BALTIMORE — How wide is the gulf between baseball’s worst team, the Baltimore Orioles, and its best, the Boston Red Sox?
So wide that Boston’s 19-12 win Friday night at Camden Yards, which came after the Orioles led by five runs in the third inning, doesn’t even do it justice. All these teams had in common Friday was the baseball — and that’s even with the Orioles’ 12 runs flattering to deceive.
The Orioles scored early and often because debuting center fielder Cedric Mullins, batting ninth, twice turned the lineup over to continue four-run innings. They couldn’t stop the Red Sox from scoring because they have traded their best defenders and lost their best relievers to trades and injuries.
What’s left? A team that fell to a league-worst 35-81, thoroughly beaten on a night when its Opening Day starter, Dylan Bundy, couldn’t make eight runs of support stand up and the relievers who followed were just as ineffective.
Before all the Orioles’ bad traits emerged, their one new bright spot defined the game. Mullins doubled home a run in his first at-bat during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, following a solo home run by Chris Davis and before Adam Jones drove in Mullins and Caleb Joseph on a two-out single.
In the third, Mullins had two on with a run already in when he singled off the glove of second baseman Brock Holt. And as he did the previous time, he scored from second on a single to extend the Orioles’ lead to 8-3.
The 23-year-old finished 3 for 4 with a walk, three runs and two RBI.
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