Final score: Red Sox 4, Mariners 3
The Boston Red Sox create a certain kind of atmosphere at Safeco Field. You could argue that it’s exciting or electric, with Red Sox Nation jeering the dancing grounds crew and Mariners fans trying to bellow “root, root, root for the MARINERS” over the noise of their rivals.
On the other hand, the hand that handles the actual game, Red Sox games also create the kind of atmosphere that stretches an ordinary baseball game into an extraordinarily long event. Take, for example, a recent homestand against the Angels. On August 10, the Mariners fell 5-6 in 9 innings and 2.5 hours. Tonight, they took a 4-3 loss in 9 innings and 3.5 hours.
Of course, I don’t have any legitimate reason for pointing this out, except to say that I’m upset that I watched this team struggle for four innings without tying the game. Let’s see if I can wrap things up before this recap turns into another three-hour debacle.
Through five innings, the Mariners looked relatively untouchable. Jon Lester suffered back-to-back home runs by Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager, padding Seattle’s 1-0 lead on a 1st inning RBI single by Jesus Montero. Guti left the game with a slight groin strain, the latest in an endless streak of bad luck and unfortunate injuries. At this point, the move was mostly precautionary, and more information will be known tomorrow when the team reassesses his condition prior to the game.
Blake Beavan held the score to a 3-0 lead through five innings, then worked his way through a disastrous 6th, where he surrendered 4 hits and 4 runs on a 3-RBI jack by Cody Ross and Ryan Lavarnway’s game-winning solo shot.
Despite the never-ending carousel of relievers and pinch-hitters, the Mariners managed just three hits, two RISP, and zero runs in the remaining four innings. In an almost-exciting finish, Eric Thames tripled in the 9th, but Seager turned down the opportunity to be the two-out hero with a shallow fly ball to Ross.
Lost in the failed rally attempts was the major league debut of veteran Rainier Luis Jimenez, who pinch-hit for Brendan Ryan and popped up on his second pitch. He’s no Jurickson Profar, but watching September call-ups, especially with a Cinderella story such as this one, makes losses like tonight’s a little more palatable.
Tomorrow, Kevin Millwood faces off against RHP Aaron Cook in the rubber match of this three-game series.
Next game: vs. Red Sox | September 5 | 7:10pm