Final, Red Sox 8-7: Koji Uehara wasn’t able to win the Final Vote on Thursday, but he was able to nail down a save.
Jason Bay, who pinch hit for Brendan Ryan, threatened to tie the game with a fly ball down the left field line in the ninth inning. His home-run bid sailed just foul, though, and Uehara eventually capped off a 1-2-3 inning and an 8-7 Boston win with a strikeout of Brad Miller.
Daniel Nava, who had been 0-for-5, came up with a big, two-out RBI single in the 10th inning to propel the Red Sox to victory.
Knuckleballer Steven Wright, who was called up Wednesday, earned his first career major league win. He tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Ryan Dempster, who struggled from the start. Wright gave up just three hits, struck out three and walked two.
The Red Sox finish the series with three straight wins after dropping three in a row. They’ll now head to Oakland for a three-game set with the Athletics.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 10th, Red Sox 8-7: Daniel Nava had been 0-for-5. But he came through when it mattered most.
Ryan Lavarnway began the 10th inning with an excellent at-bat against Tom Wilhelmsen. Lavarnway fouled off a number of offerings and saw 10 pitches en route to earning a leadoff walk.
Jackie Bradley Jr. immediately entered the game as a pinch runner, and the Red Sox elected to sacrifice. Brock Holt dropped down a bunt that nearly resulted in an infield single. Wilhelmsen came off the mound to field the bunt, and he really had to rush in order to throw out Holt.
Jose Iglesias also forced Wilhelmsen to work, as he saw eight pitches in his at-bat. Iglesias laid off a curveball in the dirt, but he eventually fanned on a breaking ball two pitches later.
The Mariners then opted to walk Jacoby Ellsbury to face Nava, and Nava made them pay for that decision. Nava fell behind in the count, 0-2, but he buckled down and lined a 1-2 curveball into center field to score Bradley from second base.
Koji Uehara will now look to close out the Mariners. Bradley will remain in the game and play right field, with Shane Victorino coming out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will take over behind the plate.
End 9th, 7-7: We’re heading for bonus baseball.
Steven Wright once again held down the Mariners, who haven’t scored since the fourth inning.
Justin Smoak lined a one-out single into right field in the ninth inning. Shane Victorino, who pinch hit for Mike Carp in the top of the inning, faced one of those in-between liners. He needed to decide whether to keep charging in or back off and play it on a hop. Victorino decided to back off, which was the right decision, as you simply can’t risk extra bases in that situation.
Wright immediately took care of business following the brief hiccup. He induced a 6-4-3 double play to send this game to extras.
Ryan Lavarnway, Brock Holt and Jose Iglesias are due up for Boston in the 10th inning.
Mid 9th, 7-7: Off the bat, it looked like David Ortiz had given the Red Sox the lead. His fly ball to deep right-center field died, though, and Dustin Ackley made the grab on the warning track.
Ortiz got an off-speed pitch over the plate and he put a good swing on it, but he got under it a bit too much. Even Ortiz couldn’t believe it when the ball fell short of the wall.
Jonny Gomes, who has struck out three times, walked on four pitches with two outs in the inning. It appeared that Oliver Perez was expecting Gomes to have the green light on 3-0, as he threw him an off-speed pitch off the outside corner.
John Farrell turned to Shane Victorino as a pinch hitter for Mike Carp, at which point Eric Wedge turned to his closer, Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen entered and struck out Victorino with a nasty breaking ball on the inside corner. Victorino was caught way out in front.
Steven Wright, who has pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings for Boston, will come on to begin the ninth inning. Kyle Seager, Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino are due up for Seattle.
End 8th, 7-7: Steven Wright was a candidate to start Sunday’s game in Oakland. That will no longer be the case given his workload in this one, but the knuckleballer has come up huge for the Red Sox.
Wright once again held the Mariners scoreless in the eighth inning, and he has now twirled 4 2/3 scoreless innings since coming on in relief of Ryan Dempster.
Wright has three strikeouts, two of which came in the eighth.
Wright issued a two-out walk to Raul Ibanez and then got locked in a full count against Kendrys Morales. The right-hander eventually won the battle, though, and we’ll head to the ninth inning with the score still tied.
Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes are due up for Boston in the ninth.
Mid 8th, 7-7: Charlie Furbush left the game, but it didn’t get any easier for the Red Sox.
Another left-hander, Oliver Perez, came on and struck out the side in the eighth inning.
Perez first took care of Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury, and he did so rather easily. Daniel Nava then proved to be a tall order, but Perez finally finished off the strikeout.
Nava fouled off a boat load of pitches in his at-bat against Perez, even getting one pitch about belt high on the inside corner that he would absolutely love to have back. Perez finally put him away, though, and the Mariners will look to gain an edge in the eighth inning.
