BOSTON -- There is no cooling off the Red Sox these days, not even the frigid temperatures they played in on Sunday at Fenway Park.With a 3-1 victory over the Orioles on Jackie Robinson Day, Boston remains red-hot, extending its franchise-best start to 13-2.• Red Sox, O's pay tribute to
BOSTON -- There is no cooling off the Red Sox these days, not even the frigid temperatures they played in on Sunday at Fenway Park.
With a 3-1 victory over the Orioles on Jackie Robinson Day, Boston remains red-hot, extending its franchise-best start to 13-2.
• Red Sox, O's pay tribute to trailblazer Jackie
The last MLB team to open by winning 13 of the first 15 was the 2013 Braves. Boston's start is the best an American League team has had since the '87 Brewers, who opened 14-1.
"You can't beat it," said Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who struck out eight and allowed one run over five innings. "It's coming in, having fun, expecting to win every single day, coming into the clubhouse after the game and the music is playing. You can't beat that. That's what we're looking for. We're going to stay on it and keep doing what we've got to do to maintain that."
Sale took a no-decision. Richard Hembree earned the win with two shutout innings in relief.
The go-ahead run came in on a strong read by J.D. Martinez, who came roaring in from third in the bottom of the sixth when a wild pitch skipped away from catcher Caleb Joseph to the third-base side of the plate.
"It's anticipation," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "For how bad we looked early in the first few games [on the bases], it's getting better, we're making better decisions. They're more aware, the leads are better. Do we need to keep improving our baserunning? Yeah, of course. I think the last few days have been better."
Sale (1.23 ERA) came out after five innings and 93 pitches due to the weather.
"I was actually tempted to take him out after the fourth," said Cora.
The Red Sox tied the game at 1 in the fifth when Andrew Benintendi slammed an RBI triple into the corner in right to bring home Jackie Bradley Jr.
Craig Kimbrel came on for a 1-2-3 ninth and earned his fifth save in as many opportunities.
The game was played at a game-time temperature of 34 degrees, the coldest at Fenway since April 17, 2003, against the Rays.
"There was no complaining," said Cora. "We knew the conditions were going to be awful, but I didn't hear too many guys -- or any guys -- [saying] 'What are we doing here?' They like to play. Today was different guys -- Tzu-Wei Lin, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt. That's a good thing about us."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tzu-Wei with some insurance: The Red Sox are going with a committee approach at shortstop while Xander Bogaerts is on the disabled list, and Lin did his job on Sunday, belting an RBI double to right in the sixth that boosted Boston's lead to 3-1. Though he's more known for his glove, Lin is 6-for-12 with two doubles since being called up on Tuesday.
The Red Sox have won 13 of their last 14 games, marking the best 14-game stretch the club has had since June 16-July 2, 2006.
HE SAID IT
"That was miserable. Nothing short of miserable. But like I've said before, I'm probably the most warm person out there. I was just honestly trying to get the ball and go. Get my guys in the dugout as quick as I could. Today was the worst [cold I've played in]. I said it when I came out of the game. This was the most miserable I've ever been on a baseball field by far. Not even close."
-- Sale, on pitching in the severe Fenway chill
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Red Sox tried to extend their lead in the seventh on a single to left by Moreland. But Trey Mancini's throw to the plate nailed Benintendi on a close play. The Red Sox issued a challenge, but the call stood after a delay of one minute and 17 seconds.
With the annual Patriots' Day rained out for Monday, the Red Sox will spend the day traveling to the West Coast in preparation for a three-game series against the Angels that starts on Tuesday at 10:07 p.m. ET. The pitching matchup is a beauty, with David Price (1-1, 2.40 ERA) going for the Red Sox and the Angels countering with rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani (2-0, 2.08 ERA).
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.