Despite erasing a three-run deficit in the first inning, and mounting a ninth-inning rally, the Red Sox could not avoid another loss, falling to the Seattle Mariners, 8-6, in the home stand finale Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. The loss extends the Sox’ losing streak to eight games, with losses in nine of their last 10 contests.
Allen Webster needed 26 pitches, facing seven batters, to get through the first inning, when he gave up three runs.
But the Sox offense came back in the bottom of the inning, sending eight batters to the plate to tie the game against Hisashi Iwakuma, who needed 39 pitches to get through the inning. The Sox got two more in third off Iwakuma, again sending eight batters to the plate.
The Sox knocked Iwakuma out of the game after 2 1/3 innings, the shortest start of his MLB career – his previous was three innings against the Sox on July 9, 2013 at Safeco Field. Iwakuma gave up five runs on six hits and a walk with one strikeout and two hit batters. He hit Mike Napoli and Allen Craig with pitches in the first inning in a span of eight pitches. He had not hit a batter since June 25, 2013.
Webster settled down over the next two innings, holding the Mariners in check before giving up a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts. His record fell to 3-2, as his ERA rose from 4.73 to 5.81.
Dominic Leone, who relieved Iwakuma, got the win for Seattle, going 2 2/3 scoreless innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Mariners added run in the eighth off Tommy Layne. After Kendry Morales singled to open the inning, catcher Christian Vazquez was charged with two passed balls with Kyle Seager at the plate, as Endy Chavez, who pinch-ran for Morales after the passed ball, scored on Seager’s single to center.
Seattle got another run in the ninth off Edward Mujica. With two outs Dustin Ackley singled and scored on Brad Miller’s double off the wall in left-center.
Despite a shaky ninth inning, Fernando Rodney recorded his 38th save. He retired Will Middlebrooks on called strike, before giving up a single to Mookie Betts, then striking out Daniel Nava swinging, before walking Holt and Pedroia to load the bases before striking out Kelly Johnson to end the game.
MVP: Dustin Ackley
Ackley went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and an RBI, a home run shy of the cycle. In the three-game series he went 5-for-12, with a home run, a triple, a double, five runs scored, and six RBI.
GOAT: Allen Webster
After his offense erased a three-run deficit in the first inning, and took a two-run lead in the third, Webster let the Mariners take the lead in the fifth. He gave up a season-high six runs, the most he’s allowed in a game since July 9, 2013, when he gave up seven runs to the Mariners at Safeco Field.
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The Sox extended their losing streak to eight games, with losses in nine of their last 10. They went 2-9 on the homestand, with sweeps at the hands of the Angels and Mariners…The Sox went 6-for-19 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, and are 10-for-76 (.132) in such situations in their seven-game losing streak. They left 15 runners on base, one shy of their season high, and have left a total of 76 runners on base in their losing streak…In his first two plate appearances, Will Middlebrooks hit a two-run single in the first and an RBI double in the third. It was just this third multi-RBI game this season and his first with more than two RBI since he recorded seven at Colorado on Sept. 25, 2013…Iwakuma and Webster combined to throw 65 pitches in the first inning, after Brandon Workman and Chris Young combined to throw 52 pitches in the first inning Saturday…Cespedes went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI off Iwakuma, and is now 10-for-24 (.417) with three home runs and six RBI in his career…Robinson Cano left the field during the bottom of the third with what was later said to be dizziness and will be further evaluated by a doctor…David Ortiz fouled a ball off his right foot during his fourth-inning at-bat, and left the game after sixth-inning single with what was later said to be a right foot contusion. He extended his on-base streak to 12 games, batting .442, going 19-for-43. It is one shy of his longest on-base streak of the season…Christian Vazquez picked Mike Zunino off first base in the sixth inning, his third pick-off of the season. No other Sox catcher has one pick-off this season. It is the most by a Sox catcher since Rich Gedman had five in 1985. Vazquez also caught Chris Taylor stealing third base in the sixth, and has now thrown out nine of 20 (45 percent) attempted base stealers this year…Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. Since joining the Sox he has driven in 18 of the Sox 79 runs, or 23 percent, most on the team in that span…Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 with two walks, the first time in his career he has reached base four times, and extended his on-base streak to eight games…In the three-game series, the six starting pitchers combined for just 24 1/3 innings pitched. The M’s Felix Hernandez lasted the longest, with 5 2/3 innings on Friday.
WHAT IT MEANS:
The Sox fall to a season low 18 games under .500, at 56-74. The have reached new low points for the season in each of their last four games…The Sox begin a three-city trip on Monday in Toronto. With the start of the Angels series on Aug. 18, all the Sox’ remaining games are against paly-off contenders. Of their 32 remaining games, 25 will be against American League East teams.
The Sox begin a three-game series with the Blue Jays Monday at 7:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Clay Buchholz (5-8, 5.94) is scheduled to start, opposed by left-hander (J.A. Happ, 8-8, 4.39).
Buchholz has more wins, 10, against the Blue Jays than any other team. His 2.04 ERA, giving up 18 earned runs over 79 1/3 innings, at Rogers Centre is his lowest at any ballpark as a visitor with multiple starts.
But in his last five starts this season, Buchholz is 0-2 with a 7.26 ERA, giving up 25 runs over 31 innings.