End 7th, 7-7: Mike Carp made an ugly error, but Steven Wright made sure that it didn’t cost the Red Sox.
Wright picked up two quick outs to begin the seventh inning before Carp’s miscue. Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino both flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field.
Smoak’s sky-high fly ball took Ellsbury back to the edge of the warning track, and the sun really played a factor. Ellsbury was able to shield his eyes long enough to make the catch, though.
Carp’s error came when Michael Saunders hit a bouncer down the first base line. Carp waved at it with his glove, and the ball slipped past him and into right field, allowing Saunders to cruise into second base.
Wright escaped the brief trouble by getting Brendan Ryan to ground out to his counterpart at short.
The good news for Boston is that Charlie Furbush is coming out of the game. Oliver Perez will pitch the eighth inning for Seattle.
Mid 7th, 7-7: Charlie Furbush is looking sharp on the mound right now.
Ryan Lavarnway hammered a two-out double into the left field corner, but Furbush struck out two hitters while keeping the Red Sox scoreless.
Jonny Gomes struck out for the third time to begin the inning. Gomes found himself in a couple of hitter-friendly counts — 2-0 and 3-1 — but Furbush regained control, and the left-hander eventually put him away with a fastball.
Mike Carp then went down looking before Lavarnway turned on a two-strike pitch. Furbush made sure that Lavarnway’s two-bagger didn’t amount to anything, though, as Brock Holt hit a chopper down to first base to end the inning.
End 6th, 7-7: Steven Wright tossed another scoreless frame in the sixth.
Raul Ibanez started the inning with a bloop single into left field. Jonny Gomes came in and Jose Iglesias went out, but the ball ended up falling in between them.
Ibanez was quickly wiped off the bases when Kendrys Morales grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Iglesias made the play and flipped to Dustin Pedroia, who leaped to avoid Ibanez’s hard slide while firing to first.
Kyle Seager, who has had a nice game, popped out to third base to end the inning.
Charlie Furbush will be back out for another inning of work.
Mid 6th, 7-7: In an interesting turn of events, we actually witnessed a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.
Charlie Furbush retired Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in order.
Nava grounded out to short before Pedroia struck out swinging. Furbush went with a fastball up and away to get Pedroia hacking.
Ortiz then hit a ball right on the screws. Unfortunately for Big Papi, it was right at first baseman Justin Smoak for the inning’s final out.
Steven Wright will take the mound for another inning of work.
End 5th, 7-7: The Mariners were kept off the scoreboard for the first time since the first inning in the fifth.
Brad Miller worked a two-out walk, but Steven Wright squashed any ideas of a potential two-out rally. Wright received some solid defense from Jose Iglesias while doing so.
Iglesias charged in on a ground ball and showed off his quick release for the first out of the inning. He then made a lunging stop on a ground ball up the middle before tossing to second base to complete an inning-ending forceout.
Charlie Furbush will return to the mound for Seattle in the sixth inning.
Mid 5th, 7-7: It’s been a big day for the offenses thus far. We’re suddenly tied.
Dustin Pedroia, who saved at least one run with a great scoop in the top of the inning, got the bottom half started with a single into right field.
David Ortiz then walked on five pitches, giving him two such free passes in this game.
Jonny Gomes, who has struck out looking a couple of times, loaded the bases with a single into left field. Erasmo Ramirez started him off with a first-pitch slider, and Gomes then stayed back on a second-pitch curveball to pick up the base hit.
Mike Carp knocked in the Red Sox’ first run of the inning and fifth of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field. Carp made pretty good contact, but he got under it just a bit.
Ryan Lavarnway flied out to left field for the second out, and that’s when manager Eric Wedge decided to make a pitching change. Wedge called upon Charlie Furbush, who had a hard time getting Seattle out of the inning.
Brock Holt and Jose Iglesias — Boston’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters — hit back-to-back RBI singles into center field to tie the score at seven apiece.
Steven Wright will come back out for the Red Sox. We’ll see if they can finally get that elusive shutdown inning.
End 4th, Mariners 7-4: Kyle Seager greeted Steven Wright with an RBI single into right field. Wright also threw a wild pitch, but he escaped the inning without any additional damage being done.
Justin Smoak, batting with runners at second and third and one out, hit a hot shot right at Dustin Pedroia, who was in on the edge of the grass. Pedroia made an impressive pick and looked Kendrys Morales back to third base before tossing to first to pick up the second out of the inning.
Wright struck out Mike Zunino to finally end the inning.
