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Closing Time: Felix Hernandez, Mariners hand Red Sox third straight loss

07.09.13 at 1:34 am ET
By
Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez

There are suddenly some very real concerns.

Monday night started with the news that the Red Sox would be without reliever Andrew Miller for the remainder of the season, and then morphed into a wave of negativity. By the time the Sox called it a night they had been saddled with a 11-4 loss to the Mariners in which various issues bubbled to the surface.

Perhaps the biggest bump the road during the Red Sox’ third straight loss was another shaky outing by the bullpen. After starter Jon Lester departed with two on and nobody out in the sixth inning — with the visitors trailing by just one run — Alex Wilson proceeded to come on and surrender a two-run double to Michael Saunders. Later in the frame, Wilson allowed another run via a Raul Ibanez RBI single.

Wilson finished his 1 1/3-inning stint allowing three runs on three hits, while his replacement, Jose De La Torre, didn’t fare much better, giving up two runs on three hits in his first 2/3 innings.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Sox’ loss at Safeco Field:

WHAT WENT WRONG

- Lester wasn’t able to carry over the momentum garnered from his previous outing, in which he gave up just one run over seven innings. This time, he was charged with five runs over five innings, giving up nine hits. Perhaps the most discouraging at-bat came with nobody out in the fifth, when the lefty immediately allowed a solo home run to Raul Ibanez right after the Red Sox had knotted the game at 2-2 in the previous inning. Lester’s ERA now stands at 4.60.

- With Jacoby Ellsbury out with an injured wrist, Daniel Nava was forced to make his first major league appearance in center field. The outfielder ran into some trouble on Saunders’ sixth-inning blast, failing to reel in the fly ball before it hit the base of the center field wall, and then proceeding to miss the cut-off man. The play proved costly, allowing Seattle to build a three-run lead.

- The Red Sox were unable to take advantage of David Ortiz reaching in each of his first three plate appearances (2 singles, walk), with Mike Napoli striking out in two of his first three at-bats. Napoli, who did launch a double in his final trip to the plate, has struck out multiple times in six of his last eight games.

- Felix Hernandez lived up to the hype, allowing just two runs over seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.69. The appearance followed up a complete game shutout of the Sox in his only appearance against Boston  in 2012. For his career, Hernandez came into teh night carrying a 6-2 mark with a 3.18 ERA vs. the Red Sox.

- Seattle managed 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position, finishing with six hits in such situations.

- Wilson continued to struggle, having come into the game with opponents hitting .343 over the reliever’s last nine appearances.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- The Red Sox managed to make Felix Hernandez somewhat nervous when they tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning. The runs were scored on a Nava RBI single (scoring Jose Iglesias), and a wild pitch, which allowed Brock Holt to come in from third.

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