BOSTON – The Red Sox knocked King Felix out in the sixth. Kept the Mariners scoreless for eight innings. Were about to hand Seattle its 10th straight loss at Fenway, and snap their own five-game losing streak.
Instead, the Sox suffered one of their most deflating losses of the season, as Koji Uehara gave up five runs in the ninth, and the Mariners won, 5-3.
It was Uehara’s third blown save of the season. He faced eight batters in the ninth, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout. His ERA rose from 1.53 to 2.28.
Uehara, who also took the loss, falling to 5-4, had given up a total of 10 runs in 57 games spanning 58 2.3 innings prior to this outing.
Yoenis Cespedes’ fourth home run with the Red Sox provided their only runs of the game, scoring scored Daniel Nava, who had doubled to open the inning, and David Ortiz, who reached on his 21st intentional walk of the season. (Entering Friday, the Tigers’ Victor Martinez led the American League with 22 intentional walks).
Cespedes’ home run, his 21st of the season, cleared the Triple-A sign in left field. All four of his home runs have given the Sox a lead. But it was not enough to prevent another loss, as the Sox extended their losing streak to six games and seven of the last eight.
Right-hander Joe Kelly went five innings, giving up just one hit with three walks, a hit batter and five strikeouts. The Red Sox announced later in the game that he was taken out for “precautionary reasons” but did not give specifics. In the fifth, Kelly appeared to be stretching his back on the mound between pitches. He missed nearly three months earlier this season, while with the Cardinals, with a hamstring injury.
Hernandez went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks (one intentional) with seven strikeouts, a home run, and a hit batter. It was the most earned runs he has allowed since four to the Rays on May 12, 18 starts ago.
Dominic Leone earned the win for the Mariners.
The Sox had a scary scene in the fifth when Xander Bogaerts was hit on the helmet by an 88-mph changeup from Hernandez. He went down in a heap at the plate, but did not appear to lose consciousness and stayed in the game to finish out the inning. He was removed in the sixth as Brock Holt came in to pinch-hit, as Bogaerts was to be evaluated for a concussion.
MVP: Dustin Ackley
Ackley went 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBI. His lone hit drive in the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs in the Mariners’ five-run ninth inning.
GOAT: Koji Uehara
Uehara gave up five runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout in the ninth. It was the most runs he’s allowed in a game since a start on May 5, 2009, at Tampa Bay while with the Orioles, when he gave up six runs. It is the most he’s ever allowed in a relief appearance.
He has allowed at least one run in three straight appearances, the longest such streak of his career as a reliever.
Ackley’s single to left in the ninth fell between Yoenis Cespedes and Brock Holt, sprinting over from shortstop, into the ‘Bermuda Triangle out there,” as manager John Farrell called it.
QUOTE/TWEET OF THE GAME:
“We’re playing no doubles in that situation. And Ackley’s on the move. We were playing behind with a left-handed hitter up in Cano. And [Ackley is] off with the pitch, and [Nava] took his time. A good read by [Rich] Donnelly, their third base coach, to wave him home. We don’t make the relay throw in time.”
–Farrell on Robinson Cano’s ninth-inning single to right field, scoring the fifth run
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The Red Sox are now a season-low 16 games under .500, at 56-72. In their six-game losing streak they are 3-for-47, batting .064, with runners in scoring position, and have left 50 runners on base…It was Kelly’s first scoreless start since Sept. 17, 2013, at Colorado while with the Cardinals, and the fewest hits he has allowed in a start in his career…David Ortiz went 2-for-2 with a double and two walks. He has reached base four times for the fourth consecutive game for the first time in his career. He is the first major leaguer to reach base at least four times in four straight games since Joe Mauer did so in five consecutive games from June 6-10, 2006. He is the first Sox batter to do so since Mike Andrews from May 30 – June 4, 1970. Ortiz has reached base in nine straight plate appearances starting with an intentional walk in the ninth inning on Tuesday. In his last 10 games he is hitting .474, going 1-for-38, with nine walks, and a .563 OBP…Cespedes’ three-run clout was his 15th career home run against the Mariners, the most he’s hit against any team..
WHAT IT MEANS:
With the loss, the Sox extended their losing streak to six games and seven of their last eight. It was their first loss of the season when leading after eight innings, falling to 44-1. They are the last team to lose in that situation….The Mariners recorded their 30th come-from-behind win, and have won 12 of their last 16 games. They snapped a nine-game losing streak at Fenway, going back to 2011. In their last game at Fenway, on Aug. 1, 2013, the M’s blew a five-run lead in the ninth, giving up six runs, as the Sox won 8-7.
The Sox and Mariners resume their three-game series on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. Right-hander Brandon Workman (1-7, 4.26) is scheduled to start, opposed by right-hander Chris Young (12-6, 3.07).
Workman has faced the Mariners just once before in his career, when he struck out a career-high nine batters over six innings, giving up one run on July 30, 2012, at Fenway. In his last five starts he is 0-5, with a 5.40 ERA, giving up 22 runs, 17 earned, over 28 1/3 innings.