Game over: Mariners 11, Red Sox 4: The Red Sox hung in against Felix Hernandez for three innings but the Mariners took advantage of a less-than-stellar outing by Jon Lester.
The Red Sox were missing Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino, both down with injuries. The Red Sox have now lost three out of four on this West Coast swing. There were 21,830 at Safeco Field in a game that took 3:21.
Bottom of the 8th: Mariners 11, Red Sox 4: Tough outing for Jose De La Torre. He hit a batter, walked two and allowed a run on a Mike Zunino’s ground ball out.
Top of the 8th: Mariners 10, Red Sox 4: Righthanded hitters had hit just .153 vs, Seattle lefty Oliver Perez, but Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had RBI doubles after a Pedroia single.
Bottom of the 7th: Mariners 10, Red Sox 2: Facing Wilson, Kyle Seager walked. After a wild pitch, Smoak delivered a double. The M’s weren’t through. With Jose De La Torre in the game, Michael Saunders doubled to to right-center gap scoring the eighth run. Brad Miller struck for a single between the 3-4 hole scoring Saunders. Nick Franklin doubled to the left-center gap scoring making it 10-2.
Top 7th: Mariners 6, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox went down 1-2-3.
Bottom 6th: Mariners 6, Red Sox 2: Brutal inning for the Red Sox. Smoak reached on an infield single before Zunino singled to left. That was it for Lester.
Facing Alex Wilson, Saunders then doubled over the head of Nava. It was a play a more experienced center fielder probably makes.
Smoak scored and then so did Zunino when Nava overthrew the cutoff man and the ball rolled past Iglesias and Pedroia. With two outs, Ibanez singled in Saunders.
The bottom three Seattle hitters — Smoak, Zunino and Saunders — are 5 of 7 with two RBIs, two walks and three runs. When the bottom three hitters of a weak lineup beat you up, that’s bad.
Top of the 6th: Mariners 3, Red Sox 2: The remarkable Raul Ibanez started the inning with a homer.
He has 22 on the season and now a 13-game hit streak. Of his 22 homers, 12 have either tied the game or given Seattle the lead. At 41, Ibanez is having one of the best seasons of his life. He has 50 RBIs.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 2: The Red Sox came right back against Hernandez and tied the game. Hernandez hit Iglesias with a curveball before Holt singled to right. Iglesias took third and scored on a single by Nava. Gomes struck out on a sinker but the ball got past Zunino and Holt scored.
Ortiz walked with two outs before Hernandez struck out Mike Napoli.
Top of the 5th: Mariners 2, Red Sox 0: Ortiz singled to start the inning and the Sox went in order from there. The leadoff hitter has reached in the last three innings and the Sox haven’t scored.
Morales started the bottom of the inning with a single to left. Seager followed with a hard groundball to the right side. Pedroia made a diving attempt to stop the ball but it ticked off his glove and veered toward the foul line.
That enabled Morales to take third. Lester struck out the Ghost of Jason Bay and got ahead of Smoak 1-and-2. But he left a cutter up in the strike zone that Smoak pulled down the line in left for an RBI double.
Lester walked Zunino and Saunders to force in a run. Based on Lester’s body language, he thought three of the pitches to Saunders were strikes that umpire Ed Hickox missed. But nevertheless, you can’t walk the 8th and 9th hitters to force in a run. Zunino came in hitting .200 and Saunders .207.
Lester squirmed out of trouble from there. Franklin gave the Sox a scare with a deep fly ball to center but Nava tracked it down.
Lester threw 39 pitches in the inning and is at 93 for the game. He won’t be around much longer.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0: Holt drew a leadoff walk in the third inning but Hernandez retired the side from there.
Lester allowed a leadoff infield single by Zunino, who was nearly robbed of a hit by Iggy but the throw was wide. Miller then singled with one out. But Lester fanned Franklin before Ibanez flied deep to left. Carp, who is familiar with left field here, ran it down.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0: The Sox are getting some good swings off Hernandez. But no runs to show for it yet. Ortiz singled in the second inning as did Carp with one out.
Carp, a former Mariner, has been looking forward to this series all season. Salty hit the ball hard but on a line to Ibanez in right. Iglesias then struck out swinging.
Lester allowed a leadoff double by Morales. But Seager lined to center, Bay lined to left and Smoak popped to short.
End of 1st: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0: Nava hit the ball to the wall in left but Raul Ibanez chased it down despite being 41-years-old. Gomes then singled to left before Pedroia grounded into a double play.
Lester set down the Mariners in order, fanning Miller and Ibanez along the way. Beautiful night at the park.
Pre-game: Greetings from beautiful Safeco Field and tonight’s game between the Sox and Mariners. It’ll be Jon Lester against King Felix Hernandez.
We’ll have updates all game long, so stick around and feel free to leave comments.