Final, Mariners 5-3: This definitely was one of the Red Sox’s most shocking losses of 2014.
Fernando Rodney worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth after the Mariners scored five runs in the top of the inning off Koji Uehara.
The Red Sox were 44-0 when leading after eight innings before Friday’s loss, which was Boston’s sixth straight defeat.
Yoenis Cespedes’ three-run homer in the sixth inning represented the game’s only offense until the Mariners struck for five runs with two outs in the ninth. Dustin Ackley’s two-run blooper was the game-winner.
Mid 9th, Mariners 5-3: Grab a seat. What I’m about to tell you is shocking, to say the least.
Koji Uehara surrendered five runs with two outs in the ninth inning. The Red Sox, who are 44-0 this season when leading after eight innings, are in jeopardy of adding a blemish to that record.
Logan Morrison was the first to reach base in the ninth inning. He singled into left field with one out.
Endy Chavez walked with two outs. Chris Denorfia, pinch-hitting for Brad Miller, singled into right field to load the bases.
Austin Jackson delivered a huge hit. He doubled off the left field wall to plate Seattle’s first two runs.
Dustin Ackley gave the Mariners a 4-3 lead with a bloop single to left field that landed just beyond the reach of a diving Brock Holt.
Robinson Cano added an RBI single before Uehara was yanked. Edward Mujica finished the inning.
End 8th, Red Sox 3-0: David Ortiz has reached base f0ur times.
Ortiz walked in the eighth inning. He now has reached base four times in each of his last four games. He’s the first Red Sox player to accomplish that feat since Mike Andrews in 1970.
Ortiz’s one-out walk in the eighth didn’t lead to any damage on the scoreboard. Dominic Leone retired Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig.
It’s officially Koji time.
10:11 p.m., Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox provided a couple of injury updates.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts exited the game to be evaluated for a concussion. Bogaerts was struck in the head by a pitch in the fifth inning.
Starter Joe Kelly was removed for “precautionary reasons” after pitching five innings. It’s unclear what body part we’re dealing with here.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-0: Tommy Layne benefited from a double play in the eighth inning.
Layne walked Dustin Ackley to begin his appearance. Robinson Cano then grounded to second base, where Dustin Pedroia started a double play.
Daniel Nava made a nice pick at first base on Brock Holt’s throw in the dirt. Holt, of course, is playing shortstop because Xander Bogaerts exited the game before his sixth-inning at-bat.
Kendrys Morales struck out looking to end the inning.
End 7th, Red Sox 3-0: Brandon Maurer pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.
Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez and Daniel Nava went down in order.
Betts and Nava scattered a couple of flyouts. Vazquez grounded out.
Tommy Layne will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 3-0: Burke Badenhop closed off the seventh inning after Craig Breslow ran into some two-out trouble.
Breslow walked Endy Chavez and Brad Miller with two down, prompting Farrell to call upon Badenhop with the Mariners’ leadoff hitter, Austin Jackson, coming up.
Badenhop struck out Jackson looking to end the threat.
End 6th, Red Sox 3-0: Yoenis Cespedes keeps doing his thing.
Cespedes’ on-base percentage isn’t pretty, but the Red Sox are willing to live with it because of his power. And boy, does Cespedes have power?
Cespedes launched a three-run homer onto Lansdowne Street in the sixth inning. It was a towering blast that sailed beyond the AAA sign located atop the Green Monster.
Cespedes’ home run — his 21st of the season — followed an intentional walk issued to David Ortiz. Daniel Nava led off the inning with a hot shot up the middle that kicked off second base and into right field. Nava raced into second with a double.
Will Middlebrooks popped out for the second out. The Mariners then turned to their bullpen, meaning Felix Hernandez won’t earn his 14th win in this contest. In fact, King Felix, who probably is the AL Cy Young front-runner, is in jeopardy of suffering his second straight loss.
