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Cobb struggles in debut as O's fall to Red Sox

Right-hander gives up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings
Special to MLB.com

BOSTON -- Alex Cobb's debut for the Orioles got off to an inauspicious start -- and finish -- in Saturday's 10-3 loss against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Signed on March 21 to a four-year, $57 million deal, Cobb was forced to ramp up to game speed at a quick rate in Sarasota, Fla., after the team broke camp, working simulated games against Gulf Coast League players.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Alex Cobb's debut for the Orioles got off to an inauspicious start -- and finish -- in Saturday's 10-3 loss against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Signed on March 21 to a four-year, $57 million deal, Cobb was forced to ramp up to game speed at a quick rate in Sarasota, Fla., after the team broke camp, working simulated games against Gulf Coast League players.

View Full Game Coverage

Against one of the American League's most potent offenses, the rust was evident as Cobb ran into trouble right out of the gate.

"A little rusty," O's manager Buck Showalter confirmed. "He had like four to five 'pens, four outings [before today's start]. 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."

Cobb walked leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, followed by a double by Andrew Benintendi to bring Betts around, and a Hanley Ramirez homer to clear the bases, giving the Red Sox a quick three-run advantage after their first three batters.

Video: BAL@BOS: Ramirez cranks a two-run homer to left field

Though Cobb would allow two more hits in the inning, the Orioles starter was able to get out of the frame without any more damage against him on the scoreboard, thanks in part to a double play which was handled nicely by Tim Beckham, who moved to second base to replace the injured Jonathan Schoop.

Schoop lands on DL with strained oblique

The second inning went a lot more smoothly for Cobb as he allowed just a single, but in the third he served up another long ball, this time to J.D. Martinez, who sent the offering into the Red Sox bullpen in right field.

Video: BAL@BOS: J.D. Martinez belts a solo homer to right

When Benintendi plated two more runs with a two-out single in the fourth, the Baltimore bullpen began warming up in earnest. When Ramirez followed with an RBI double of his own, Cobb's day came to an end.

"That lineup is red hot and they were teeing off on some bad pitches," said Cobb. "It's a combination of those two things. In preparation to get ready for the big league level ... you can't until you get out there. I've been around long enough to know what I was going to expect out there and what I was going to be faced with. I just didn't come through today on my end."

The O's starter threw 79 pitches, 49 for strikes, and departed with his team trailing, 7-0, after serving up 10 hits and a walk on the day.

The only two runs allowed by Red Sox starter Hector Velazquez, who earned the win, came via a fifth inning, two-run homer by Pedro Alvarez, his second of the season.

Video: BAL@BOS: Alvarez belts a 116-mph homer vs. Red Sox

In total, Boston slugged out 15 hits on the day, with Benintendi and Ramirez handing out the majority of damage with three RBIs apiece.

"You give up 15 hits and make three errors, you're really lucky to hold them to just 10 runs," Showalter said. "Their guy pitched well, it was just a tough hole to dig out of."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
According to Statcast™, the Orioles are only the second team this season to have multiple balls batted at 115-plus mph in the same game. In the third inning, Trey Mancini roped a double to left field that came off the bat at 115 mph, which at that point was the hardest-hit ball by any Orioles player this season. Two innings later, Alvarez bested him by launching a home run to dead center that was clocked at 115.9 mph. The Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the only other duo to perform the feat this season, doing it two times thus far.

Video: BAL@BOS: Mancini ropes a double to left field

HE SAID IT
"He'll get comfortable. He's a good pitcher, he's been doing it for a while now. He has good numbers in the American League East, so that's nothing I'm going to worry about. We have a lot more other worries than Alex Cobb pitching." -- Beckham on Cobb, whom Beckham was teammates with in Tampa Bay

UP NEXT
The Orioles send Dylan Bundy to the mound against Red Sox starter Chris Sale for the third leg of their four-game set Sunday at Fenway Park at 1:05 p.m. ET on Jackie Robinson Day. The right-hander will look to rebound from his first loss of the season in his last outing, a tough-luck decision in which he fired a season-high 10 strikeouts vs. Toronto. Bundy is 2-1 with a career 3.57 ERA at Fenway.

Video: BAL@BOS: Bundy takes hill vs. Sale in series finale

Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.

Baltimore Orioles, Alex Cobb