Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, center, celebrates his fifth-inning home run with Enrique Hernandez during a game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday in Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, center, celebrates his fifth-inning home run with Enrique Hernandez during a game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday in Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Sturggling Mariners can’t hold on to early lead, fall to Boston

Seattle blows a five-run lead and loses for the 18th time in its past 24 games.

  • By KEN POWTAK Associated Press
  • Saturday, May 21, 2022 5:48pm
  • SportsMariners

By Ken Powtak / Associated Press

BOSTON — Rafael Devers hit two homers, Christian Vázquez had a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and Boston’s bullpen held the Seattle Mariners scoreless for six innings, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory on Saturday.

Devers drove in three runs and had three hits for the Red Sox, who posted their season-high fourth straight win.

“It’s getting there,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We’re feeling good about ourselves.”

Rookie Julio Rodríguez had three hits for Seattle, which has dropped five of six and 18 of its last 24.

Franchy Cordero tripled off Drew Steckenrider (0-2) when the ball took a crazy carom off the Green Monster away from center fielder Rodríguez.

“Everybody was excited for that moment of the game,” Devers said through a translator.

When Cordero got up after his headfirst slide into third, he waved both hands in the air toward his dugout. Vázquez then followed with his single off the left-field wall.

“That’s Fenway Park,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of the carom. “It’s going to bounce all over the place. It doesn’t work perfectly. It happens.”

John Schreiber (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth for the victory and Matt Barnes got the final three outs for his second save, with center fielder Kiké Hernández making a nice over-the-shoulder catch on Ty France’s drive to end it.

“Please catch it,” Barnes said he was thinking as he watched the final out. “We tried to go bottom of the zone and maybe bounce it on the plate. Ty France’s a really good hitter and is swinging the bat really well. I was trying to make a quality pitch and I think I left it up.”

After both teams put up five runs in the first five innings, it became a battle of effective bullpens.

“That one felt really good,” said Barnes, who struggled earlier this season.

The Red Sox erased a 5-0 deficit by scoring a run in the third on Devers’ homer over Boston’s bullpen and four in the fifth when they chased starter Chris Flexen.

Devers homered into the first row of seats above the Green Monster after Hernández opened the fifth with a double. Bobby Dalbec had an RBI single off reliever Sergio Romo before Trevor Story’s sacrifice fly tied it.

The Mariners had jumped on Boston starter Garrett Whitlock for four runs and six hits in the top of the first. Rodríguez, Eugenio Suárez and Mike Ford each had an RBI single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: 2B Abraham Toro left the game with a sprained left shoulder. “We’ll know more (Sunday),” Servais said. “We’ll get him checked out at home.”

FOLLOW-UP STORY

After hitting three homers and driving in seven runs in the series opener and hitting a grand slam Friday night, Story went 0 for 3 with the sac fly.

WATCH THE WALL

Mariners RF Dylan Moore made a nice running catch on Hernández’s fly in the sixth, gliding toward a side wall before reaching over as his left side crashed into it.

FOR STARTERS

Whitlock lasted just three innings, giving up career highs with five runs and 10 hits, raising his ERA from 2.43 to 3.58. His previous worsts were three runs and just four hits.

“He got hit hard today,” Cora said. “We had to figure out how we could get 27 (outs).”

Flexen allowed five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings.

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