Boston Red Sox

Lackey extends streak; homers pace Sox, 6-4


Lackey extends streak; homers pace Sox, 6-4

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

SEATTLE It might be difficult to fathom, but John Lackey is riding a six-game winning streak thats shot him all the way up to a team-high 11 wins on the season.

Both Lackey and left-handed ace Jon Lester hold 11 wins for the Sox this season, but theyve arrived on equal footing by enduring much different routes.

It wasnt easy and it certainly wasnt baseball aesthetics 101, but Lackey trudged through six plus innings and battled until his offense scrambled to secure a 6-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

The big blow was a majestic Josh Reddick homer into the right field faade in the top of the sixth inning that bestowed the Sox with their first lead of the night, and also snapped Reddick out of a 1-for-14 funk at the plate. With a two-run lead in hand, Lackey and a team of Sox relievers gutted out the last three innings to preserve a much-needed victory for an AL East team thats again streaking in August.

Lackey was knocked around for four runs and 10 hits in his six plus frames, but he also executed a couple of really important things when it comes to winning. Lackeys bend-but-dont-break pitching style allowed the Sox to hang around in the game, and he was highly effective over his final couple of frames once he was handed the lead.

Lackey left a jam in the top of the seventh, but the combination of Franklin Morales and Daniel Bard quieted the Mariners right down not exactly a great baseball achievement when the Ms entered the game hitting .229 as a team.

It looked early on like this would be the night where things went bad again for Lackey after a nice little ride during the last six weeks. The Ms offense singled Lackey to death in the first two frames and actually plated three runs while stringing together six hits and two walks before six outs were recorded.

But Seattle never managed to get the one big break to force things wide open, and then couldnt touch a Sox bullpen thats again looking rested and relaxed after a brief bout with pitching fatigue.

Instead the Sox chipped away with solo homers by David Ortiz in the second inning and Jed Lowrie batting left-handed in the fifth frame that kept them within a single run of the Mariners. Reddicks home run finally pushed the Sox ahead, and it all ended with Jonathan Papelbon cutting the Ms down for his 27th save of the season.

Player of the Game: Josh Reddick snapped out of a 1-for-14 mini-funk by jumping all over a Blake Beavan fastball in the top of the sixth inning and launching it into the right field scoreboard faade under the Hit it Here Caf. Reddicks two-run blast gave the Sox their first and only lead of the night, which they managed to protect through the final three innings for the victory. Reddicks 25 RBI on the season place him among the top five rookie producers in the AL this season. On a day when J.D. Drew took live batting practice, Reddick made sure to show up big in a game his team looked destined to lose.

Honorable Mention: Mike Carp is probably the punch line to more than a few jokes around baseball as the cleanup hitter for the Seattle Mariners, but he did everything possible to deliver the Ms a victory. He came through with run-scoring hits in the first and fourth innings, and singled again in the seventh for his third hit of the night while his Ms teammates attempted one last rally.

The Goat: Justin Smoak the young slugger stranded five Mariners runners in his first two at bats when the Ms had a teetering John Lackey on the ropes, but failed to step on the Sox righty when his team had him reeling on the mound. Smoak then added injury to the insult when a Jarrod Saltalamacchia one-bounce hot shot kicked up and hit him in the left side of his face and fractured his nose. Smoak had to leave the game after taking the ball in the face, and with no judgment on his individual toughness at all once again proved the monumental toughness chasm between baseball players and hockey players when it comes to playing through paininjuries.

Turning Point: The Seattle Mariners stranded six runners in the first three innings when John Lackey was hemorrhaging base runners on the mound, and could never separate from a Red Sox team that just kept hanging around. The Sox never had the lead, but they never let Seattle separate either. Eventually Josh Reddick stung the Mariners pitching staff with the two-run blast, and the Ms had nobody to blame but themselves for missing multiple chances for an early round knockout against Lackey and his ballclub. Seattle left a whopping 11 guys on base in the loss.

By the Numbers: 36-22 with the road win against the Mariners, the Red Sox tied the Philadelphia Phillies for the best road record in Major League Baseball this season with a .621 winning percentage.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez


Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with the addition of Nunez

BOSTON -- The cherub stays.

There's no way Rafael Devers is headed back to Triple-A before the homestand starts Friday, right, Dave Dombrowski? Not for the newly acquired Eduardo Nunez, who's a fine player but has nowhere near the offensive upside of Devers, the 20-year-old phenom you just rushed to the big leagues.


You probably weren't really considering sending Devers straight back, were you now, Dave? Sometime in the 3 o'clock hour Eastern time on Wednesday morning (after a 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Mariners), you did tell reporters in Seattle that you would need to sit down with manager John Farrell to figure out the plan at third base from here.

Likely, you're just making sure your ducks are in a row. That Nunez himself has a chance to shake hands with you, and gets to hear straight from you what he'll be doing.

That's fair. But let's be doubly sure we're on the same page.

As long as something else doesn't happen between now and then -- no other trades for third basemen, no injuries -- Devers must at least platoon at third unless he shows he can't handle it. Nunez bats right, Devers left.

But it wouldn't be crazy to let Devers have the bulk of the playing time, either, and use Nunez to spell Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Or simply have him come off the bench.

Devers didn't look overmatched in his very first big-league game Tuesday night. On the contrary, he was patient at the plate, drawing the walk that started a sixth-inning rally against Felix Hernandez. (King Felix is quite the draw for a someone making his major-league debut, we should note.) He looked like a happy kid, and sounded like one after the game.

