If you went to bed before the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday night, you’re in for a big surprise in the morning.
The Boston Red Sox cruised through the first seven-and-a-half innings, as ace David Price dominated on the mound and the offense backed him up with a four-run advantage.
But it all came apart in the eighth.
Price allowed a leadoff homer to Mike Zunino, and the Mariners tacked on three straight singles and another run before Price got the hook. However, his stat line was far from done.
Left-handed relief specialist Fernando Abad later gave up a three-run home run to Robinson Cano (two of the runs were charged to Price) as the Mariners took the lead for good in their 5-4 win.
“Yeah, David Price very much is in command of his game,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said on “NESN Sports Today.” “He was throwing all four pitches for strikes, stayed out of the middle of the plate. Zunino leads off with a first-pitch breaking ball and hits it out of the ballpark, and they did a good job staying inside a number of pitches. They string together four consecutive hits, and as quick as that was going, we wanted to go to the bullpen and we were in pretty good shape.
“(Matt) Barnes gets the first key out against Smith, and Abad, who’s had such good success against Cano is working through the at-bat in good shape. He gets him to chase a couple of breaking balls, missed with one of them in the middle of the plate and that was the difference in this one unfortunately.”
Price was charged with four earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in seven-plus innings.
Some might point to Price getting hit in the leg by a line drive in the sixth as a potential turning point, but the left-hander shot that down afterward.
“No. I was fine,” Price told reporters, as aired on “NESN Sports Today.” “It hit a muscle in my leg somewhere, but that wasn’t a factor.”
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from a rough night at the ballpark for Boston.
— The bad news kept coming for the Red Sox after the game when first baseman Hanley Ramirez jammed his left wrist after falling down the stairs in the dugout. Reporters spotted him on a cart with a trainer heading for tests, and Farrell later explained what happened.
“After the game, he was walking down the dugout — there’s two or three steps at the bottom of the dugout coming into the clubhouse — and lost his footing,” Farrell said. “He caught himself behind and jammed his left wrist. So, precautionary, just going to see what’s going on there.”
— Andrew Benintendi’s major league debut was scheduled for Wednesday night with a right-hander on the mound, but he had two at-bats Tuesday after pinch hitting for Bryce Brentz in the seventh inning.
He went 0-2 with a groundout and a strikeout, which ended the game.
“The guy (closer Edwin Diaz) was throwing pretty hard, and I got behind in the count,” Benintendi said of his ninth-inning strikeout. “So I put myself in a tough spot.”
He added: “It was a dream come true. I mean, I’ve been dreaming about that moment since I was a kid. It went by pretty fast and not exactly what I hoped for. But obviously a lot of season left.”
As for the plan going forward, Brentz likely will hit at the bottom of the order.
— David Ortiz will say goodbye to another fanbase this weekend when he plays his final regular-season series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. However, the plan for now is for him to only pinch hit and not play first base, since designated hitter isn’t an option in the National League ballpark.
— Ortiz won’t be the only player getting some time off on the 11-game West Coast road trip.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images