The Associated Press 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 3⅔ innings. He signed a $57-million, four-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 its last five games.
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.
“We’re doing everything right and having fun,” Ramirez said.
Cubs win with wild rally
CHICAGO (AP) — Javy Baez had a three-run double as the Chicago Cubs scored nine times in the eighth inning on just three hits, rallying past the Atlanta Braves 14-10 Saturday in cold, wet and windy conditions at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs trailed 9-1 in the third inning, were still down 10-2 in the sixth and went into the eighth behind 10-5. Chicago then used five walks, two hit batters, an error and a wild pitch to come back against four Atlanta relievers — all nine runs scored after there were two outs.
Baez drove in four runs, with his bases-clearing double making it 10-all. Ben Zobrist had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs.
Ozzie Albies had three hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs for the Braves. Dansby Swanson and Nick Markakis had two hits and two RBIs apiece for Atlanta.
Despite a temperature of 3.3 C, a 38 kph wind and a steady midst at the start, the decision was made to play mainly because this was Atlanta’s only visit to Chicago and the forecast for Sunday was worse.Speech