Bos­ton stays scorch­ing hot in the cold

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS -

BOS­TON — Even play­ing in wind chills be­low freez­ing couldn’t slow down the red-hot Bos­ton Red Sox.

An­drew Ben­in­tendi got three hits and the Red Sox ex­tended the best start in their 118-year history, beat­ing the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles 3-1 Sun­day at frigid Fen­way Park.

“I was mis­er­able, noth­ing short of mis­er­able,” Bos­ton ace Chris Sale said. “I said it when I came out of the game: ‘This is the most mis­er­able I’ve ever been on a base­ball field, by far, not even close.’ ”

Mitch More­land also had three hits for the Red Sox, who im­proved to a ma­jor league-best 13-2 un­der new man­ager Alex Cora.

“There was no com­plain­ing. They knew the con­di­tions were go­ing to be aw­ful,” Cora said.

Bos­ton com­pleted an ab­bre­vi­ated three-game sweep and fin­ished 8-1 on its first home­s­tand of the sea­son. The se­ries was sup­posed to last four games, but the tra­di­tional Patriots’ Day game sched­uled for Mon­day morn­ing at 11:05 a.m. was post­poned late Sun­day af­ter­noon due to a fore­cast that calls for heavy rain through­out the day.

The game will be made up May 17, which had been an off day for both teams prior to their next se­ries at Fen­way.

It’s the first time the Patriots’ Day game in Bos­ton has been post­poned since 1984.

Manny Machado had an RBI dou­ble for Bal­ti­more, which has lost five of six.

Players on both teams wore ex­tra lay­ers, many with neck wraps or head shells. Fen­way Park, usu­ally packed with fans, was less than half-full in con­di­tions that made it feel more like a New Eng­land Patriots home game in mid-De­cem­ber. The Red Sox posted an an­nounce­ment of­fer­ing free hot cho­co­late to fans from the mid­dle of the fifth in­ning on.

Heath Hem­bree (2-0) worked two in­nings of score­less re­lief. Craig Kim­brel got three outs for his

fifth save.

Sale gave up one run and two hits in five in­nings, strik­ing eight and walk­ing two. Ori­oles starter Dy­lan Bundy (0-2) al­lowed three runs — one earned — on seven hits in 52⁄3 in­nings with six strike­outs, two walks and two wild pitches.

“It was tough,” Bal­ti­more man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. “Ob­vi­ously, Chris Sale is an out­stand­ing pitcher and we think Dy­lan is, too.”

Trail­ing 1-0 in the fifth, the Red Sox tied it on Ben­in­tendi’s RBI triple. They went ahead the next in­ning when J.D. Martinez scored on a wild pitch af­ter reach­ing on third base­man Danny Va­len­cia’s field­ing er­ror and ad­vanc­ing on More­land’s dou­ble. Tzu-Wei Lin’s RBI dou­ble made it 3-1.

Pitch­ing in short sleeves with a game-time tem­per­a­ture of 34 de­grees and a wild chill in the mid-20s, the lanky Sale gave up hits to two of the first three bat­ters in the game. Trey

Mancini reached on an in­field hit and scored on Machado’s dou­ble.

Con­sid­er­ing the fore­cast for Mon­day, nei­ther team seemed sur­prised this one was played.

“I thought we would play today be­cause I knew the weather for the next cou­ple of days doesn’t look very good,” Ori­oles first base­man Chris Davis said. “I thought if there was a chance for us to play today, whether it was in the sleet and snow, I think we kind of ex­pected to play.”

Be­fore the game, Bos­ton des­ig­nated hit­ter Han­ley Ramirez was asked if he could re­mem­ber play­ing in such cold con­di­tions.

“In the Do­mini­can,” he joked.

Then the slugger ex­plained he doesn’t like wear­ing long sleeves be­cause they feel “tight.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Ori­oles: 2B Jonathan Schoop missed his se­cond straight game af­ter he was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list Satur­day with a strained right oblique.

Red Sox: Cora gave OF

Mookie Betts the day off af­ter he bruised his left foot slid­ing into the plate and col­lid­ing with Bal­ti­more catcher Chance Sisco’s shin guard.

SOMBER MEM­ORY

There was a mo­ment of si­lence com­mem­o­rat­ing the fifth an­niver­sary of the Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ings. Two bombs went off near the fin­ish line less than an hour af­ter the Red Sox com­pleted their an­nual Patriots’ Day game on April 15, 2013.

NOT WOR­RIED

Cora said he never con­sid­ered not pitch­ing Sale in the rough con­di­tions be­cause the lefty had worked in the cold when he was with the White Sox.

“I think it’s tough to play any­body in these con­di­tions,” Cora said. “Some­body that’s ca­pa­ble of do­ing it is him — he played in Chicago.

“I read an ar­ti­cle — I think it was (in) 2016, Robin (Ven­tura) was his man­ager and said: ‘I know it’s mis­er­able, but it’s a happy day when you have your ace go­ing.’ ”

Steven Senne / As­so­ci­ated Press

Mitch More­land runs af­ter hitting a ground-rule dou­ble in the se­cond in­ning on Sun­day in Bos­ton.

Steven Senne / As­so­ci­ated Press

Chris Sale de­liv­ers a pitch against Bal­ti­more in the se­cond in­ning on Sun­day in Bos­ton. The Red Sox won 3-1, to ex­tend their best start in 118 years.

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