Seattle starting pitcher Marco Gonzales took the loss in Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Seattle starting pitcher Marco Gonzales took the loss in Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Seattle drops to 1-5 on its 10-game East Coast road trip

BOSTON — Advantage, Chris Sale.

There’s a reason the Boston Red Sox left-hander is among the best pitchers in the American League.

Seattle’s Marco Gonzales matched Sale pitch for pitch through four innings — even if Gonzales’ offerings traveled about 10 mph slower than Sale’s — but Sale kept doing Sale things and the Mariners’ offense had few answers in a 5-0 loss Sunday at Fenway Park.

“He’s a great pitcher,” Gonzales said of Sale. “I knew that I needed some good stuff today.”

Gonzales had “good stuff” early on. He blanked the Red Sox through the first four innings.

Gonzales and Sale combined to strike out 10 of 11 batters from the bottom of the third into the bottom of the fifth inning, including seven in a row at one point.

“His stuff looked really, really good,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Gonzales. “I know everybody is concerned about his workload, but he looked good out there.”

Ultimately, though, Gonzales couldn’t keep up with Sale.

Sale, who came into the game with the highest strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate (12.35) in the American League, fanned 13 batters. He pounded the Mariners with his array of fastballs, including one that traveled 101.2 mph, and wicked sliders that mostly hit 82 mph.

“He’s one of the premier guys in the league for a reason,” Servais said. “Chris Sale was on top of his game, no doubt. He had really great stuff today and everybody knows he’s a good competitor.”

The loss dropped the Mariners to 1-5 on their 10-game East Coast road trip and ended their June gauntlet, which included 15 games against the Angels, Astros, Yankees and Red Sox. Seattle went 7-8 against those three teams.

“I think we’re all a little disappointed. We had a couple of games in our reach that we didn’t finish,” Servais said in reference to the five-run leads the Mariners blew Wednesday against the Yankees and Friday against the Red Sox. “We didn’t have a great week. But we have to turn the page to Baltimore and get it going again and get everybody chipping in, the offense, the bullpen, starting pitching — everybody doing their job and we’ll be fine. We got a good club. We knew this would be a tough stretch. We would have liked to have won a few more, but it didn’t happen and you keep moving forward.”

Boston won the season series, 4-3, which could come into play for homefield advantage if the teams tied for the AL’s Wild Card spot.

Gonzales allowed just one hit in his first four innings before the Red Sox tagged him for three consecutive hits to open the bottom of the fifth, including Xander Bogaerts’ leadoff double.

Rafael Devers’ double scored Bogaerts and two sacrifice flies later the Mariners trailed, 3-0.

Gonzales had some emotion in his voice talking to reporters afterward.

“Their swings looked a little too good on those pitches,” he said, though he stopped short of accusing the Red Sox of stealing signs.

“I’m not going to make accusations or anything,” Gonzales said. “We’ve seen it from these guys time and time again, but up and down the lineup after the fifth inning I thought it looked different for sure.”

Seattle’s Mitch Haniger almost had a two-run home run the following frame, but right fielder Mookie Betts made a tough play at the warning track, 371 feet from home plate for the inning-ending out.

The Red Sox’s Mitch hit one much farther the next frame, with Mitch Moreland crushing Gonzales’ sinker 415 feet to straightaway center field for a two-run home run and a 5-0 Red Sox lead.

Gonzales’ final line: six innings, seven hits, five runs , six strikeouts.

Sale exited after seven innings, allowing four hits, one walk and the 13 strikeouts on just 93 pitches (71 strikes). He lowered his season ERA to 2.56.

“I think he was at his best and I think he’s really tough even when he’s not at his best,” said M’s designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who hit a rare triple, his first since 2016. “I think he’s one of the best in the league and he showed it today. Long legs and long arms and it feels like it’s right on top of you.”

Sale has owned the Mariners over his past three starts against them, dating back to 2016 when was with the Chicago White Sox. He’s now pitched 19 consecutive scoreless innings against them with 38 strikeouts. Sunday marked his sixth game with double-digit strikeouts against the Mariners in nine career starts.

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