"For me it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there," Devers told reporters through translator Daveson Perez. "That's what I was trying to do and I think I did that."

Devers finished 0-for-4 with a pair of walks, one strikeout and a run scored. He didn't make any errors and looked smooth and quick, his athleticism shining through some baby fat.

Dombrowski spoke during the last homestand about the lack of league-norm production at third base. Nunez can bring that, if nothing more. He is, at a position that's had no certainty, some form of certainty. A stable piece that can help out around the infield and has valuable versatility.

But Nunez is not what the Sox need most: A bopper.

Devers has pop. The chances he blossoms this year are not in his favor because he is the youngest player in the majors. But it would be a most strange and almost cruel choice to call the kid up for two days and then decide you don't need him because of Nunez, who entered Tuesday with the same OPS as Mitch Moreland (.745).

If you're the glass-is-half-full-type, the first four-game losing streak of the season for the Red Sox was numbed by a third-base situation that's been upgraded twofold. Let's assume the Sox know how to best deploy the two from here -- in the big leagues together, until shown a reason to change course.

Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5


Segura's single in 13th rallies Mariners past Red Sox, 6-5

SEATTLE -- Guillermo Heredia provided the early punch with a home run, then turned an extra 90 feet into the winning run for the Seattle Mariners some four hours later.

Heredia went from first to third on a wild pitch and then came home when Jean Segura rolled an RBI single up the middle with two outs in the 13th inning to cap a two-run rally and give the Mariners a 6-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

"In my opinion, the biggest play in the game was him going from first to third on the wild pitch, keeping his up head up there and taking the extra base, which allowed him to score the winning run," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "A lot of crazy plays in that game, but it says a lot about the effort of our ballclub."

Mitch Haniger walked with one out in the 13th off Doug Fister (0-5), pitching his third inning, and was forced at second on Ben Gamel's fielder's choice. Heredia, who had a three-run homer in the second, singled Gamel to third. Gamel scored on a wild pitch to tie it, with Heredia advancing all the way to third. Mike Zunino then walked. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts fielded Segura's roller behind second, but his off-balance throw was way late.

"Obviously, I didn't know right away. I was aggressive on the play," Heredia said through a translator. "Once I looked back at the catcher, he was a little careless on it, I took off for third."

The Red Sox, who stranded two runners in the eighth, ninth and 11th innings, had taken a 5-4 lead in the top half when Sandy Leon singled home Hanley Ramirez with two outs off Tony Zych (5-2).

"Our bullpen did a great job of extending it, we had opportunities throughout, we fight back from 3-0, unfortunately the ending is what it is," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It's a tough loss, particularly the way we've scuffled offensively for a period of time now."

Zunino opened the seventh inning with his 15th home run to bring Seattle even at 4-4.

The Red Sox capitalized on a sudden loss of command by starter Felix Hernandez for three runs in the sixth to erase a 3-1 deficit.

Highly touted prospect Rafael Devers, making his debut, walked to open the inning and Andrew Benintendi drew a one-out walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Dustin Pedroia followed with a two-run double. Pedroia advanced on Ramirez's flyout and came home on Bradley Jr.'s single.

Heredia's three-run homer off starter Drew Pomeranz staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead in the second.

Ramirez cut it to 3-1 in the fourth with 17th home run, a two-out shot to left.

"We knew it was going to be a tight game. It got a little longer than we expected, but we'll take it," Servais said.

The 20-year-old Devers, who began the season at Double-A and then was called up Monday after just nine games at Triple-A Pawtucket, flied out to center in his first at-bat, walked, hit into a double play in the seventh, and walked again in the ninth. He struck out in the 11th to end the inning with the go-ahead run at third and flied out to center to end the 13th. He finished 0 for 4 with two walks.

"In the first inning I was very nervous, but thank God I was able to get my feet under me," Devers said through a translator. "For me, it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there, that's what I was trying to do and I think I did that. I'm not happy that we lost, but I'm happy for my first big-league game.


Boston acquired INF-OF Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league RHPs Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos, GM Dave Dombrowski announced mid-game. Nunez, 30, hit .308 with 20 doubles, four home runs, and 31 RBI in 76 games for the Giants this season.


Dombrowski also announced several moves following the game. LHP Luis Ysla, currently at Double-A Portland, was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. RHP Blaine Boyer is expected to be activated off the 10-day DL (right elbow strain) on Wednesday. ... RHP Ben Taylor is scheduled to be placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Sunday.


Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly, on the 10-day DL (left hamstring strain) is getting closer to returning. "That was an encouraging bullpen by Joe today, 25 pitches, 80 to 85 percent," manager John Farrell said. "His next bullpen will be on Friday when we get back home, so he's making pretty good progress." Kelly likely will need at one least rehab outing before returning, Farrell said.

Mariners: CF Jarrod Dyson, who sustained a hyperextended toe when crashing into the wall Saturday, missed his third straight game, but was improving.


Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.58) closes out the three-game series Wednesday afternoon. Sale has gone at least six innings in all but one of his 20 starts. He has not allowed an earned run in three of his last four starts. Sale leads the AL with 200 strikeouts.

Mariners: RHP Andrew Moore (1-2, 5.70) has not won in four starts since a victory in his debut on June 22. Moore, the Mariners' second-round pick in 2015, has allowed nine home runs in 30 innings.