Boston rallies, pounds Mariners with 5 HRs

SEATTLE — The run scoring continued, the winning did not.

The Seattle Mariners have looked nothing like their soft-swinging, three-run scoring selves in the past week. On Tuesday night, they banged out 13 hits and scored eight runs.

The Mariners pitching staff, however, couldn’t do anything with the wealth of run support, giving up 16 hits and five homers in an 11-8 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.

Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the Mariners’ loss was the continued struggles of starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and the growing number of home runs that opponents are bashing off of him.

Despite being named to the American League All-Star team on Saturday, Iwakuma pitched nothing like it against the hard hitting Red Sox.

He made it just three innings — the shortest start of his major league career, giving up six runs on eight hits, including three home runs. He struck out just three.

It’s a disturbing trend developing.

Over his past five starts, Iwakuma has posted a 0-3 record. In 29 innings pitched, he’s given up 22 runs on 33 hits and allowed a whopping 10 homers. For the season, he’s given up 20 homers, which is the third most by a pitcher in the American League.

So what’s the problem?

“It was just some bad misses,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “The home run has really hurt him in the last four or five starts. He was just missing up in the middle of the plate.”

Iwakuma worked a 1-2-3 inning and everything seemed normal. The Mariners even gave him an immediate lead. Kendrys Morales hit his first of two homers on the night, a two-run homer into the bullpen in left-center field off Red Sox starter Allen Webster.

It didn’t matter.

Iwakuma gave up a lead-off homer to David Ortiz to start the second and surrendered two more hits before finally getting out of the inning with a strikeout.

Perhaps sensing that Iwakuma didn’t have his best stuff, the Mariners picked him up by pushing three more runs across in the second inning. Rookie shortstop Brad Miller continued his dynamic play, lacing a base-loaded double to right.

Still, even with a 5-1 lead Iwakuma couldn’t make it stand up.

He fell apart in the third inning, giving up two-run homers — to Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli — and a sacrifice fly. That left the Mariners behind 6-5.

“Tonight I thought he was a little flat,” Wedge said. “He didn’t seem to have quite the same end on his pitches that we’ve seen.”

But since the Mariners have turned into an offensive juggernaut in the past week, Seattle retook the lead. Morales blasted a solo homer to center — his 13th of the season — off Webster to tie the score. Later in the inning, Michael Saunders laced a triple to right-center to score Kyle Seager as the Mariners retook the lead 7-6.

Wedge went to his bullpen in hopes of stopping Boston’s offense. It couldn’t.

The Red Sox tied the score in the fourth off Blake Beavan on Pedroia’s RBI single. They took the lead in the fifth inning on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo home run to right-center off Beavan.

Meanwhile, the Mariners bats’ were finally stymied. They went scoreless in the fourth inning — the first time in eight straight innings played they hadn’t scored a run. The drought continued until the bottom of the eighth inning when they scratched across a run on Miller’s fielder’s choice.

By then it was too late because in the top half of the eighth the Red Sox scored three runs on a Shane Victorino solo homer to off Charlie Furbush and two RBI singles off Carter Capps.

“We just couldn’t get anybody out and our guys struggled into the bullpen,” Wedge said. ‘Their starter struggled, too, but when they went to their middle innings guys, they did a nice job and got them deeper in the ball game.”

Ortiz went 4-for-5 on the night and notched his 1,688 hit as a designated hitter, tying Harold Baines for the all-time record.

“He’s a tough one to pitch to,’ Wedge said.

Morales went 3-for-5 with two homers. Miller went 3-for-5 with four RBI and Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders added two hits each.

“There’s a lot of encouraging things for us offensively now,” Wedge said. “That’s the positive you take out of it.”

More in Sports

Silvertips set to host pair of East Division powerhouses

Brandon and Swift Current make rare appearances in Everett this weekend.

‘Fear’ drives UWs Carter III back to the gym every single day

The freshman PG tries to get in 500 shots a day on his quest to be a success on the floor and in life.

Everett’s Stephan Erosa, left, competes against Arlington Brantly StupeyThursday night at Arlington High School in Arlington on January 18, 2018. The Eagles won 37-25.(Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Arlington wrestlers scrap to 37-25 win over Everett

Aggressive lineup moves pay off for the Eagles in a big Wesco 3A North win over the Seagulls.

Additions of Murray, Sharp give Silvertips depth

After a ‘crazy busy’ week upon being traded to Everett, the new duo is finally settling in.

Coupeville boys basketball celebrating 101st anniversary Friday

The Coupeville High School boys basketball program is celebrating its… Continue reading

POLL RESULTS: Edgar Martinez is getting in the Hall of Fame

Fifty-nine percent of responders believe the Seattle Mariners legend will be elected this year.

Lakewood’s Perry earns WIAA Athlete of the Week honors

Lakewood girls basketball star Jelly Perry earned Athlete of the Week honors… Continue reading

Huskies fall to Utah 70-62 for 2nd straight Pac-12 loss

Washington shoots just 38.5 percent from the field in defeat.

No. 13 Gonzaga falls to rival Saint Mary’s 74-71

Jock Landale scores 26 points as the Gaels take sole possession of first place in the WCC.

Most Read