BOSTON (AP) — Andrew Benintendi got three hits and the Boston Red Sox extended the best start in their 118-year history, beating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 Sunday at frigid Fenway Park.
Mitch Moreland also had three hits for the Red Sox, who improved to a major league-best 13-2 under new manager Alex Cora.
Boston goes for a sweep of the four-game series in the traditional Patriots’ Day game Monday morning with a scheduled 11:05 a.m. start — though the forecast calls for heavy rain.
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, and the usually-nearly-packed Fenway was less than half-full in conditions that made it feel more like a New England Patriots’ home game mid-December. The Red Sox posted an announcement offering free hot chocolate to the 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.
Boston ace Chris Sale gave up one run on two hits in five innings, striking eight and walking two.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, the Red Sox tied it against Dylan Bundy (0-2) 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 gametime temperature of 34 degrees and a wild chill in the mid-20s, the lanky Sale gave up hits to two of first three batters of the game when Trey Mancini reached on an infield hit and scored on Machado’s double.
Bundy gave up three runs — one earned — on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings with six strikeouts, two walks and two wild pitches.
Before the game, Boston DH Hanley Ramirez joked “in the Dominican” when asked if he could remember playing in such cold conditions. Then the slugger explained that he didn’t like wearing long sleeves because it felt “tight.”
Vendors gave away hot chocolate after the fourth inning according to one Red Sox fan in attendance.
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.
There was a moment of silence commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Two bombs went off near the finish line under an hour after the Red Sox completed their annual Patriots’ Day game on April 15, 2013.
Cora said he never considered not pitching Sale in the 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 its miserable, but it’s a happy day when you have your ace going.'”
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-1, 2.50 ERA) is in line to make his fourth start with Baltimore on Monday. He signed a $16-million, two-year deal as a free agent in mid-February.
Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 2.70) is set to make a fill-in start with LHP David Price being pushed back a day.