Final, Red Sox 11-8: High fives for everyone!
Koji Uehara works a 1-2-3 inning to bring this near-four-hour contest to a close.
The Mariners looked poised to roll to another rout after taking a 5-1 lead in the second inning, but the Red Sox rallied back, scoring five runs in the third and three more in the eighth to pull out an 11-8 victory.
Neither starter made it out of the third inning, but the Boston offense was clicking on all cylinders. The Sox clubbed five home runs in the contest, including two in the third inning, as part of a 16-hit effort.
The two teams will be back at it tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Good night (or morning), everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 11-8: It’s Koji time.
The Red Sox go down scoreless in their half of the ninth, and Koji Uehara now takes the mound with hopes of closing this one out.
If you haven’t heard, Uehara is one of five finalists for the American League’s Final Vote, with the leading vote-getter earning a spot in next Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Voting doesn’t close until Thursday, so be sure to cast your ballot over at redsox.com/vote.
While you do that, let’s see if Koji can put the Mariners away in the ninth.
End 8th, Red Sox 11-8: That was a very laborious inning for Junichi Tazawa, and the Mariners got a run out of it.
The reliever allowed just two hits but needed 24 pitches to retire the side, throwing four or more pitches to all five batters he faced.
Michael Saunders opened the inning with a bloop single to left field. After Mike Zunino flied out to center, Dustin Ackley followed with a base hit of his own, sending Saunders to third.
The right fielder came home on an RBI groundout by Brad Miller — Miller’s fourth run driven in tonight — before Tazawa struck out Nick Franklin to wrap up the inning.
The Red Sox will now look to add a little more insurance (and the way this game has gone, they may need it) against Lucas Lutge in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 11-7: David Ortiz has tied the all-time record for hits by a designated hitter. Oh, and the Red Sox homered again. No big deal.
Shane Victorino opened the inning with a towering fly ball into the left field bleachers — his fourth home run of the season.
After Dustin Pedroia popped out to second base, Ortiz grounded a single under the glove of Nick Franklin, tying Harold Baines’ record with 1,688 career hits. Papi went just 2-for-11 in the Anaheim series, but he has reengaged beast mode against the Mariners, going 6-for-7 with a homer, two walks, two doubles and three runs scored.
Ortiz also showed off the wheels here in the eighth, stealing second without a throw.
Mike Napoli struck out on the same pitch Ortiz stole on, but with first base now open, Mariners manager Eric Wedge elected to walk Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That gamble did not pay off, as Jose Iglesias and Brock Holt both ripped run-scoring singles to give Boston an 11-7 lead.
Jackie Bradley Jr. ended the inning with a strikeout, and this long, long game heads to the bottom of the eighth.
End 7th, Red Sox 8-7: Andrew Bailey was not perfect in the seventh — Kyle Seager made sure of that with a one-out single — but he managed to complete his 1 2/3-inning outing without major incident.
With Seager on first, Justin Smoak grounded to first baseman Mike Napoli, who fired to Jose Iglesias at second to retire the runner. Iglesias then fired back to Bailey, who had come over to cover first, and the pitcher just nicked the bag with his right foot to complete the double play.
Shane Victorino is due up first for the Sox in the eighth.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 8-7: This game has certainly calmed down a bit.
Jackie Bradley Jr. completed another impressive at-bat, working a six-pitch walk after falling behind 0-2, but Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush combined to retire the Red Sox’ other three batters — two via strikeout.
Six of the last 10 outs recorded by Mariners pitching have come by way of the K.
End 6th, Red Sox 8-7: Brad Miller has had himself quite the series.
The leadoff man, playing in just his 11th major league game, has gone 5-for-9 thus far against the Sox, driving in four runs and scoring once. His latest base hit came in the form of a one-out double that chased Craig Breslow in the sixth inning, causing John Farrell to call on Andrew Bailey to close out the frame.
Bailey did just that, striking out Nick Franklin and getting Raul Ibanez to ground softly to second to keep Seattle off the scoreboard for the third consecutive inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 8-7: The Red Sox put a pair in scoring position against Danny Farquhar, but the reliever blew 96-mph fastballs by both Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to hold the Sox scoreless for the first time since the first inning.
It was the second time tonight Napoli and Salty struck out consecutively to end an inning.
Farquhar also mowed down Shane Victorino in the frame, becoming the first pitcher for either team to strike out the side.
End 5th, Red Sox 8-7: Craig Breslow has been a breath of fresh air for the Sox tonight.
After stranding a pair of runners to escape the fourth inning unscathed, Breslow retired the Mariners in order in the fifth to complete Boston’s first 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Justin Smoak grounded out to third to open the frame, and Breslow completed it by striking out both Michael Saunders and Mike Zunino.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 8-7: Welcome back, JBJ.
Jackie Bradley Jr. continued the Red Sox’ home run parade in the fifth, taking Blake Beaven deep for his second major league round-tripper.
