Boston Red Sox' David Ortiz(notes) connects for a solo home run off of Texas Rangers' Darren Oliver(notes) in the eighth inning of an MLB baseball game as Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba(notes), right, looks on Friday, April 1, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers won 9-5.

This was not the start of the season anyone in Red Sox Nation was expecting yesterday from the Boston Red Sox. After all, they were picked to win the AL East and some of the pundits predicted the Red Sox would win 100 games this season.

It was an implosion by Daniel Bard in the 8th inning that would end up costing the Red Sox the game in a 9-5 loss to the Texas Rangers on Friday afternoon. And this came after David Ortiz had tied it up with a solo home run in the top half of the inning.

Bard did make a great pitch to David Murphy, a slider down and away. But Murphy got to it and put it down the left field line, hitting the chalk, to start the four run onslaught with two RBIs.

You can’t place the total blame on Bard though. Jon Lester wasn’t exactly his best either. The thoughts of the Nation on Twitter were the same ones we hear every year. Lester’s having a rough April. We know he’s a slow starter but saying he’s going to have a rough April again probably isn’t the right thing just yet.

If he struggles in his coming starts, then yes, Houston, we have a problem. But right now, it’s one start.

His command wasn’t there and his fastball was flat as evidenced by the three home runs he gave up yesterday. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. And for just the second time in his career, he didn’t strikeout anyone. IAs a matter of fact, the Red Sox pitching staff struck out only one and that was by Bard.

Matt Albers walked one in an inning of work while Dennys Reyes faced one batter, throwing four pitches and walking the batter. Dan Wheeler needed just six pitches to record two outs and Tim Wakefield bailed out Bard by getting the final out of the 8th inning after walking the first batter he faced.

Adrian Gonzalez had a stellar Red Sox debut as he knocked in three runs in his first two at-bats. He also picked up just the second stolen base of his career. Carl Crawford would probably rather forget his debut in a Red Sox uniform as he was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, leaving runners in scoring position in all four at-bats.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s hot spring training rolled over into the opener as he was 2-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. One of his hits was a rare extra base-hit from a lefty batter off of Rangers starter C.J. Wilson. Kevin Youkilis had a double and RBI and Dustin Pedroia had the other Red Sox hit.

The Red Sox will look to get into the win column tonight when Texas native John Lackey takes the hill against Colby Lewis. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.

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Pitching imperfect: Opening Day loss offers Sox a reminder [Alex Speier –]

Lou Gorman; general manager built contending Red Sox teams [Boston Globe]

In tough business, he managed to be sweet [Boston Globe]

Starting block [Boston Globe]

They stumbled over initial hurdle [Boston Globe]

Deep thoughts not for Lester [Boston Globe]

Crawford’s debut a real dud [Boston Globe]

Ortiz gets his timing right [Boston Globe]

Former Sox GM Lou Gorman built great teams, better friendships [Boston Herald]

Arms backfire as Red Sox miss target in Texas [Boston Herald]

Steal reinforced deal [Boston Herald]

Carl Crawford moves on after forgettable debut [Boston Herald]

David Ortiz a bright spot [Boston Herald]

Sure bets Jon Lester, Daniel Bard let Red Sox down [Boston Herald]

Team not so perfect after all [Boston Herald]

Red Sox remember ex-GM Lou Gorman [Boston Herald]

Fans hyped for Red Sox start, resigned to 161-1 record [Boston Herald]

With Rangers, Adrian Gonzalez never had a chance [Clubhouse Insider]

Sox get off on wrong foot with loss to Rangers, 9-5 []

One of those days for Red Sox []

Everything goes wrong in game Sox need to forget []

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Red Sox 5 [ESPN Boston]

PawSox release their Opening Day roster [ESPN Boston]

Francona stresses Salty is No. 1 Sox catcher [ESPN Boston]

Sox have most expensive average ticket: $53 [ESPN Boston]

Reliable arms falter [ESPN Boston]

Gonzalez shines in debut [ESPN Boston]

Bard didn’t follow the blueprint [Extra Bases]

Season’s underway, and spring training stats are meaningless [Full Count]

Charlie Hough on Tim Wakefield: ‘He’s kind of a landmark’ [Full Count]

Postgame Red Sox reaction: Quotes from the clubhouse [Full Count]

Rangers GM discusses ‘error’ that led to dealing Adrian Gonzalez [Full Count]

Lou Gorman Built Red Sox Into Winning Organization, Helped Start Red Sox Hall of Fame [NESN]

Lou Gorman Traded for Bill Buckner and Dave Henderson, Drafted Mo Vaughn and Trot Nixon [NESN]

Daniel Bard Stumbles Out of the Gate in Rare Poor Outing [NESN]

Jon Lester’s April Woes Continue in First Career Opening Day Start [NESN]

Peter Gammons: Red Sox ‘Cruise Control’ Mode From Spring Training Lingers on Opening Day [NESN]

Rangers win with offense and bullpen [Providence Journal]

Texas roughs up Bard as Boston drops opener [Providence Journal]

Gonzalez shows he can hit, field … and steal a base [Providence Journal]

Lou Gorman, former Red Sox GM and proud Rhode Islander, dies at age 82 [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Lester shrugs off tough start [Providence Journal]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSNNEESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal and WEEI websites.

And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the Dallas Morning News, ESPN Dallas and Ft. Worth Star Telegram websites.

Photo credit: AP Photo