Red Sox bullpen picks up slack in win over M's

Red Sox bullpen picks up slack in win over M's
July 10, 2013, 3:15 am
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SEATTLE -- The way things have gone for the last few days -- and really, much of the season -- the last thing the Red Sox probably expected was for their bullpen to bail them out.
     
As it was, the pen was short a body after the Red Sox made a series of roster moves before the game to give them an extra outfielder.
     
And then, when rookie starter Allen Webster faltered and couldn't get out of the third inning, it had all the makings for a long night. The bullpen had already blown a four-run lead in the second game of the current road trip, then did a poor job keeping another game within reach on Monday night.
     
But unexpectedly, the bullpen responded with 6 2/3 innings of one-run relief, and with the bats roaring, the Red Sox staged an impressive 11-8 victory over the Seattle Mariners, snapping a three-game losing streak.
     
Five different relievers combined to throw 106 pitches the rest of the way.
     
After Alfredo Aceves got the final two outs in the third, Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey combined for four innings of scoreless relief.
     
"Those four innings in the middle of the game were kind of key to stabilizing things for us," said John Farrell. "We fell behind early and our offense bailed us out over the course of the night, but the four innings and pressing Breslow into the third inning of work, the furthest he's gone this year, but given where we were, with the available pitching, he did an outstanding job."
     
After Breslow allowed an infield single to start the fourth and a two-out single to Kendrys Morales two outs later, he battled out of a first-and-second jam and then retired the Mariners in order in the fifth.
     
Returning for a third inning, he retired the first batter he faced before allowing a one-out double to Brad Miller.
     
Bailey then took it from there, stranding Miller, then facing the minimum number of hitters in the seventh.
     
"This is a team all year where we've been picking each other up," said Bailey. "That's what we have to do now. We definitely have the talent (in the bullpen) to get it done. Tonight was an example of that. We have enough arms and enough experience to get through any bumps in the road and obviously losing (Andrew) Miller for the year is a big
loss, with that kind of stuff.
     
"We've got to step our game up and pick our game up."
     
Junichi Tazawa was nicked for a run in the eighth before closer Koji Uehara came in for a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his sixth save.
     
Bailey, meanwhile, continues to rebuild his season with strong work in the middle innings.
     
"I think as a reliever, I treat any inning like a closer inning," he said. "The game's on the line there (in the sixth) - tying run on base and you have to get a couple of outs. For me, it doesn't really matter the inning - outs are outs. That's the way I've always thought about it in my career.
     
"I've said from Day One, games are won and lost in sixth, seventh and eighth innings. It's not always the ninth. With the way Craig threw the ball in a tie game and I came in and did my job and got the ball to Taz and Koji. I feel like any situation, as a reliever, when you're winning, is a closing situation."