Final, Mariners 12-3: The Red Sox fell nine runs short in the ninth inning.
A.J. Pierzynski lifted a sacrifice fly that scored David Ortiz, but it only delayed the inevitable. The Mariners cruised to a 12-3 win in the series opener behind a big game from Logan Morrison.
Morrison went 4-for-4 with two home runs. LoMo reached base five times as the Mariners pounded 14 hits as a team.
John Lackey got knocked around in his worst start of the season. The right-hander surrendered seven runs — six in the fourth inning alone — on seven hits and lasted just 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox held a 1-0 lead and a 2-1 lead before things unraveled for Lackey. Felix Hernandez ended up lasting seven innings for the Mariners, allowing two earned runs on six hits.
The Red Sox will turn to Jake Peavy in Tuesday’s middle game.
End 8th, Mariners 12-2: Craig Breslow overcame a two-out walk to toss a scoreless eighth inning.
Breslow walked three batters in his two innings of work.
Jonathan Herrera and Jonny Gomes were inserted into the game in the eighth. Herrera took over for Dustin Pedroia at second base. Gomes went out to left field with Daniel Nava shifting to first base in Mike Napoli’s place.
David Ortiz, Gomes and Nava will take some hacks in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Mariners 12-2: It’s all over but the shouting.
The top of the Red Sox’s order didn’t have an answer for Dominic Leone in the eighth inning. Leone took over for Felix Hernandez and worked a 1-2-3 inning.
Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts both struck out. Dustin Pedroia flied out.
Hernandez allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings. He struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and threw 95 pitches (61 strikes).
Hernandez has been forced to deal with low run support throughout his career in Seattle. That certainly wasn’t an issue in this game.
End 7th, Mariners 12-2: The rout is on in Seattle.
The Mariners tacked on four more runs in the seventh inning to take a commanding 12-2 lead. Logan Morrison highlighted the big inning with his second home run of the game.
Chris Capuano, who ended up throwing 52 pitches in relief of John Lackey, surrendered four straight hits to begin the bottom of the seventh.
Robinson Cano’s RBI single knocked in James Jones, who led off with a double. Cano took second base and scored when Kyle Seager singled into right field.
Morrison jumped all over a 3-1 pitch for a two-run homer to center field. Morrison, who also homered in the second inning, now is 4-for-4, elevating his average over .200.
Craig Breslow took over for Capuano and immediately ran into trouble, as Mike Zunino doubled and Dustin Ackley walked. Cole Gillespie, pinch-hitting for Endy Chavez, walked with two outs to load the bases, but Breslow managed to avoid any damage.
Mid 7th, Mariners 8-2: The Red Sox left Daniel Nava at third base in the seventh inning.
Nava led off with a broken-bat single into left field. The end of his lumber ended up near first base.
Nava took second base with one out when Felix Hernandez unleashed a wild pitch with Stephen Drew batting.
Drew grounded to short, at which point Nava took third. Jackie Bradley Jr. couldn’t chip away, though. He popped out to end the inning.
End 6th, Mariners 8-2: Chris Capuano worked a clean sixth inning after surrendering a run in the fifth.
Brad Miller, Willie Bloomquist and Endy Chavez were handled by the left-hander.
Miller struck out and Bloomquist flied out to right field.
Chavez struck a ball that jumped off the bat, but Jackie Bradley Jr. beautifully went from Point A to Point B while making the play look routine.
Mid 6th, Mariners 8-2: Dustin Pedroia’s one-out single was Felix Hernandez’s only blemish of the sixth inning.
Xander Bogaerts led off with a strikeout before Pedroia produced a single. Pedey took a wide turn around first base but wisely tossed on the brakes facing a six-run deficit.
The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with Pedroia’s knock. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli popped out to Brad Miller and Robinson Cano, respectively.
End 5th, Mariners 8-2: The Mariners grabbed another run in the fifth inning.
Kyle Seager doubled with one out. He drilled a line drive off the right field wall. Brock Holt actually turned around about three different times before the ball finally plunked off the fence.
Logan Morrison, who has swung the bat well in this game, singled into right field to knock in Seager, who took third base on a wild pitch by Chris Capuano.
Capuano bounced back to strike out Mike Zunino and Dustin Ackley, but Seattle is in the driver’s seat.
Mid 5th, Mariners 7-2: Felix Hernandez now finds himself in the enviable position of pitching with a five-run lead.
Hernandez breezed through the fifth inning, retiring Stephen Drew, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt.
Hernandez started all three at-bats with a first-pitch strike, which is one of the advantages of pitching with such a large cushion.
Drew struck out. Bradley and Holt both grounded out.
End 4th, Mariners 7-2: The Mariners answered in a huge way, as things completely unraveled for John Lackey in the fourth inning.
Robinson Cano went the other way into the left field corner. A fan touched the baseball, resulting in a ground-rule double.
Kyle Seager drove in Cano with a single into right field. Brock Holt came up firing, but his throw was cut off.
Logan Morrison, who homered in the second inning, singled into right field, sending Seager from first to third. Mike Zunino walked to load the bases with one out.
Dustin Ackley put together a tremendous at-bat — one that really changed the game — in which he fouled off nine pitches. Ackley finally yanked Lackey’s 13th pitch to the right side, where Mike Napoli made the play and fired to second in an attempt to start a double play. Lackey didn’t cover first base, though, and Ackley reached safely as the Mariners took the lead.
Seattle grabbed another run when Lackey uncorked a pitch in the dirt while facing Brad Miller. Lackey ended up walking Miller on five pitches before surrendering a single to Willie Bloomquist to reload the bases.
