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 history.
“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 two-run 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.
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.
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.
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 (1-0, 1.06) looks to continue to his strong start, having allowed only two runs in 17 innings.
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