Things looked bad for the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. Then they looked good. Then bad again.
But once more they looked good, and that was the prevailing feeling as they claimed a wild 14-10 win over the Seattle Mariners in the series opener of a three-game set at Fenway Park.
The Sox eliminated deficits as big as both four and five runs in the slugfest, taking any setback and using offensive outbursts to wipe it away. Every Boston hitter had at least one hit, with the team posting 20 hits total.
The Red Sox climb to 51-26 with the win, while the Mariners fall to 46-30 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Pitchers were getting hit all over the park and leads — no matter the margin — never were safe. This was a crazy one the entire time.
ON THE BUMP
— Although Steven Wright has been pretty reliable this season, Friday’s start was nothing short of an absolute train wreck. He was tagged for 10 runs (all earned) on as many hits over 3 1/3 innings. He allowed three home runs with two walks and as many strikeouts.
Things quickly went awry for Wright, with the knuckleballer getting tagged for four first-inning runs. With two runners on and one out, Nelson Cruz launched a three-run missile off a Green Monster light tower to put Seattle ahead early. After bouncing back to get the second out, Wright allowed a solo homer to Ryon Healy to make it 4-0.
After the Sox climbed back to take a 5-4 lead, Wright squandered the advantage in the second inning. With runners on first and second, a Mitch Haniger single to left drove in a run, and a Cruz single two batters later gave the Mariners the advantage back.
After a 1-2-3 third inning, Wright’s night ended after an abysmal fourth. With runners on first and second, Denard Span drove in a run off a double to make it 7-5. The next at-bat, Cruz blasted his second three-run dinger of the night to make it 10-5, spelling the conclusion of the knuckleballer’s outing.
— Brian Johnson entered with one out in the fourth and retired the next two batters to end the inning. He allowed the bases to load in the fifth with two outs on a trio of singles, but got Span to fly out to end the stanza. He allowed one runner to reach in an otherwise uneventful sixth frame.
In total, the southpaw pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing four hits while striking out three.
— Matt Barnes entered and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
— Joe Kelly pitched a clean eighth inning.
— Craig Kimbrel struck out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the first, the Sox responded in a big way. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi led the inning off with singles, with the former getting driven in by a J.D. Martinez double. Benintendi then scored on a Mitch Moreland single to make it 4-2, with a Brock Holt one-out double two batters later plating Martinez. Rafael Devers drove in the tying run with a single, then Christian Vazquez gave Boston the lead with a ground-rule double to score Holt.
— Trailing again, this time 6-5 in the second, the Red Sox put two runners in scoring position, but couldn’t score either of them.
— The Sox rejuvenated the offense a bit in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and runners on the corners, Devers snapped a single into left to cut the Mariners’ lead to 10-6.
— It became clear in the sixth that Boston wasn’t going to lay down the rest of the game. With two down and a runner on first, Martinez launched a two-run homer to cut the lead to 10-8. Moreland then smacked a triple into the gap, scoring the next at-bat on a Xander Bogaerts infield single to cut the lead to one. The frame ended with the next hitter, however, as Holt grounded out to strand Bogaerts.
— In the seventh the Sox loaded the bases with one out, and Benintendi tied the game with a flare into shallow center. Martinez followed that up by hitting a two-run single to center field to put the Sox up 12-10. With pinch hitter Eduardo Nunez up, Benintendi scored on a passed ball to extend the Sox’s lead. Nunez then singled to drive in Martinez. With the score 14-10, Holt struck out to end the inning.
— Martinez led the Sox with four hits, while Moreland and Devers each had three and Benintendi, Holt and Vazquez added two apiece. Betts, Bogaerts, Nunez and Swihart all had one.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The two sides will continue their three-game set Saturday night, with first pitch from Fenway Park set for 7:15 p.m. ET. Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Mike Leake.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images