O’s fall again

Alex Cobb unim­pres­sive in de­but

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE -

BOS­TON (AP) — Red Sox rookie man­ager Alex Cora cracked a smile when asked how he felt when he learned it was the best start in team his­tor y.

“I just heard it for the first time,” Cora said af­ter Bos­ton beat the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles 10-3 on Satur­day to get to 12-2.

In 118 years, the Red Sox had never reached 10 games over .500 that soon. Only once — in 1918 — had Bos­ton started 11-2.

“I’ve been say­ing it for a while — we’ve been play­ing good base­ball for a while, re­gard­less of spring train­ing,” Cora said. “We’re play­ing clean and fast and pitch­ing. We’re proud of what they’re do­ing.”

Han­ley Ramirez hit a tworun homer and drove in three runs, An­drew Ben­in­tendi had a two-run sin­gle and an RBI dou­ble, and J.D. Martinez home­red for the Red Sox.

“Our of­fense is do­ing what it’s do­ing, and our pitch­ing and our de­fense is con­sis­tent. We’re danger­ous,” Ben­in­tendi said.

Alex Cobb (0-1) was roughed up in his Ori­oles de­but, giv­ing up eight runs — seven earned — in 3

2/3 in­nings. He signed a $57-mil­lion, 4-year deal as a free agent on March 21 af­ter spend­ing all 11 years of his pro­fes­sional ca­reer in Tampa Bay’s or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“Just a lit­tle rusty,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “Phys­i­cally, he’s in good shape. He’s only go­ing to get bet­ter. Tough con­di­tions and a re­ally good-hit­ting club swing­ing the bat well right now.”

Pe­dro Alvarez had a two-run homer for Bal­ti­more, which has lost four of five.

Cobb felt he was ready and gave credit to Bos­ton’s hit­ters.

“We did all we could do,” he said. “There is no repli­cat­ing this. This is the best team in the world hit­ting right now, and you’re never go­ing to get ready for that.”

Hector Ve­lazquez (2-0) gave up two runs in five in­nings. Mar­cus Walden pitched the fi­nal three in­nings for his first big-league save.

The Red Sox started fast as they’ve done fre­quently this sea­son. They scored three in the first be­fore mak­ing an out.

Mookie Betts opened with a walk and raced around to score on Ben­in­tendi’s dou­ble off the Green Mon­ster, slid­ing ahead of a re­lay throw.

Ramirez then fol­lowed with his homer into the Mon­ster seats, mak­ing it 3-0.

Martinez home­red into Bal­ti­more’s bullpen in the third.

Bos­ton broke it open and chased Cobb with four more, mak­ing it 8-0 in the fourth. Ben­in­tendi hit his two-run sin­gle. Ramirez added an RBI dou­ble and scored on short­stop Manny Machando’s throw­ing er­ror — his second of the game.

“We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing right and hav­ing fun,” Ramirez said. TRAINER’S ROOM Ori­oles: 2B Jonathan Schoop was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list with a strained right oblique. Showal­ter said it hap­pened on his last at-bat in Fri­day’s loss. “If you look at it, it was a lit­tle awk­ward,” he said . ... Showal­ter also said OF Colby Ras­mus (strained left hip flexor) likely won’t be ready to come off the DL when he’s el­i­gi­ble this week.

Red Sox: Betts bruised his left foot in a col­li­sion with catcher Chance Sisco’s left shin guard when he scored in the first. He came out a few in­nings later. The team said X-rays were neg­a­tive, but Cora said Betts will likely have Sun­day off . ... Cora also said LHP Drew Pomer­anz, re­cov­er­ing from a strained left fore­arm flexor since spring train­ing, felt good af­ter his second re­hab start on Fri­day and could re­turn to the ro­ta­tion Thurs­day or Fri­day. EA­GER TO GO

Ramirez was back in the lineup af­ter miss­ing Fri­day’s game with a bruised right wrist from get­ting hit by a pitch a night ear­lier.

“He ac­tu­ally beat me to the ball­park. That’s a good sign,” Cora joked. SWITCH, NO PROB­LEM

Jackie Bradley Jr. usu­ally is Bos­ton’s cen­ter fielder. When Betts got hurt, he moved to right and made a head­long div­ing grab on Adam Jones’ liner.

“Just saw it was pretty low and the only way I was go­ing to catch it was if I left my feet,” he said. PICK SIX

The Red Sox have scored six or more runs in six straight games.

“We’ve got a lot of slug­gers in that lineup,” Cora said.

UP NEXT

Ori­oles: RHP Dy­lan Bundy (0-1, 1.35 ERA) is set to pitch Sun­day. He’s given up just three earned runs in his first three starts, but Bal­ti­more has scored only five to­tal on the days he’s pitched. Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (10, 1.06) looks to con­tinue to his strong start, hav­ing al­lowed only two runs in 17 in­nings.

AP PHOTO

The Ori­oles’ Alex Cobb leaves the game Satur­day against the Red Sox.

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