|Closing Time: Brock Holt’s single in 11th lifts Red Sox to win over Mariners||08.05.16 at 3:08 am ET|
It wasn’t easy, but the Red Sox got their split in Seattle.
Brock Holt’s single off the glove of diving shortstop Shawn O’Malley in the 11th inning drove in the go-ahead run and Brad Ziegler stranded a runner at third to save it as the Red Sox held on for a 3-2 victory that draws them even at 4-4 on their road trip as they move on to Los Angeles to close it out with three games against the Dodgers.
Holt, who entered the game as a pinch hitter for Bryce Brentz in the seventh, won it after Travis Shaw led off the 11th with a single and was sacrificed to second. Holt’s grounder up the middle might not have scored Shaw, but O’Malley deflected it on the dive, slowing it down just enough to guarantee the run crossed home.
Until that point, it looked like another frustrating night for the Red Sox, who blew a 2-0 lead before advancing to extras.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, acquired to settle the back of the rotation, proved hard to hit but struggled to find the plate. He limited the Mariners to four hits, but still surrendered 10 baserunners by walking a career-high six. He departed after allowing two runs in six innings.
Missed opportunities have marked this road trip, and the Red Sox got an early start by loading the bases with one out in the first without scoring.
The Mariners returned the favor in the fourth when Pomeranz walked the bases loaded.
The Red Sox struck first on Shaw’s solo homer in the second. They pushed their lead to 2-0 in the fifth on consecutive doubles by Bryce Brentz and Mookie Betts.
|Closing Time: Rick Porcello allows 3 homers, Red Sox bats go silent in loss to Mariners||08.04.16 at 12:33 am ET|
The Red Sox have relied on Rick Porcello to be their stopper all season. He tried to fill that role on Wednesday night, but the offense didn’t come close to helping him.
Porcello allowed three solo homers — matching the number of long balls he had allowed in his previous 10 starts combined — and Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma stymied the Red Sox in a 3-1 loss.
Porcello delivered a solid outing, but fell to 14-3 anyway. He limited the Mariners to just three hits in his first seven innings, but all three of them left the park in the form of homers by Nelson Cruz, Mike Zunino, and Adam Lind.
On the other side, the Red Sox did nothing with Iwakuma, who limited them to five hits in 7 1/3 innings. Their best chance of scoring off him came in the eighth, when shortstop Xander Bogaerts flew out to the left field fence with two on and two out.
The offensive highlight was the first hit of Andrew Benintendi’s career, a sharp single sliced to left in the third while a sizable contingent of family and friends cheered from the stands. He later added another single to finish 2-for-3.
The Red Sox tried to make things interesting in the ninth, plating a run against closer Edwin Diaz, who was wild, but induced Sandy Leon to ground sharply to Robinson Cano in short right field to end it.
The loss particularly hurt because the Blue Jays and Orioles prevailed, leaving the Red Sox three games out in the American League East. Even more disconcerting: the red-hot Tigers beat the White Sox for their eight straight win, vaulting the Red Sox by a half game in the wild card race.
For the first time since April 25, if the season ended today, the Red Sox would miss the playoffs.
|Closing Time: Fernando Abad allows crushing homer in Red Sox debut, erasing solid start from David Price in loss to Mariners||08.03.16 at 12:53 am ET|
After two straight dramatic victories, the Red Sox were due for an easy one.
And then the eighth inning happened.
A frame that started with David Price trying to nail down a three-hit shutout instead went up in flames when the Mariners chased Price with four straight hits and reliever Fernando Abad made his Red Sox debut one to forget by serving up a go-ahead three-run homer to Robinson Cano.
Just like that, a 4-0 Red Sox lead turned into a crushing 5-4 loss that overshadowed the big league debut of outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grounded out as a pinch hitter in his first at-bat and then struck out on three pitches to end it.
As uplifting as the previous two victories were — they beat the Angels and Mariners on ninth-inning home runs — this one hurt just as badly, going south in the blink of an eye.
“That’s baseball,” Price told reporters. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. Just have to move on.”
Price cruised into the eighth, but Mike Zunino, who had struck out 11 times in 12 previous at-bats against him, led off with a homer and then the Red Sox couldn’t staunch the bleeding.
Until that point, it looked like they’d win easily. David Ortiz doubled in Dustin Pedroia in the first to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead, Ramirez added to it with his monster blast, and Ortiz seemed to seal it by plating an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
But Abad failed in a big way, one day after being acquired from the Twins for reliever Pat Light, hanging a 2-2 slider that Cano golfed into the right field seats for his 24th homer. Cano had been 1-for-11 off of Abad prior to the homer.
“It was down middle,” Abad told reporters. “I think he was looking for that pitch.”
