Orioles sweep Red Sox, 11-3, as bats break out behind Cedric Mullins, Bruce Zimmermann delivers quality start

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Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun
·3 min read
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For a team of which so little was expected, the Orioles certainly over-delivered this weekend in Boston.

With a comprehensive 11-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, thanks to a seven-run third inning and an efficient quality start from rookie Bruce Zimmermann, the Orioles earned a sweep at Fenway Park and launched into the season with a surprising 3-0 start.

The first two wins of the series were built on impressive pitching, sound defense and timely hitting. The time to hit Sunday was simply early and often.

Cedric Mullins led off a historic day at the plate with a double, advanced on a single by Trey Mancini and scored on a single by Anthony Santander.

Mancini and Santander scored on a double down the left-field line by Maikel Franco to complete the three-run first inning, and the Orioles were unlucky not to score in the second inning before they pummeled Boston in the third.

In chasing starter Garrett Richards and necessitating two pitching changes in the inning, the Orioles sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. Freddy Galvis had a bases-loaded walk, Austin Hays and Mancini had two-run doubles, Mullins scored on a wild pitch and Ryan Mountcastle singled in the seventh run of the frame.

From there, they cruised.

Zimmermann, the Ellicott City native and Loyola Blakefield product making his first start of the season after earning a rotation spot with a great spring, was efficient in pitching ahead in the strike zone with a lead.

Boston got a run in the third on a sacrifice fly and J.D. Martinez homered on the first pitch of the fourth inning, but Zimmermann wasn’t troubled otherwise.

He cruised through six innings on 73 pitches and only Martinez really troubled him all game, adding a run-scoring double in the sixth inning as well. Zimmermann struck out five and allowed three runs on four hits for his first career quality start, handing the game over to Cole Sulser in the seventh inning.

Historic day for Mullins

Mullins entered Sunday tied for the team lead with four hits and doubled that total in the first four innings to spark the Orioles’ big day at the plate.

Mullins doubled in the first inning, doubled in the second, singled in the third and singled in the fourth, becoming the first Oriole to record four hits in the first four innings.

He missed his chance to chase the team record for hits in a game — six — by drawing a walk in the seventh, but added a double in the ninth for a 5-for-5 day.

According to High Heat Stats, Mullins is the first Oriole with a five-hit game since Mancini on Sept. 24, 2019, and the first Orioles center fielder batting leadoff with a five-hit game since Al Bumbry did it on May 26, 1979.

Mullins is also the first Oriole to record five hits, three doubles and one walk in a game and just the sixth MLB player to do so since 1952.

Now 9-for-13 on the season, Mullins was one of four Orioles with multihit games, including Mancini, Santander and Rio Ruiz. Galvis reached three times with a hit and a pair of walks.

Wells debuts

After two scoreless innings from Sulser, Rule 5 pitcher Tyler Wells got to pitch the ninth inning for his major league debut. Wells allowed a walk and a single by Christian Vázquez but got Bobby Dalbec to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

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