Mariners bats quiet again in loss to Red Sox
SEATTLE—The Mariners had chances in the third, fourth, fifth and ninth innings, and just couldn't capitalize.
Seattle's bats remained cool Sunday in a 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox, wasting a strong outing from Jason Vargas.
The Mariners scored five runs in four games against Boston, and still came away with a split of the series. They seemed destined for a better result when pushing erratic Boston starter Felix Doubront during his 4 1/3 innings Sunday, yet managed just one run.
"When you make the starting pitcher throw 100 pitches in 4, you've got to do a hell of a lot more than that," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Dustin Pedroia's eighth-inning solo homer off Vargas tied the game at 1, and his 10th-inning single set up David Ortiz's sacrifice fly to win it. The win was Boston's first (1-5) in extra innings this season.
Pedroia's homer tied Vargas' career high for homers allowed in a season with 22. It took him 201 innings last year, 117 this year. It was Pedroia's first home run since May 11 and he was 3 for 17 in the series.
"It was a fastball away and for him to hook it out of this park ," Vargas said, "tip your hat to him and go on and get the next two."
It spoiled an otherwise superb outing for Vargas. The day after Seattle's bullpen was forced to throw eight innings because of an elbow injury to start Erasmo Ramirez, Vargas went eight innings, allowed five hits, struck out six and was in trouble just once.
"Pedroia got him, but he handled everybody in a strong fashion today," Wedge said.
Ryan Kalish, pinch-hitting for Brent Lillibridge, hit a one-out double off the right-center field wall off Brandon League (0-5) in the 10th. Pedroia followed with a single to right, to put runners at first and third.
Ortiz hit a 2-0 pitch to deep right field off lefty specialist Lucas Luetge to score Kalish and give the Red Sox the lead.
Vicente Padilla (2-0) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth. Alfredo Aceves recorded his 19th save by pitching a 1-2-3 10th.
Doubront issued a career-high five walks. He struck out four, allowed three hits and repeatedly wiggled free to allow just a run.
"My arm was feeling good," Doubront said. "I don't know what happened. Seriously."
Padilla worked around a one-out double from Justin Smoak in the bottom of the ninth. Dustin Ackley popped out and Brendan Ryan flew out to right. It was one of several scoring opportunities squandered by the Mariners, who often contributed to their own offensive problems.
Doubront walked the first two batters of the fourth inning in Miguel Olivo and Smoak. Ackley was unable to get a bunt down, then struck out looking for the first out. Three pitches later, a toss by Doubront in the dirt temporarily got away from catcher Kelly Shoppach. Olivo went too far off second and was caught in a rundown for the second out. Chone Figgins then flied to left to end the inning.
"That is what cost us," Ackley said. "I had the perfect opportunity to move runners to second and third with one out and didn't get it done.
"Those are crucial times."
Doubront was replaced by Matt Albers after hitting Kyle Seager to load the bases in the fifth inning. Jesus Montero bounced into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch from Albers.
Ichiro Suzuki's third-inning sacrifice fly to left drove in Figgins, who had singled to lead-off the third inning then stole second. Ryan's single up the middle pushed Figgins to third with no outs. Despite the brisk start to the inning, Seattle scored just once. Casper Wells struck out, Seager walked, and Montero flew out to right, leaving two on base.
Seager saved Vargas from damage with a diving catch of Nick Punto's two-out line drive in the second. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Ross took third on Gonzalez's hard grounder back through the middle.
Vargas struck out Will Middlebrooks with a changeup and Ackley trekked into shallow right field to catch a popup by Daniel Nava to keep Ross at third. After Shoppach walked, Punto lined a 2-1 pitch to Seager's left, forcing him to dive to close the inning. Frustrated, Punto slammed his bat into the ground.
Notes: The Mariners placed Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right elbow flexor strain. Seattle called up reliever Josh Kinney from Triple-A Tacoma to replace him. To make space on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated oft-injured catcher Adam Moore for assignment. ... Seattle starter Felix Hernandez and Boston designated hitter David Ortiz were selected as All-Stars on Sunday. They each are the only representatives for their teams. ... Middlebrooks left the game after the eighth inning because of a hamstring issue.