Endy Chavez opened things up and sent Lackey to the showers with a bases-clearing triple over Holt’s head.
Chris Capuano successfully fielded a bunt attempt by James Jones to end the inning.
It looked like Lackey might have been battling a physical ailment, as John Farrell and the trainer checked on the right-hander after he failed to cover first base on Ackley’s ground ball. Lackey also could be seen stretching throughout the inning, seemingly favoring his back.
The book is officially closed on Lackey’s disastrous outing. He gave up seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks. Lackey struck out three while throwing 74 pitches (53 strikes) over 3 2/3 innings.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Mike Napoli has homered for the second straight game.
David Ortiz led off the fourth inning with a towering fly ball to left field. Dustin Ackley raced back to make the catch up against the wall.
Napoli followed with a deep drive to left two pitches later. Ackley again retreated in the hopes of keeping it in the yard, but Napoli’s high fly ball cleared the fence for the slugger’s ninth home run of the season.
Napoli became the first Red Sox player in almost 47 years Sunday to hit a home run and steal home in the same game. Hey, there’s still plenty of time in this one.
It also should be noted that Napoli’s home run was the first long ball surrendered by Felix Hernandez in 329 at-bats.
Daniel Nava struck out looking and A.J. Pierzynski grounded to second base to end the inning.
End 3rd, 1-1: John Lackey has some good zip on his fastball.
Lackey is up around 94-95 mph, and he has been cruising along with the exception of Logan Morrison’s second-inning home run.
Lackey retired Brad Miller, Willie Bloomquist and Endy Chavez in the third inning.
Stephen Drew made a terrific, barehanded play before tossing out Chavez. Lackey was fired up and gave his shortstop some daps while on the way back to the dugout.
Mid 3rd, 1-1: Felix Hernandez worked his second straight hitless inning in the third.
Brock Holt led off with a line drive to first base that Logan Morrison snagged.
Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia both put the ball on the ground. Bogaerts hit a soft chopper back to Hernandez, and Pedroia hit a slow roller to second base.
End 2nd, 1-1: Logan Morrison knotted the score with a bomb to right field.
Morrison jacked a 1-0 fastball from John Lackey over the wall after the right-hander struck out Kyle Seager to begin the inning.
Mike Zunino struck out and Dustin Ackley hit a soft bouncer to short that Stephen Drew handled to end the inning.
LoMo tends to tweet a lot. Perhaps he’ll have something to say after this game.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Felix Hernandez enjoyed a much smoother second inning. In other words, it was much more in line with what King Felix usually dishes out.
A.J. Pierzynski, Stephen Drew and Jackie Bradley Jr. went down in order against the Mariners ace.
Pierzynski and Bradley both flied out to left fielder Dustin Ackley. Drew struck out, running his hitless streak to 15 at-bats.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: John Lackey surrendered a leadoff single but used a double play to change course.
Endy Chavez, whose catch in the 2006 NLCS with the Mets will forever live on, led off with a single into left field.
James Jones then bounced to second base, where Dustin Pedroia kickstarted a 4-6-3 double play.
Robinson Cano grounded to third base to end the inning.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Well, this is something.
The Red Sox’s struggling offense — which actually had a good day Sunday in Oakland — scratched across a run against Felix Hernandez in the first inning.
King Felix recorded two quick outs in the first, striking out Brock Holt and retiring Xander Bogaerts on a ground ball to third base.
Dustin Pedroia reached on a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop Brad Miller made the play but had to rush his throw. The result was an errant toss that allowed Pedroia to take second base.
David Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a single past the shift and into right-center field.
Mike Napoli added a two-out double before Hernandez closed off the inning by retiring Daniel Nava on a looping line drive to left.
10:11 p.m.: Felix Hernandez jumps ahead against Brock Holt.
9:16 p.m.: Stephen Drew, who sat out Sunday’s series finale in Oakland, returns to the starting lineup.
Drew is in the midst of an 0-for-14 slump that has lowered his season average to .158 (6-for-38). The shortstop was held out Sunday against left-hander Tommy Milone, but he’ll look to sort things out Monday against Felix Hernandez.
Daniel Nava will get the start in left field with a right-hander on the hill. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt will man center field and right field, respectively, against King Felix.
Monday’s starting lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (35-41)
Brock Holt, RF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
John Lackey, RHP (8-4, 2.96 ERA)
Seattle Mariners (40-36)
Endy Chavez, RF
James Jones, CF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Mike Zunino, C
Dustin Ackley, LF
Brad Miller, SS
Willie Bloomquist, DH
Felix Hernandez, RHP (8-2, 2.22 ERA)
8:45 p.m. ET: Stay tuned if you like good pitching.
John Lackey and Felix Hernandez will square off Monday when the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners open a three-game series at Safeco Field. Hernandez (1.17) and Lackey (1.60) have the second and third-best ERAs, respectively, in the American League over the last month.
Lackey was brilliant in his last start Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. The right-hander tossed nine shutout innings in which he allowed just three hits, yet he didn’t factor into the decision because the Red Sox used back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to defeat the Twins 2-1. Lackey, who struck out nine against Minnesota, has gone at least eight innings in three of his last four starts.
Hernandez, meanwhile, has been downright filthy, per usual. The 2010 AL Cy Young award winner has gone at least seven innings in his last seven starts. He went at least eight innings in four of those starts, and enters with a sparkling 2.22 season ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
The Red Sox avoided disaster Sunday by squeaking out a 7-6 win over the Oakland Athletics after blowing a five-run lead. They’ll look to build on the thrilling victory Monday, though they certainly face a tall task.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. Stay up late, pop on NESN and stick around with NESN.com’s live blog.
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