The Boston Red Sox’s West Coast vacation wasn’t exactly a pleasant one, but they were able to close it out on a high note Wednesday night with a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Clay Buchholz was the night’s biggest story, pitching a season-high 7 1/3 innings to earn the win in his first game back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. He was far from the only player worth mentioning, though.
Check out a few notes from the teams’ series finale below.
– The Red Sox went with a new 1-2 combo atop their batting order for the game, with right fielder Daniel Nava shifting up to the No. 2 slot behind Brock Holt, playing first base. It was Nava’s first start in the No. 2 hole since April 18, but he acquitted himself well, following up a first-inning flyout with three consecutive singles to finish 3-for-4 with an RBI.
The entire top of the order swung the bat well in the win. Holt continued his torrid pace by going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, second baseman Dustin Pedroia reached base twice in four plate appearances and designated hitter David Ortiz drove in the game’s first runs with a two-run homer in the first, scoring Pedroia.
“I think we were getting in good hitter’s counts,” Holt told NESN’s Jamie Erdahl after the game. “We put the barrel on the ball and hit some balls hard. Ortiz (had) a huge two-run homer in the first to kind of get us going there.”
– The bottom of the Red Sox’s order was a different story, however. Batters Nos. 5 through 9 finished a combined 3-for-20, with one of the hits being wiped away after catcher A.J. Pierzynski was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Left fielder Jonny Gomes, third baseman Xander Bogaerts and shortstop Stephen Drew each finished 0-for-4, with Gomes striking out four times and Drew finishing the road trip hitless in 22 at-bats.
– Mariners first baseman Kyle Seager continues to hit like a madman, especially in his home ballpark. Seager, who went deep off Buchholz in the second inning for Seattle’s first run, posted video-game numbers throughout the three-game series, going 8-for-13 with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored. Ten of his 11 homers this season have come at Safeco Field, and he’s batting more than 100 points higher at home (.328) than he is on the road (.201).
– Seager’s third hit of the night came off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara, who was uncharacteristically shaky in the ninth inning. Uehara followed up Seager’s one-out single by walking first baseman Logan Morrison — his first free pass issued since June 4 — before settling down. He retired catcher Mike Zunino and left fielder Dustin Ackley to lock down his 16th save of the season.
– Manager John Farrell spoke before the game about the “extremely tough” decision to designate reliever Chris Capuano to make room for Buchholz on the active roster.
“When you consider his veteran presence, as talented as he is, the success he had early on and all that he represents about the game. (Capuano is) just a quality individual,” Farrell told the media in Seattle. “Releasing someone or designating someone for assignment is never an easy (decision), but this one, because of how he handles himself — he’s a true pro. Unfortunately, we had to create the spot for Clay, and it felt like this was the move to make at the time.”
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