Brandon Maurer took over to face Brock Holt, who pinch-hit for Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts was drilled in the head with a pitch in his last at-bat in the fifth inning. He initially stayed in the game, but the Red Sox apparently decided they should get him off his feet.
Maurer struck out Holt. But the damage was done.
Mid 6th, 0-0: Joe Kelly is done after five innings.
Kelly walked a tightrope for much of his outing, though he did so successfully. He’ll depart after 88 pitches.
Kelly allowed one hit and three walks over five shutout frames. He struck out five.
Craig Breslow took over in the sixth inning. He gave up a one-out double to Robinson Cano but bounced back to keep the game scoreless.
Kendrys Morales struck out swinging and Kyle Seager grounded to first.
End 5th, 0-0: Scary moment in the fifth inning.
Felix Hernandez beaned Xander Bogaerts in the head with a pitch. It was an 88 mph changeup that sent Bogaerts crashing to the ground.
Bogaerts stayed down on one knee for a minute or so as John Farrell and the Red Sox’s training staff rushed out. The 21-year-old then returned to his feet to be checked out. Amazingly, Bogaerts stayed in the game.
Bogaerts represented Boston’s only baserunner in the inning. Hernandez retired Will Middlebrooks, Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Joe Kelly hasn’t allowed a run. But he’s walking on the wild side.
Kelly, who issued six walks in his last start, pitched himself into trouble in the fifth inning. He walked two and hit a batter before escaping a bases-loaded jam.
Kelly plunked Kyle Seager to begin the fifth. Xander Bogaerts made a nice diving catch on a line drive from Logan Morrison, but his throw to first base to double up Seager scooted past Daniel Nava. Seager took second.
Bogaerts was charged with a throwing error on the play. It’s somewhat understandable because the shortstop’s throw was off the mark. But Nava needs to come off the bag in that situation.
Kelly struck out Mike Zunino but issued back-to-back walks to Endy Chavez and Brad Miller. The right-hander escaped the inning by getting Austin Jackson to pop out to Dustin Pedroia in shallow center field.
Kelly has thrown 88 pitches through five innings. His night might be over.
End 4th, 0-0: David Ortiz delivered a double into the left-center field gap in the fourth inning. It was Big Papi’s second hit of the game off King Felix.
Felix Hernandez otherwise breezed through the fourth. He handled Dustin Pedroia, Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig rather easily.
Pedroia grounded out before Ortiz’s two-bagger. Cespedes and Craig both struck out swinging.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Mookie Betts made a sensational diving play in left-center field to end the top of the fourth inning.
It wasn’t without controversy. The umpires initially ruled that Betts trapped the baseball. That’s why manager challenges have been implemented into the game, though, and John Farrell asked the umps to take another look, after which they overturned their initial call.
Kendrys Morales was robbed by Betts on the play in question. Betts completely laid out to make a tremendous diving catch.
Dustin Ackley, who was stationed at first base, came around to score, but his run obviously didn’t count once the call was overturned and Betts was awarded a putout.
End 3rd, 0-0: Quick and painless third inning for Felix Hernandez.
Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez both grounded to the left side. Shortstop Brad Miller and third baseman Kyle Seager were up to the challenge.
Daniel Nava struck out swinging to end the inning. Hernandez featured a heavy dose of offspeed stuff while setting down Nava.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Joe Kelly continued his strong start in the third inning.
Kelly surrendered a one-out single to Endy Chavez. Chavez yanked a 1-2 fastball into right field.
Kelly bounced back to induce an inning-ending double play. Brad Miller grounded to the right of second base, where Dustin Pedroia flashed some leather while starting up the twin killing.
End 2nd, 0-0: It’s been that kind of season for Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts crushed a ball down the left field line with two outs in the second inning. It appeared to travel over the foul pole — making it a home run — but it was ruled foul.
The umpires took another look at Bogaerts’ deep drive. They ultimately determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call on the field. The call was upheld.
