Red Sox Wrap: Mitch Moreland’s Pinch-Hit Homer Secures Comeback Win Over Mariners


Mar 30, 2019

The Boston Red Sox looked destined for their second straight loss to kick off the 2019 season.

One night after Chris Sale was torched, Nathan Eovaldi was tagged for six runs. But the Red Sox showed some impressive resolve, erasing a five-run deficit that was capped off by a pinch-hit, three-run homer from Mitch Moreland to give Boston a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday at T-Mobile Park.

Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez also hit home runs for the Red Sox, while the bullpen tossed four scoreless innings.

The Red Sox climbed to 1-1 with the win, while the Mariners fell to 3-1 with the win.

Here’s how it went down:


The Red Sox looked down and out, but ultimately turned in an absolute stunner.

— Eovald’s stuff wasn’t necessarily bad, but he did miss his spots at times against a Mariners squad that capitalized on even the slightest mistakes. The right-hander went five innings, allowing the six runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Seattle clubbed three homers off Eovaldi.

The last batter Eovaldi faced in 2018 was Max Muncy, who hit a walk-off home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series. The first batter Eovaldi faced in 2019 was Mallex Smith, who put an 0-1 cutter from the righty into the right field seats.

Just two hitters later, Domingo Santana blasted a dinger to left-center off a 2-2 slider, upping Seattle’s lead to 2-0.

Eovaldi buckled down and got out of the first, but he ran into more trouble in the second. With one out in the inning, he left an 0-2 fastball over the plate to Omar Narváez, and the catcher turned it into a solo shot to right.

The Sox starter finished the rest of the second without issue, then allowed a hit and walk in a scoreless third. But in the fourth, Eovaldi once again ran into trouble, allowing three more runs.

Tim Beckham led off the inning with a double, then moved to third on a Narváez single. Ryon Healy made it 4-1 with an RBI two-bagger, then Narváez scored on a Dee Gordon sacrifice fly that furthered Seattle’s lead to 5-1. Smith drove in a sixth run for the mariners, hitting a sac fly to left-center that required an impressive catch from Jackie Bradley Jr.

Eovaldi ended his night with a hitless, scoreless fifth inning, with one runner reaching on a fielding error by Rafael Devers.

— Colton Brewer made his Red Sox debut in the sixth and he didn’t allow any hits or runs, but did walk a pair.

— Brandon Workman tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out one.

— Brian Johnson struck out the side in order in the eighth.

— Matt Barnes earned the save, striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth.

— Bogaerts cut the Red Sox’s 2-0 second-inning deficit in half.

The shortstop kicked off the frame with a homer, roping a fastball over the heart of the plate into left field for Boston’s first longball of the season.

— With the Mariners ahead 6-1 in the fifth, Boston got a run back.

Devers led the top half of the inning off by reaching first on a throwing error by Beckham, then moving to third on a Sam Travis single. Bradley proceeded to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but in doing so allowed Devers to score.

— Martinez made his presence known in the sixth inning.

With two outs, the designated hitter connected on the first pitch he saw, drilling an absolute missile that went 428-feet into straightaway center to cut Seattle’s lead to 6-3.

— Things got interesting in the eighth.

The catcher led off the inning by smoking a 2-0 offering from Zac Rosscup over the wall in left to pull Boston within two runs.

The Red Sox then loaded the bases on an Andrew Benintendi walk, Mookie Betts single and Bogaerts walk. Martinez recorded the first out of the inning by striking out looking, then Nunez hit a chopper down the first base line, which Mariners pitcher Cory Gearrin collected. Nunez ducked to avoid Gearrin’s throw home, but neglected to continue running down the line. After Narváez caught the force out at home, he threw Nunez out at first as the second baseman remained standing still halfway down the line.

— Devers led off the ninth with a double down the left-field line, advancing to third on a passed ball before pinch-hitter Blake Swihart was hit by a pitch, Bradley hit a hot grounder to first which Healy gathered and threw home to nab Devers — who made a pretty big gamble trying to score — for the first out.

That’s when Moreland came in and turned the game upside down. The first baseman pinch-hit for Vazquez and roped a three-run homer into right to put the Sox up 7-6.

— Travis led the Red Sox with a pair of hits.

— Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts, Devers, Vazquez and Moreland each had one hit.

— Benintendi, Nunez and Bradley each went hitless.


The Red Sox and Mariners will play the third contest of their four-game series Saturday night. First pitch from T-Mobile Park is set for 9:10 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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