Red Sox keep rolling, beat Orioles
BOSTON — Even playing in wild chills below freezing couldn’t slow down the redhot Boston Red Sox.
Andrew Benintendi got three hits and the Red Sox extended the best start in their 118year 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.’”
Former Mississippi State player and Amory native 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 threegame 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 5 2/3 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 today, 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.”
SEATTLE — Sean Manaea pitched seven strong innings and Jed Lowrie hit an early two-run homer off Felix Hernandez to lead Oakland over Seattle.
Oakland avoided a series sweep as Manaea (2-2) gave up just two hits and struck out four. It was the third time in four starts this season he has lasted at least seven innings.
Lowrie provided all the offense the A’s needed with his fourth homer in the first inning. Blake Treinen finished with a four-out save.
Taylor Motter homered for the Mariners, who had won four in a row.
Felix Hernandez (2-2) worked into the seventh inning for the first time this year, giving up five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Former Mississippi State player Mitch Moreland of the Boston Red Sox is welcomed to the dugout after scoring on a ground-rule double hit by Tzu-Wei Lin in the sixth inning of Sunday’sl game against the Baltimore Orioles.