Endy Chavez, who bunted his way aboard in the fourth, left the game with a groin injury. Dustin Ackley pinch ran for him and will remain in the game as the new center fielder. Michael Saunders will shift over to right field.
The book is closed on Ryan Dempster, who never settled into any sort of groove. Dempster surrendered seven runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out four and walking one. He threw 91 pitches (61 strikes).
5:21 p.m., Mariners 6-4: The Red Sox desperately needed a shutdown inning from Ryan Dempster, and he just couldn’t provide it.
Brad Miller kicked off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single into right field, and Endy Chavez followed up by dropping a bunt single down the third base line.
Dempster struck out Raul Ibanez on a splitter out of the zone, but Kendrys Morales’ RBI single chased the veteran from the game.
Steven Wright, who was recalled Wednesday, will enter the game with runners at first and second and one out.
Mid 4th, Mariners 5-4: Here come the Red Sox. Boston scored three runs with two outs in the fourth inning, and Seattle’s lead has shrunk to one run.
David Ortiz walked on five pitches to begin the fourth inning, and Mike Carp made it first and second with one out when he was plunked two batters later. Erasmo Ramirez’s inconsistent control really came back to haunt him.
After Ryan Lavarnway struck out for the second out of the inning, Brock Holt capped a very good seven-pitch at-bat with a single through the right side. Ortiz came across with Boston’s second run of the game.
Jose Iglesias peppered the right side with two down as well. He hit a ground ball that snuck past a diving Brad Miller and into right field. Mike Carp scored the Red Sox’ third run, while Holt moved up to second base on Iglesias’ RBI single.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who is really locked in, cut the deficit to one run with another single into right-center field.
Daniel Nava grounded to shortstop to leave the potential tying run at third base, but the Red Sox will certainly settle for that inning, as they’re now back within a run.
End 3rd, Mariners 5-1: It looked like Ryan Dempster was on the fast track to an easy, 1-2-3 inning, but his effort was quickly derailed.
Justin Smoak walked with two outs in the inning, and things only got more difficult from there, as Mike Zunino was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second.
Michael Saunders made Dempster pay for his lapse in control. He singled into center field to plate Smoak with Seattle’s fifth run.
Brendan Ryan popped out to Dustin Pedroia at second base to end the inning, but the frame certainly snowballed a bit after two quick outs.
Mid 3rd, Mariners 4-1: Jacoby Ellsbury reached base for the second time, but the Red Sox couldn’t chip away at their new three-run deficit.
Jose Iglesias began the inning by grounding to his counterpart at shortstop, and Ellsbury then worked a seven-pitch walk.
Erasmo Ramirez kept Ellsbury at first base, as Daniel Nava flied out to shallow left field and Dustin Pedroia grounded to third base to start a 5-4 forceout.
The third inning is a big one for Ryan Dempster, who has labored through the first two frames. He really needs to be as economical as possible with his pitch count already up to 62.
End 2nd, Mariners 4-1: Kyle Seager has become a very good hitter. He leads the Mariners in hits, and he ripped his 14th home run of the season in the second inning.
Seager got a 1-1 fastball about stomach high, and he lifted it to right field. Daniel Nava ran back and leaped up, but the high fly ball landed in the first couple of rows for a game-tying dinger.
Justin Smoak then threatened to go deep to left field, but Jonny Gomes raced back to the warning track, where he made a fantastic grab. Gomes jumped into the air with no regard for his body, and he crashed into the wall while making the catch.
The Mariners ended up adding three more runs before all was said and done, though.
Mike Zunino singled into left field with one out, and he moved up into scoring position when Ryan Dempster was charged with a wild pitch that got away from Ryan Lavarnway up along the first base line.
Brendan Ryan hit a ground ball down to third base with two outs that should have ended the inning. Instead, Brock Holt had a hard time handling it, and Ryan reached at first base while Zunino moved up 90 feet to third base.
Holt’s error was big, as Brad Miller followed up by sending an 0-2 pitch into the right-center field gap. The ball kicked up into the seats for a ground-rule double as Zunino scored Seattle’s second run.
Dempster got to two strikes on Endy Chavez as well, but Chavez got on top of a fastball and sent it back up the middle and into center field for a two-run single.
Chavez stole second base, but Dempster finally ended the inning by getting Raul Ibanez to ground out down the first base line. Dempster has already thrown 62 pitches through two innings, and Steven Wright is warming up in the bullpen.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Mike Carp’s one-out walk was the only noise that Boston made in the second inning.
Jonny Gomes struck out to begin the inning. Gomes worked the count full after falling behind, 0-2, but Erasmo Ramirez froze him with a 94 mph fastball on the lower half of the strike zone to pick up the K.