With his 36th double of the season in the first inning, designated hitter David set a record for most doubles by a player 40 or older, breaking the mark held by Sam Rice since 1930.
|Closing Time: Mookie Betts homer in 9th gives Red Sox 2nd straight dramatic victory, this one over M’s||08.02.16 at 12:57 am ET|
After Dustin Pedroia saved the Red Sox on Sunday, Mookie Betts made sure the momentum lasted.
The young leadoff man blasted a go-ahead homer leading off the ninth off of closer Steve Cishek to break a 1-1 tie and propel the Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Mariners.
“Well, he’s emerging as one of the elite players in the game for sure,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Seattle. “He’s so quick and obviously has the ability to impact the baseball. Couldn’t have been more timely than it was tonight against a side-arm reliever in Cishek who’s very tough against right-handers”
On Sunday, Pedroia’s dramatic three-run homer in the ninth lifted the Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Angels. On Monday, the Red Sox once again waited for most of the game to score, although this time they got on the board with Aaron Hill’s first homer as a member of the Red Sox, which tied the game at one in the eighth and set the stage for Betts’ heroics.
The All-Star right fielder now has 22 homers and 70 RBIs, and remains on pace to post the first 30-100 season out of the leadoff spot in big league history.
“It gives us a big boost,” Betts told reporters in Seattle. “I feel like you’ve got to play 27 outs to beat us. I think we’re starting to see that more and more now, we’re just grinding through at-bats the whole game and not giving up.”
Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez delivered his best start of the year, providing another hint that he could be turning the corner. Working quickly and with confidence, Rodriguez carried a shutout into the seventh before allowing a one-out RBI double to Dae-Ho Lee.
|Orioles acquire former Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley from Mariners||08.01.16 at 10:10 am ET|
The Orioles on Sunday night bolstered their rotation for the stretch drive by acquiring former Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley from the Mariners for minor-league lefty Ariel Miranda.
Miley, 29, is 7-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 starts. He posted a 3.45 ERA in five July starts, including seven one-hit innings in a 4-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday.
The Red Sox sent Miley to the Mariners this winter for setup man Carson Smith and lefty Roenis Elias. Smith underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery and Elias posted a 15.88 ERA in two appearances with the Red Sox.
The appeal to the Orioles is obvious. They’ve received very little from starters beyond ace Chris Tillman and second man Kevin Gausman. As noted by MLBTradeRumors, Baltimore’s primary third-through-fifth starters own a 5.93 ERA in over 300 innings.
If Miley stays in the 4.00 range, that would represent a substantial improvement.
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley power Rick Porcello, Red Sox to victory over Mariners||06.18.16 at 7:00 pm ET|
It was only a matter of time.
The Red Sox offense has struggled at times recently, but Adrian Sampson was only going to keep it down for so long.
Held in check for their first two turns through the order, the Red Sox broke through against Sampson during a three-run fifth, driving the rookie from his first big league start and cruising to a 6-2 victory.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts stroked two more hits, including his ninth home run of the season to give the Red Sox an insurance run and make a winner of right-hander Rick Porcello who scattered eight hits over six innings in a solid performance that bordered on terrific after a rough start.
Slumping catcher Christian Vazquez also contributed a pair of hits, while outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. added his 12th homer of the season.
The game started poorly, with the first three Mariners recording singles before Porcello settled down and coaxed a double play grounder out of the dangerous Nelson Cruz with the bases loaded.
Porcello would repeat that pattern throughout his six innings, weaving in and out of trouble, but ultimately only allowing two runs in six innings.
He gave the offense enough time to get untracked. Consecutive singles by Chris Young, Vazquez, and Mookie Betts tied the game before a Dustin Pedroia double play grounder gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. Bogaerts followed with a two-out homer to give the Red Sox some breathing room, and an inning later, Vazquez added an RBI double.
A year after going 5-7 at Fenway Park, Porcello improved to 6-0 here this season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Porcello effectively managed trouble, scattering eight hits over six innings, the only other damage an Adam Lind solo homer. He didn’t walk anyone and induced a pair of double plays.
— Bogaerts just continues to mash. He went 2-for-4 to raise his league-leading average to .352. He also now has two more homers than the seven he managed all of last season.
— Hustlin’ Hanley Ramirez scored from second after an errant throw on a grounder rolled into short left. He ran straight through the stop sign of third base coach Brian Butterfield before sliding home safely and celebrating with a karate pose.
— Vazquez recorded his first two hits since June 10 after extensive work with hitting coach Chili Davis.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-4 and grounded into a pair of double plays, giving him 12 on the season.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Allen Webster vs. Hisashi Iwakuma||08.24.14 at 10:12 am ET|
Webster (3-1, 4.73 ERA) has turned in three straight quality starts for Boston, compiling a 3.86 ERA with a .239/.333/.388 line during that stretch.
