BOSTON — The Red Sox fell to their first 0-3 start at Fenway Park since 1948 and their second ever as Trey Mancini and Austin Hays hit two-run doubles during a seven-run third inning that carried the Baltimore Orioles over Boston 11-3 Sunday.
Cedric Mullins went 5 for 5 with three doubles and walk for the Orioles, collecting four of hits in the initial four innings. Maikel Franco added a first-inning, two-run double, helping Baltimore to its first three-game sweep at Fenway since Aug. 25-27, 2017.
Boston is coming off a 24-36 record that was its worst winning percentage since 1965.
The Red Sox lost their first four home games in 1948, rebounded to tie Cleveland at 96-58 after the scheduled 154-game regular season and lost a tiebreaker playoff 8-3 at Fenway.
Making just his third major league appearance, Baltimore left-hander Bruce Zimmerman (1-0) gave up three runs and four hits in six innings with five strikeouts and one walk for his first MLB victory.
J.D. Martinez had a solo homer and RBI double for the Red Sox.
Boston starter Garrett Richards (0-1) was chased with no outs and after loading the bases in the third. He was charged with six runs and seven hits.
Three batters later, Mancini doubled to center. Taylor threw a run-scoring wild pitch and gave up Ryan Mountcastle‘s RBI single.
Taylor faced eight batters, getting two outs – both strikeouts – and gave up five hits and four runs.
Boston right-hander Garrett Whitlock pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his major league debut, striking out five.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game that Mancini should be the Comeback Player of the Year.
“He should be the Comeback Player of the Year, regardless,” Cora said. “He could hit .330 or .180, and he’s the Comeback Player of the Year already. I know there are other guys coming back from injury, but to comeback from that is amazing.”
Mancini missed the 2020 season due to Stage 3 colon cancer, completed six months of chemotherapy and returned in spring training.
Orioles: Hays left the game after sliding into second base with right hamstring discomfort. . Manager Brandon Hyde said RHP Shawn Armstrong could be activated from the paternity list on Monday. The pitcher’s wife, Sarah, gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday.
Red Sox: Cora said before the game that “everything is trending that he’ll be with us” about lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who started the season on the injured list with left elbow inflammation. Rodriguez pitched a simulated game Friday at the club’s new Triple-A facility in Worcester, Mass.
Red Sox: RHP Nick Pivetta is slated to make his season debut against Tampa Bay Monday at Fenway. Michael Wacha is set to make his first start with the Rays after signing a $3 million, one-year contract in December.