BOSTON — CC Sabathia began his outing by walking Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.

No outs and a runner in scoring position.

As if that mattered.

The Boston Red Sox produced only four hits – and nothing in the clutch – on another frustrating afternoon, losing 3-0 to the New York Yankees on Sunday before a sold-out crowd of 37,343 at Fenway Park.

This was the first game of a doubleheader, with the second game scheduled for late Sunday night.

In Game 1, Boston was 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

And going back to a 4-1 loss in 16 innings Saturday, the Red Sox were scoreless in 22 straight innings heading into Sunday night’s game.

Before Sunday night, the Red Sox were 2-6 against the Yankees this year, going a horrendous 2 for 51 with runners in scoring position against New York.

In the two losses this weekend, Boston scored one run in 25 innings.

“We’re in a little bit of a dry spell. That’s pretty apparent,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.

Boston has been shut out eight times, compared to six times all last year.

“It’s just part of the game,” Betts said. “Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. You go through stretches … it’s just baseball.”

But is it the kind of baseball a contending team can get away with? Heading into Sunday night, Boston (51-41) had a 21/2 game lead over the Yankees (47-42) and Rays (49-44) in the American League East.

The Rays have been shut out four times. The Yankees have scored in every game.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-12) gave up three runs (one earned) on nine hits and no walks. He received no offensive support, again. Five of the team’s eight shutouts have come in Porcello starts.

“They scored (a lot) for me last year. It is what it is. It’s baseball,” Porcello said.

The fielding also let him down, as an error by Bogaerts led to the game’s first two runs.

In the fourth inning, with a runner on first and one out, Bogaerts could not handle Clint Frazier’s grounder.

After another single loaded the bases, Ji-Man Choi’s sacrifice fly scored one run, and Ronald Torreyes’ RBI single scored another.

“I hung a slider to Torreyes. That’s the pitch I’m most frustrated with,” said Porcello, who then gave up a solo home run in the fifth to Didi Gregorius, just inside the Pesky Pole in right field.

“The changeup to Didi was a terrible pitch. I hung it up in the zone,” Porcello said. “Other than that. It was just a tough game.”

Sabathia went six innings, allowing two hits and five walks. He got out of the first-inning jam with two ground balls, the second one a double play.

Sam Travis led off the second inning with a double. He reached third on a groundout and tried to score on Deven Marrero’s bouncer, but Sabathia by an acrobatic grab and threw out Travis. Marrero then stole second but was stranded.

The Red Sox, like the Yankees, left 10 men on base.

“The first couple of innings, I thought we had a chance to break through,” Farrell said. “The two-out base hits in those spots haven’t been there.

“We’re in one of those spells.”

In the ninth, Aroldis Chapman walked two with two outs. Jackie Bradley Jr., representing the tying run, struck out.

Boston had lost 6 of 8, heading into Sunday night’s game. Is the slump messing with the players?

“No,” Betts said. “We’re going up and trying to do our job.”

NOTES: Bogaerts has 10 errors, tied for third most among American League shortstops. … Austin Maddox was called up to replace Blaine Boyer, who went on the disabled list (right elbow strain) and pitched 12/3 scoreless innings. … Brock Holt was activated as the 26th player (allowed for doubleheaders). … Farrell said more roster moves may come “to jump-start things a bit.” Monday’s scheduled starter, Eduardo Rodriguez, still needs to be activated. … Tuesday’s starter will come from Pawtucket (either Brian Johnson or Hector Velazquez).

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases