It took a little extra effort, but the Boston Red Sox did just enough to earn a series split with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
The Red Sox prevailed in a tense, extra-innings affair at Safeco Field, as Brock Holt delivered an RBI single in the 11th inning that helped lift Boston to a 3-2 win.
Drew Pomeranz wasn’t able to collect his first win in a Red Sox uniform but pitched a decent outing, as the Sox moved to 4-4 on their current road trip and now are in sole possession of the American League’s second wild card spot.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox held a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but the Mariners immediately tied things in the bottom of the frame. That made things tense for the remainder of this marathon, as both teams failed to break the deadlock until Holt’s heroics in the 11th.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Holt’s grounder deflected off shortstop Sean O’Malley’s glove and squeaked up the middle in the 11th.
Holt didn’t start but stepped up in a pinch-hit role, delivering a seeing-eye RBI single that scored Travis Shaw and helped the Red Sox earn the win in extras.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz struggled with control in his fifth Red Sox outing but managed to limit the damage for the most part.
The left-hander issued a season-high six walks (one intentional), three of which came in the fourth inning. But he kept the Mariners off the board until the fifth, when Sean O’Malley tagged him for a leadoff homer to cut Boston’s lead to 2-1. Seattle wasn’t done there, as Dae-Ho Lee followed a Nelson Cruz intentional walk with a two-out, RBI single that tied the score at 2-2.
Lee’s clutch hit ensured Pomeranz wouldn’t earn his first win with Boston, as he exited after six innings with two runs allowed on four hits. The 27-year-old also struck out six batters.
— Robbie Ross Jr. walked one batter in a scoreless seventh frame.
— Junichi Tazawa allowed one hit in the eighth but struck out the other three batters he faced in an impressive relief appearance.
— Fernando Abad recorded two outs in the ninth but also allowed a single and a walk and was lifted in favor of Craig Kimbrel with runners on first and second.
— Kimbrel induced a Robinson Cano groundout to send the game to extras, then mowed down the Mariners with three straight strikeouts in the 10th.
He allowed no runs and no hits in 1 1/3 innings while striking out three and earned the win for Boston.
— Brad Ziegler got the job done in Kimbrel’s usual role, walking the leadoff man in the 11th but retiring the next three Seattle batters to earn the save.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Shaw got the Red Sox on the board in the second inning with a solo home run off Mariners starter Ariel Miranda, his 13th blast of the season.
— Shaw also led off the 11th with a single. He was heavily involved in Boston’s offensive output, going 2-for-5 and scoring two of the Red Sox’s three runs.
— Bryce Brentz and Mookie Betts helped put Boston up 2-0 with back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning. Betts finished 2-for-6 with an RBI, his 71st of the season.
— Brentz went 1-for-2 with a run scored before Holt replaced him in the seventh. That turned out to be a great idea, as Holt delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the 11th that scored Shaw from second.
— Dustin Pedroia continues to find success at the cleanup spot. He went 2-for-4 with a walk from the No. 4 hole.
— Xander Bogaerts got out of a recent funk with a 2-for-5 performance at the dish. He had been 0-for-11 in the series entering Thursday.
— David Ortiz (1-for-5) singled in the first inning but otherwise was held hitless in his final game in Seattle.
— Sandy Leon pinch hit for Ryan Hanigan in the top of the ninth and dropped a key sacrifice bunt in the 11th that moved Shaw to second and allowed him to score on Holt’s hit.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
It’s tough to stay awake for extra-inning West Coast games, so why not turn play-by-play into poetry?
The Red Sox head back to Los Angeles on Friday to begin a three-game set with the Dodgers. Knuckleballer Steven Wright will go up against Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir in Game 1, which is set for 10:05 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium.
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