Red Sox

Red Sox beat Orioles 3-1, extend best start in team's 118-year history

benintendi.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

Red Sox beat Orioles 3-1, extend best start in team's 118-year history

BOSTON -- Even playing in wild 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 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 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.'"

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-1, 2.50 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series Tuesday in Detroit.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (1-1, 2.40) pitches the opener of a nine-game road trip Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels. Price left his last start Wednesday after feeling a "sensation" in his throwing hand.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Sources: Red Sox asking a lot for Blake Swihart

Sources: Red Sox asking a lot for Blake Swihart

The Red Sox are listening to trade offers for Blake Swihart. They are not willing to part with the benchwarmer for a small cost.

People familiar with some trade discussions described the Red Sox’ asking price as unreasonable for a player who isn’t playing and may be an odd man out when Dustin Pedroia returns in the near future.

“Hard to find a trade partner when you’re asking for some of teams' best prospects,” said a talent evaluator with one team that has talked to the Sox about Swihart.

MORE BOSTON SPORTS:

Swihart’s agent said last week that he has asked Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to trade Swihart, who, barring a change of heart, likely will only get a look on this year’s Sox team if there’s an injury to Sandy Leon or Christian Vazquez.

In a head-scratching scenario overall, the Sox' strategy with Swihart may be to create a bidding war by designating him for assignment when Pedroia returns. At that point, teams can be assured he'll be traded imminently.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

Betts homers in support of Sale as Sox topple Rays, 4-2

screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_10.53.11_pm.png
AP Photo

Betts homers in support of Sale as Sox topple Rays, 4-2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Chris Sale has high praise for Boston teammate Mookie Betts, and with good reason.

Betts hit his major league-leading 16th homer, Sale struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday night.

"I knew once we got a lead with that guy, we were in pretty good shape," Betts said.

Betts had two hits in four at-bats and is hitting .368.

"He's the best player in the league, I don't think there's any argument on that," Sale said. "It seems like he's hitting a homer every other day. You're in awe of him, the way he handles himself and the work he puts in. He's not just showing up and going out there and doing that."

Boston is 21-9 against the AL East, winning eight of 11 against Tampa Bay.

Willy Adames made his big league debut and hit a solo home run off Sale in his second at-bat. The 22-year-old shortstop went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. He was acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team trade that sent Rays ace - and current Sale teammate - David Price to the Tigers on July 31, 2014.

"You hit a bomb against Sale, it's an amazing feeling," said Adames, who arrived at the ballpark about 40 minutes before first pitch. "I can't tell you how happy I am right now."

Adames is the first player to homer at Tropicana Field in first big league game.

Sale (5-1) gave up four hits and walked two. He has allowed three runs or fewer in his first 11 starts, the longest stretch by a Boston pitcher to open a season since Pedro Martinez's 12 in 2001.

"He's really tough, no doubt," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Joe Kelly finished the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel got into a bases-loaded jam before getting his 14th save in 16 chances when Mallex Smith grounded into a game-ending forceout on his 32nd pitch of the ninth. Jesus Sucre led off with a single, pinch-hitter Brad Miller doubled with two outs and Rob Refsynder walked.

Betts hit a go-ahead, three-run drive in the third off Jake Faria (3-3), who left two batters later because of a strained left oblique. Faria was replaced with a 1-2 count on Hanley Ramirez by Austin Pruitt, who gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings.

Cash said Faria "is going to miss some time."

Two hitters following Faria's departure, Wilson Ramos was taken out due to a bruised left hand after Pruitt's 0-2 pitch to Xander Bogaerts bounced and struck the catcher.

Ramos said the hand "sore" but didn't rule out being available Wednesday.

Faria allowed three runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Daniel Robertson's sacrifice fly pulled Tampa Bay to 3-2 in the fifth, and Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the sixth.

The announced attendance was 10,642, below the Rays' AL-low home average of 14,711. Miami is last in the majors at 10,603.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Asked whether 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee surgery) could return Friday against Atlanta, manager Alex Cora said "it depends on how he reacts but he's getting close." Pedroia is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. ... RHP Hector Velazquez (lower back strain) could be back later this week.

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow surgery) could make his final rehab start Wednesday night for Triple-A Durham.

BETTS BALL

Betts has scored a major-league best 49 runs. He has 36 extra-base hits, including six over his last four games.

INFIELD SHORTAGE

Adames took the roster spot of 2B Joey Wendle, who is on paternity leave for the birth of his son. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (strained right hamstring) has not resumed on-field work.

UP NEXT

Price (4-4), coming off a complete game victory over Baltimore, goes against Rays RHP Chris Archer (3-3) on Wednesday night. "There will be a little bit of banter, but it's all friendly," Archer said.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE