in 13 years

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox didn't start their 2021 season well, at least not on offense. The team managed just two hits against the Orioles, and the hits came nearly eight innings apart.

Even despite the minimal offensive output, Kiké Hernández managed to do something that no Red Sox player had done in 13 years.

According to the Red Sox Notes Twitter account, Hernández's first-inning single off John Means marked the first time since 2008 that the Red Sox notched a base hit in their first plate appearance of the season. The last Boston player to do that was Dustin Pedroia.

Since Pedroia's single in the Tokyo Dome against the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox Opening Day lead-off batters had gone 0-12. Only one of them managed to reach base on an error. Here are the results of each season-opening plate appearance since that time.

Year Player Result
2008 Dustin Pedroia Single
2009 Jacoby Ellsbury Strikeout
2010 Jacoby Ellsbury Lineout
2011 Jacoby Ellsbury Reached on an error
2012 Jacoby Ellsbury Flyout
2013 Jacoby Ellsbury Popout
2014 Daniel Nava Groundout
2015 Mookie Betts Popout
2016 Mookie Betts Strikeout
2017 Dustin Pedroia Groundout
2018 Mookie Betts Flyout
2019 Andrew Benintendi Groundout
2020 Andrew Benintendi Groundout
2021 Kiké Hernández Single

Needless to say, the Sox kickstarting the season with a hit was a long time coming. While that represented 50 percent of their offensive output on the day, it was still a great way for Hernández to get his first season as a Red Sox started.

It was also a nice way to pay tribute to the recently-retired Pedroia, as Hernández was starting at second base on Friday.

If Hernández can continue to swing well out of the leadoff spot, that would be great news for Boston. They struggled to generate much out of that position last year, but perhaps Hernández will lock down that role long-term.