The Boston bats were otherwise quiet in the inning, so we’ll now see if Sox pitching can finally hold onto a lead for more than a few minutes.
End 4th, 7-7: Though he normally has no problem working long relief, Alfredo Aceves faced just three batters before exiting tonight. Early signs indicate that he may have left due to injury, which is just about the last thing the hospital ward that is the Red Sox bullpen needs right now.
On the bright side, though, Craig Breslow held Seattle scoreless in an inning for the first time tonight.
Brad Miller led off the inning with an infield single, but Jose Iglesias came within a hair of nailing him with a Top-10 caliber throw — the shortstop equivalent of the amazing Manny Machado play that you’ve surely seen if you’ve watched sports television at all in the past week.
Breslow surrendered another base hit to Kendrys Morales, but he retired the other three batters he faced via flyout to put a bow on the scoreless frame.
Mid 4th, 7-7: Hey! We’re tied again!
Blake Beaven relieved Hisashi Iwakuma to begin the fourth and fared no better than his predecessor. Beaven hit leadoff hitter Daniel Nava with an 0-2 pitch before walking Shane Victorino and allowing an RBI single to Dustin Pedroia, all before recording an out.
The right-hander settled down after that, though, getting David Ortiz to fly out to center and striking out notorious K victims Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning.
End 3rd, Mariners 7-6: It didn’t take long for the Mariners to snag the lead back against Alfredo Aceves.
With Kyle Seager on first, Michael Saunders crushed an Aceves slider into right-center field for an RBI triple (with his trip to third aided by an errant relay).
Saunders, who hit in the No. 9 hole last night before moving to seventh in the order tonight, has been absurdly productive so far this series, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two walks, four RBIs and three runs scored. Not bad for a career .219 hitter.
Jose Igleasias scooped up a pair of ground balls to end the inning and strand Saunders on third, but the Sox will yet again come to the plate with a deficit.
Bottom 3rd, 6-6: The Mariners are teeing off on Allen Webster, and John Farrell comes out to take the ball from the 23-year-old.
The Sox fought back from a four-run deficit to take a 6-5 lead last inning, but Kendrys Morales needed only one pitch to change that. The designated hitter took Webster deep for the second time tonight, this time to straightaway center, to knot the score at 6-6.
Webster faced two more batters — allowing a single to Kyle Seager and a searing line drive by Justin Smoak that Shane Victorino tracked down in right field — before being lifted in favor of Alfredo Aceves.
Michael Saunders will be the first to face Aceves with one out in the third.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 6-5: So it’s going to be one of these kind of nights, huh? OK, I can handle that.
The Red Sox took Hisashi Iwakuma deep twice in the third inning, erasing a four-run deficit and tying this game up at five runs apiece.
Iwakuma retired leadoff man Daniel Nava but then proceeded to surrender five consecutive hits, including two-run bombs by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli and doubles by David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Iwakuma then struck out Jose Iglesias on a breaking ball in the dirt, but the pitch got away from catcher Mike Zunino, allowing the shortstop to scamper to first and Salty to advance to third.
The big backstop then came home on a sac fly by Brock Holt, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the night, before Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out to end the inning.
Let’s see if Allen Webster can hold this lead.
End 2nd, Mariners 5-1: Welp, looks like early-season Allen Webster has returned tonight.
Facing the bottom of the Seattle order — which dominated Jon Lester last night — Webster allowed a leadoff single to Justin Smoak before sandwiching a Mike Zunino strikeout between two free passes to load the bases.
Leadoff hitter Brad Miller then emptied them, scoring all three runners with a double into the right field corner.
Webster struck out Nick Franklin and got Raul Ibanez to pop out in foul territory to limit the damage, but the Mariners appear well on their way to another double-digit offensive output if the young righty cannot settle down.
Mid 2nd, Mariners 2-1: The Red Sox only got one run back in their half of the second, but they sure make Hisashi Iwakuma work.
The right-hander threw 29 pitches in the inning, with his fourth offering ending up in the right field seats. That homer came courtesy of David Ortiz, who made Iwakuma’s four-seamer leave the yard in a hurry.
After Mike Napoli grounded out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia fought back from a 0-2 count, taking three pitches out of the strike zone and fouling off another before singling to right field.
Jose Iglesias then singled to left, snapping an 0-for-9 slump for the shortstop. It’s crazy to imagine this deep in the season, but Iglesias’ hitless efforts on Sunday and Monday marked the first time all year that he has been held with out a hit in two consecutive games.
Brock Holt followed by grounding out weakly to third base — so weakly that Brad Miller was unable to initiate a double play at second or third, instead electing to retire Holt at first.
Jackie Bradley Jr. looked at strike three right down the middle to end the inning, but the at-bat was not an outright failure for the rookie. After taking strike one, Bradley fouled off seven pitches before Iwakuma sat him down, causing the starter’s pitch count to balloon to 40 through just six outs.
