SEATTLE — Red Sox pitching allowed five runs against Seattle over four days and 38 innings at Safeco Field over the last four days.
That should mean four wins. Subtract one for a 1-0 loss against King Felix and that’s still three.
It turned out to be two and barely that. David Ortiz saved the Red Sox from embarrassment with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning as the Sox escaped with a 2-1 victory.
“Think we needed that?” said Pedroia, whose home run in the eighth inning had tied the game.
Jason Vargas was working on a four-hit shutout when Pedroia homered. The second baseman had been 1 for 15 in the series.
“It felt like there were 50 outfielders and a lot of infielders,” he said.
Pedroia solved that problem by hitting a fastball over the fence in left field for his sixth home run, the first since May 10.
The score was still 1-1 when Ryan Kalish pinch hit with one out in the 10th and doubled off the wall in right center facing closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Pedroia was next and he singled sharply to right field. That put Kalish on third with the right batter coming to the plate.
“That was vintage. He took a 96-mile-per-hour fastball and just laced it into right field,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “It’s July 1, folks, look out. New month. His month, I believe.”
Seattle called in lefthander Lucas Luetge to face Ortiz. He got Ortiz to ground to second on Saturday night. But this time Ortiz took two sliders away then hit another slider plenty deep enough to right field to score Kalish.
“He tried to get me to chase it. That’s what they’ve been doing the whole series,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to be patient in that situation and make sure I don’t screw it up.”
The Red Sox bullpen had 5.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, in relief of Felix Doubront.
Matt Albers ended a Mariners rally in the fifth inning by getting Jesus Montero to ground into a double play. He then worked the sixth inning. Scott Atchison went two perfect innings. Vicente Padilla (2-0) pitched the ninth and has now gone 10 1/3 innings without allowing a run. Alfredo Aceves had a five-pitch 10th inning for his 20th save.
A win is a good way to get out of town. But with pitching like that, the Sox should have won three games.
• Will Middlebrooks did not come out to play third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, the result of a stolen base in the top of the inning that caused discomfort in his left hamstring. Middlebrooks has had occasional issues with that hamstring before but said it “felt different” this time. He is questionable for Monday’s game.
• Mike Aviles was “sick as a dog” according to Bobby V. But he came in to play shortstop. That allowed Nick Punto to go to third in place of Middlebrooks and further allowed Kalish to pinch hit for Brent Lillibridge.
• Andrew Bailey headed back to the East Coast after learning his wife, Amanda, was about to deliver their first child earlier than expected. Good luck to them.
• Carl Crawford is headed back to Boston for a scheduled exam on his left wrist and elbow after playing in five Gulf Coast League games. Jacoby Ellsbury is set to play center field for the GCL Red Sox on Monday. He could join Double A Portland as soon as Tuesday according to Valentine. Crawford also will be with the Sea Dogs this week.
Scott Podsednik, on the DL with a groin strain, has played two games with Triple A Pawtucket and is scheduled for a third game on Monday.
• That’s it from Seattle. Headed to Oakland tonight and more baseball tomorrow. Hope you come back.