The Boston Red Sox split their second straight four game set, this time with the Seattle Mariners. It was a back and forth series that saw Boston’s lineup cool off considerably and rely heavily on their pitching staff. For the most part, the staff came through and helped lead the team to a pair of victories, and Boston looks set to hold onto the top spot in the AL East throughout the end of April.
The series certainly had an interesting opening game. The Red Sox picked up a 2-0 lead, and Nick Pivetta was cruising on the mound. Despite not allowing any hits through 5 2/3 innings, Pivetta’s control abandoned him in the sixth inning as he gave up two straight walks with two outs, and his first hit allowed was a costly two run double to Ty France. Kike Hernandez would score on a wild pitch in the 7th, but Adam Ottavino coughed up the lead in the 8th, and the game would go to extras. Darwinzon Hernandez came on for the 10th inning, and proceeded to give up four runs, including a three run homer to Mitch Haniger which would ice the game, making the final score 7-3.
Friday’s game was a much better showing from the bullpen. Martin Perez struggled with his control in this one, and only lasted 3 2/3 innings. Luckily, the lineup gave Perez some run support, with Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez hitting a pair of dingers early on. The bullpen held down the fort, with Hirokazu Sawamura and Garrett Whitlock in particular doing a spectacular job of eating up the middle innings of this game. The Sox built a 6-2 lead heading into the ninth, and while Matt Barnes made things interesting by giving up a three run homer to Kyle Seager, Boston would hold on and pull out a 6-5 victory.
The momentum wouldn’t carry over to Saturday, resulting in an 8-2 loss for Boston. Nathan Eovaldi had his worst start of the season, as he struggled to sit down batters, and ended up giving up four runs and taking the loss. Chris Flexen pitched seven strong innings for the Mariners, giving up only one run. Marwin Gonzalez and Rafael Devers would drive in the Sox only two runs, as the lineup had no answers for Seattle’s pitchers. It was an ugly day of baseball in all areas of the game for Boston, and they went into today’s afternoon game looking to tie the series.
Luckily for the Red Sox, they would pick up a strange victory over the Mariners to force yet another split series. Nick Margevicius was awful for Seattle, as he only lasted a third of an inning, giving up four runs and four walks in a very short performance. This would lead to a quick 4-1 lead for the Red Sox after Eduardo Rodriguez gave up a run himself in the opening frame. The game dragged on the rest of the way through, as Seattle never really seemed like they were going to make a push back into the contest. Rodriguez was solid through seven innings, picking up the win, and Ottavino and Barnes held down the eighth and ninth innings respectively, leading the Red Sox to a relatively uncontested 5-3 victory.
This was an interesting series for Boston, as they managed to win two games despite the bats not really showing up for the most part. The Mariners basically gifted them a win today, as three of the five runs scored came off walks or a hit by pitch. Their struggles led to them relying more heavily on their pitchers, and they came through in most instances. There were some lackluster performances, such as Perez, Eovaldi, and Hernandez, but for the most part they were very good.
Boston will head up to New York next for a quick two game set with the NL East leading Mets. This will be a quick series, and the bats will need to make the trip if they want to have a shot to pull out a victory or two against the revamped Mets. They will get an off day tomorrow, before kicking things off on Tuesday night.
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