Naturally, Bogaerts struck out to end the inning.
Felix Hernandez also struck out Allen Craig and Will Middlebrooks.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Joe Kelly is off to a nice start.
Kelly has retired the first six batters he has faced. He has struck out three, including Kyle Seager in the second inning.
Kendrys Morales and Logan Morrison sandwiched Seager’s strikeout with a pair of groundouts.
End 1st, 0-0: Earlier in this blog, I highlighted that Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz have had some success against Felix Hernandez. They continued their impressive career runs in the first inning.
Daniel Nava, who is leading off with Brock Holt out of the lineup, made solid contact against King Felix. He sent a ball toward the left-center field gap that Austin Jackson raced down.
Pedroia and Ortiz followed with back-to-back singles.
The Red Sox couldn’t cash in, though. Yoenis Cespedes grounded into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.
John Farrell said before the game he wanted to jump on Hernandez early. The Red Sox had an opportunity but let it go to waste.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Joe Kelly was sharp in the first, showing good velocity en route to a 1-2-3 inning.
Kelly struck out Austin Jackson and Dustin Ackley to begin his night. Jackson couldn’t hold up on a 96 mph fastball. Ackley went down looking at a 95 mph heater on the outside corner.
Robinson Cano, who has thrived in his first season in Seattle, nearly ripped a base hit into right field. His second base counterpart — and former AL East brethren — Dustin Pedroia made an excellent diving stop on the outfield grass to record the inning’s final out.
Pedroia had to range a long way to his left to rob Cano.
7:10 p.m.: Joe Kelly starts the game with a strike. Let’s go.
5:15 p.m.: Yoenis Cespedes is in the Red Sox’s starting lineup.
Cespedes left Thursday’s game against the Angels before the fourth inning because of a personal matter. Red Sox manager John Farrell later said that it was a family medical emergency, though the skipper wouldn’t offer any additional details out of respect for Cespedes’ privacy.
Cespedes will play left field and bat cleanup Friday. Mookie Betts will play center field and Allen Craig, who returned from the 15-day disabled list Thursday, will play right field.
Mike Napoli, who is battling back spasms, will miss his third straight game. The Red Sox are hopeful he’ll return Saturday. Daniel Nava will play first base in Napoli’s absence. It’s Nava’s fourth start at first base this season.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (56-71)
Daniel Nava, 1B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Allen Craig, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Joe Kelly, RHP (0-1, 5.29 ERA)
Seattle Mariners (68-58)
Austin Jackson, CF
Dustin Ackley, LF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Mike Zunino, C
Endy Chavez, RF
Brad Miller, SS
Felix Hernandez, RHP (13-4, 1.99 ERA)
5 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox produced just one hit Thursday in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park. It was the first time since April 2007 that the Red Sox were one-hit at Fenway.
Well, as fate would have it, the Red Sox will face the last pitcher to one-hit them at Fenway in Friday’s series opener against the Seattle Mariners. Felix Hernandez, who perhaps is the American League Cy Young front-runner at this point, will take the ball for the men of the sea.
Hernandez is downright filthy. King Felix allowed two runs or fewer and pitched at least seven innings in 16 consecutive starts — a major league record — earlier this season. His streak was snapped his last time out against the Detroit Tigers, as he allowed two earned runs over five innings while suffering his fourth loss of 2014.
Hernandez, who is 13-4 with a 1.99 ERA this season, is 8-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 15 career starts against the Red Sox. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia both have had some success against the 2010 AL Cy Young, though. Ortiz is a career .324 (11-for-34) hitter against Hernandez with a homer and six RBIs. Pedroia enters Friday batting .300 (12-for-40) with a homer and three RBIs against the Mariners ace.
The Red Sox will send Joe Kelly to the rubber Friday. He’s looking to bounce back from a rough performance against the Houston Astros in which he allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and six walks over four innings.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Tune in on NESN and stick with NESN.com’s live blog throughout the evening.