In his last start Tuesday against the Angels, Webster gave up seven hits and three runs with three strikeouts over six innings of work in what was eventually a 4-3 Los Angeles win.
“When he’s right like for the vast majority of tonight, put the ball on the ground, ground balls,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s good to see him continue to back up outings in a positive way and build some momentum and I’m sure some confidence in his own right.”
While Webster has settled down after his shaky debut this season, the third inning has continued to be a thorn in the side of the 24-year-old. Twelve of the 15 earned runs that Webster has allowed this season have come during the third.
Webster was rocked in his only career appearance against the Mariners on July 9, 2013, surrendering six hits and seven earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings.
Iwakuma (12-6, 2.57 ERA) has been extremely effective as of late, posting a 7-2 record with a 1.63 ERA over his last 10 starts.
In his last outing Tuesday, the 33-year-old shut down the Phillies for eight innings, holding his opponents to just four hits and no runs while racking up 11 strikeouts.
|Brandon Workman’s latest struggle raises questions about rotation future||08.23.14 at 11:43 pm ET|
Although his time in the majors has been brief, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman already has seen his career marked by two vastly different stretches of play.
Through his first eight big league starts, Workman looked like he belonged in the Red Sox rotation, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.91 ERA. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to make eight straight starts of five or more innings and three or fewer runs allowed since World War II.
Unfortunately for the 6-foot-5 righty, the last eight outings have been a far cry from his stellar debut, with an 0-8 record and a 6.75 ERA bloating his career numbers during the second half of the 2014 season. He now has achieved history of another sort, becoming the first Sox pitcher since Red Ruffing in 1929 to absorb a loss in eight or more consecutive appearances.
Workman’s latest outing fit his current trend of ineffectiveness, as the 26-year-old was torched for 10 hits and seven earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Mariners on Saturday in what eventually resulted in a 7-3 Red Sox defeat.
Despite his discouraging box score, Workman began the game on a good foot, holding Seattle scoreless through the first three innings, including a 1-2-3 inning in the third.
“It was a quick inning,”Workman said. “I threw strikes, made some good pitches, got ground balls. … I didn’t execute like that in the fourth.”
However, this collapse came much earlier than the ninth inning.
The culprit Saturday was Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, who was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in a nightmare of a fourth inning that proved to be the difference maker in a 7-3 Mariners win.
The Red Sox have now lost seven games in a row, marking the second-longest losing streak for the club this year, behind only 10 straight contests from May 15 to May 25.
Boston got off to a promising start Saturday afternoon against Seattle, scoring a run off of Mariners southpaw starter Chris Young in each of the first three innings to build up a 3-0 cushion for Workman. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts continues to be evaluated for possible concussion; Joe Kelly feels ‘no ill effects’ after exiting early from Friday start||at 1:50 pm ET|
Xander Bogaerts‘ status going forward with Boston is uncertain in the wake of the 21-year-old taking a Felix Hernandez pitch off the helmet in Friday’s loss to the Mariners.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Bogaerts — who is not in the lineup for Saturday’s game against Seattle — still needs to undergo additional evaluations to rule out the potential for a concussion.
“Anytime you get hit in the head like he did last night and get removed from the game, he’s got to go through a protocol, which he’s going through today, just to see if there’s any concussion symptoms,” Farrell said. “So that’s what’s taking place this morning.”
While it appeared that Bogaerts was healthy enough to remain in the game after being struck in the head by the 89 mph changeup, it became apparent to Farrell that his shortstop was beginning to lose focus as the game dragged on, leading to his removal from the game.
“The eye tests, the walking in a straight line, having him stand there with his eyes closed, all those were negative results, so it was determined at that point that he continue, based on his response to questions and all that our trainers put him through in the moment,” Farrell said. “But it’s not uncommon, as time goes on, that you start to feel the onset of symptoms and that was the case last night and that’s when he was removed.”
Even though no results have been released in terms of Bogaerts’ latest series of tests, he told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier Saturday morning that he felt better and hopes to play Sunday in the series finale against Seattle.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— Another Red Sox player was removed early from Friday’s game, as starter Joe Kelly was lifted after five innings despite only throwing 86 pitches. Kelly said after the game that he felt a slight sensation in his shoulder after delivering a curveball in the fifth inning, but that his exit was merely precautionary.
Farrell agreed with Kelly’s claims, adding that he expects no limitations for the right-hander going forward.
“Joe came in and felt no ill effects from last night after a battery of tests that he went through after the game that didn’t reproduce any of the symptoms,” Farrell said. “It was followed up with him feeling well this morning and he’s on target to start in five days.”
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