With the way Iwakuma has been pitching this season, the Red Sox would love to meet the Seattle bullpen before the sun goes down tonight.
End 1st, Mariners 2-0: I mentioned earlier how no Red Sox batter has faced Hisashi Iwakuma prior to tonight, but the Mariners are equally unfamiliar with Allen Webster.
It did not take them long to get acquainted with the young right-hander, though, as they touched him for a pair of runs in the first inning.
After Brad Miller popped out to lead off the frame, Nick Franklin became the first man to reach base tonight, singling up the middle.
With the shift on for Raul Ibanez, the Red Sox were nearly able to turn a ground ball to the right side into a double play. Jose Iglesias’ throw from second was not in time to retire the 41-year-old, though, and the inning continued.
Kendrys Morales capitalized on the opportunity, sending a 95-mph fastball over the left field wall to give the M’s the first lead of the game.
Kyle Seager grounded out to end the inning, but the Sox will now be forced to dig themselves out of an early hole.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Hasashi Iwakuma makes quick work of the Sox, who go down in order in the first.
The right-hander opened the game by striking out Daniel Nava looking. Nava thought Iwakuma’s 3-2 pitch was high for ball four, but home plate umpire Jim Joyce disagreed, calling the left fielder out on strikes.
Iwakuma employs an unusual delivery, pausing for a moment at the height of his leg kick before striding toward the plate.
He then needed just five pitches to retire Shane Victorino (via 6-3 groundout) and Dustin Pedroia (via flyout to right).
Brad Miller, Nick Franklin and Raul Ibanzez are due up first for the Mariners.
10:10 p.m.: Daniel Nava takes ball one high from Hisashi Iwakuma, and we are underway.
9:47 p.m.: So, who exactly is Hisashi Iwakuma?
Well, he’s not only having the best season of anyone on the Mariners’ pitching staff — which, as the Red Sox were reminded of last night, includes former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez — he may be the best pitcher in the entire American League right now.
Iwakuma, 32, isn’t exactly a young gun, but with less than two years of major league experience playing for a moribund Mariners squad, the right-hander has flown under the radar of the casual baseball fan.
That will change in a hurry if he continues the torrid pace he’s set so far.
Past the halfway point of the season, Iwakuma leads the AL in both ERA (2.60) and WHIP (0.88). He’s struggled of late, though, allowing four earned runs in each of his last four starts and taking the loss in three of them. Those rough outings bumped Iwakuma’s ERA up by nearly half a run, but they didn’t cost him his first All-Star bid. He’ll join Hernandez in Queens a week from tonight.
Not a single Red Sox batter has ever faced Iwakuma, but they’ll need to familiarize themselves in a hurry if they want to snap their three-game losing streak.
We’ll be underway from Safeco Field in just over 20 minutes.
8 p.m.: Welcome back to the bigs, Jackie Bradley Jr.
With Jacoby Ellsbury still hobbled with a wrist injury, Bradley was called back up from Pawtucket for his third stint with the big league club. He’ll start in center field tonight, pushing Daniel Nava — who struggled while captaining the outfield last night — back to left.
Shane Victorino was also held out of last night’s blowout loss, but he returns to his usual post in right field tonight.
Boston’s roster shuffling wasn’t limited to the outfield, though, as right-hander Brandon Workman was also called up from Triple-A to make his major league debut. Workman started 16 games between Pawtucket and Double-A Portland this season, but the Sox will use him in a relief role to assist their depleted bullpen.
To make room for the two new additions, Alex Wilson — who was rocked by the Mariners in a relief appearance last night — was placed on the 15-day disabled list and Jose De La Torre was optioned back to Triple-A.
Check out the full starting lineups below, and pass the time until first pitch by taking a spin through our weekly minor league roundup.
Boston Red Sox (54-37)
Daniel Nava, LF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, SS
Brock Holt, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Allen Webster, RHP
Seattle Mariners (40-49)
Brad Miller, SS
Nick Franklin, 2B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Michael Saunders, RF
Mike Zunino, C
Dustin Ackley, CF
Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox’ trip to the Pacific Northwest didn’t exactly start off with a bang.
What was expected to be a pitchers’ duel between Felix Hernandez and Jon Lester turned ugly late, as the Mariners put up seven runs between the seventh and eighth innings en route to an 11-4 steamrolling of the visiting Sox.
Boston will look for revenge Tuesday night with rookie Allen Webster on the mound. Webster (1-2, 7.88 ERA) finally picked up his first major league win last Thursday after coming up empty in his first four starts.
The Mariners will counter with Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been nothing short of dominant for Seattle this year. Midway through his second major league season, Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60 ERA) leads all American League starters in ERA and WHIP (0.88). He was rewarded for his efforts with an All-Star nod, and he will join Hernandez at Citi Field next Tuesday.
First pitch isn’t until 10:10 p.m. ET, so be sure to rest up today (there’s no shame in a midday nap). Until then, keep it tuned right here for all your pregame analysis and news from the baseball world.
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