The weekend looked like it was about to get off to a bad start at Fenway Park on Friday.
Two big deficits temporarily buried the Boston Red Sox, as they trailed 4-0 after the first inning and 10-5 after the fourth. Both deficits, however, were erased en route to a memorable 14-10 win over the Seattle Mariners.
At times, the life was sucked out of the Fenway crowd, and other times, it was injected right back into it. But for the players on the field, not once was there a shred of doubt in their ability to mount a comeback.
“It shows our fight,” J.D. Martinez told Guerin Austin after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I remember just we were down (4-0) and it didn’t feel like we were down (4-0). We talked about it at the pitching change after they went up 10-5, you know it kind of still felt like we were in the game. Me and Mookie (Betts) and (Andrew Benintendi) were talking about it, it’s like, ‘we’re down by five but I don’t know, it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like we’re still in this game.'”
The Red Sox were coming off a series against the Minnesota Twins in which their offense was anemic the first two games, both losses. But that was the difference Friday, their bats were stellar, even if Seattle’s was as well. The Sox totaled 20 hits, with every batter who stepped in the box recording at least one.
Even with the pair of setbacks, manager Alex Cora indicated the vibe in the dugout always was a positive one.
“It was better than the first two days in Minnesota, I’ll tell you that,” Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I don’t know if it was just the long road trip or if we weren’t swinging the bat well. You create your own energy, and it’s hard to create energy when you’re not swinging the bat. From the get-go, I know (Dustin Pedroia) today was very loud, even before the game.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Mariners:
— Steven Wright has been the epitome of reliability for the Red Sox this season, but it was the exact opposite in a meltdown of a start Friday.
The knuckleballer surrendered 10 runs (all earned) on as many hits, allowing three home runs while striking out and walking two.
It was an uncharacteristic outing for Wright, and for now certainly is an enigma lined up next to his other work so far this season. As such, Cora is far from worried about the 33-year-old.
“He’s been great for us, so one bad outing doesn’t mean that he’s regressing, it just happens,” Cora said.
— Although Wright’s performance was subpar, the bullpen picked up the pieces and gave Boston a chance to win.
Brian Johnson went 2 2/3 innings, while Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel each tossed one frame. The four relievers held Seattle scoreless over those 5 2/3 stanzas, combining to strike out eight, surrender four hits (all off Johnson) and walk just one.
While the performance and resilience of the Sox offense is not to be forgotten, neither is the fact that things could have been far worse if not for the bullpen.
— Xander Bogaerts left Friday’s game in the seventh inning after sustaining a left index finger sprain.
The injury took place as the shortstop stole second base in the sixth. He appeared to land awkwardly on his finger while making a head-first slide, but finished out the frame.
After the game, Cora had a promising update.
“He’s day-to-day,” Cora said. “We’ll probably stay away from him (Saturday). We were looking for an off day and it just came up now so hopefully we’ll be ready to play on Sunday.”
— The Sox had some tremendous displays of hitting in the win.
Martinez went 4-for-5, scoring three times and driving in five runs. He smashed a two-run homer in the sixth inning to cut the Sox deficit to 10-8.
Meanwhile, Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers each had a trio of hits. The first baseman had three runs scored and one RBI, while the rookie third baseman drove in a pair and scored once himself.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images