Carp, who also fell behind in the count, 0-2, battled back to work a seven-pitch walk. The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with it, though.
Ryan Lavarnway hit a lazy fly ball to right field, and Brock Holt grounded to the right side, where Brad Miller made a rangy play before spinning and firing to first.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Raul Ibanez missed tying the game by a few feet.
Ibanez, who has 22 home runs at age 41, drilled a deep line drive to right field with two outs. It smacked about halfway up the wall, and Daniel Nava played the bounce perfectly to hold the veteran slugger to a long single.
Prior to Ibanez’s wall-ball single, Ryan Dempster struck out the first two batters he faced. Brad Miller chased a splitter, while Endy Chavez went down swinging at a slider.
Kendrys Morales put up a good eight-pitch battle and threatened to shoot the gap following Ibanez’s base hit, but Nava ranged over to make a nice running grab in right-center field.
It’s worth noting that Dempster has ditched his trademark glove wiggle. The veteran right-hander usually wiggles his glove before throwing a pitch, but he said that he is doing away with it because it’s been throwing off his balance recently.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Not only did Jacoby Ellsbury extend his hit streak to 19 games in the first inning, but he also gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Ellsbury drove a 1-1 changeup into the right field seats to put Boston on top. Ellsbury now has three home runs this season.
Erasmo Ramirez, making his season debut for the Mariners, bounced back to retire the next three hitters — Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Pedroia struck out swinging on a pitch down and away.
Ryan Dempster now goes to work.
3:42 p.m.: Erasmo Ramirez’s first major league pitch of the season misses up and in for a ball.
3:02 p.m.: David Ortiz made history in the second inning of Wednesday’s game when he collected his 1,689th career hit as a designated hitter. He added a home run, and he now has 1,690 hits as a DH, which are the most all time for a designated hitter.
Ortiz has been on a tear of late. He enters Thursday’s game hitting .413 (31-for-75) with a .489 on-base percentage over his last 21 games. His season average now sits at .331 and his on-base percentage at .412 — both are good for second in the American League.
2:38 p.m.: You’re running out of time to vote Koji Uehara into the All-Star Game. Voting ends at 4 p.m. ET.
The Red Sox and Dodgers have embarked on a joint campaign to get Uehara and Los Angeles rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig into the All-Star Game via MLB.com’s Final Vote. The two players need your help, though, so be sure to cast your vote while you still have the chance.
Fans are also encouraged to show their support by using the hashtags #HighFiveCiti (for Uehara) and #VotePuig (for Puig).
Uehara has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent performers this season, and he is, in my opinion, the most deserving Final Vote candidate in the American League.
Uehara owns a 1.88 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 38 1/3 innings over 41 appearances. He has an amazing 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings, and he has struck out at least one batter in 34 games this season, which is the most among American League pitchers. Uehara also has 20 perfect outings, which is the second-most among AL hurlers, and let’s face it; his energy is unmatched.
With that said, it’s time for you to vote.
2:15 p.m.: Shane Victorino has been banged up, so he’ll get a day off Thursday. Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will also be out of the Red Sox’ lineup.
In Victorino’s absence, Jonny Gomes will play left field and bat fifth, while Daniel Nava will shift over to right field. Mike Carp and Ryan Lavarnway will be plugged in for Napoli and Saltalamacchia, respectively.
Thursday’s complete lineups are below.
Red S0x (56-37)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Ryan Lavarnway, C
Brock Holt, 3B
Jose Iglesias, SS
Ryan Dempster, RHP (5-8, 4.04 ERA)
Brad Miller, 2B
Endy Chavez, RF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Mike Zunino, C
Michael Saunders, CF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Erasmo Ramirez, RHP (0-0, —)
8 a.m. ET: At one point Tuesday, the Red Sox were on the verge of dropping their fourth game in a row. Now, they’re looking for their third win in a row.
The Red Sox have taken the last two games against the Mariners after dropping the series opener, and they’ll look to finish the series strong Thursday when Ryan Dempster takes the hill.
Dempster didn’t factor in the decision in his last start on Saturday, which ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Red Sox. Boston blew a four-run ninth-inning lead in that game before Josh Hamilton gave the Angels a 9-7 win with a walk-off home run in the 11th. Dempster pitched the first 6 1/3 innings of that contest, surrendering three runs (two earned) on seven hits.
Dempster’s record sits at an unimpressive 5-8, but it’s largely due to a lack of run support. The 36-year-old has actually been pretty consistent, especially since Clay Buchholz went down with an injury and the need for Dempster to step up became much greater.
Red Sox fans won’t have to worry about another late night Thursday, as they’ll be playing afternoon baseball out in Seattle. Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET.