Sox flex muscles, down Phils, 7-5

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Sox flex muscles, down Phils, 7-5

PHILADLEPHIA -- Citizen's Bank Park has the well-earned reputation of being one of the game's best hitting environments, a point illustrated once more Saturday night.

The Red Sox hammered out six extra-base hits, including four homers, and held off the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5.

The Phillies outhit the Sox 15-11, but stranded plenty of scoring opportunities. From the fifth inning through the eighth, the Phils had at least two hits in every inning and yet came away with just one run in that span.

The Sox got solo homers from Mike Aviles, Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a two-run shot from David Ortiz. Saltalamacchia, a night after getting stiches for a laceration of his left ear, had a single, homer and double in four at-bats.

Three Boston relievers limited the Phillies to a single run over the final three innings with Alfredo Aceves getting the last four outs for his ninth save.

Ryan Sweeney helped bail the pitching staff out in the seventh when he went a long way to the warning track in right-center to make a spectacular diving catch off Carlos Ruiz, saving two runs in the process.

Jon Lester didn't allow a hit the first time through the Phillies order, but then got knocked around a little. In one stretch from the third inning through the fifth, they were 6-for-10, with the big blow coming on a three-run homer from Freddy Galvis.

Lester came out after six, having thrown just 90 pitches as Valentine went to his bullpen.

STAR OF THE GAME: Ryan Sweeney
Sweeney had only one hit -- a double -- as part of the 11-hit attack, but he turned in the play of the game with a spectacular diving catch in the seventh inning to take away what would have been a two-run double by Carlos Ruiz.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
One night removed from a trip to the hospital for stitches in his ear, the catcher returned to the lineup with a vengeance, collecting three hits -- a homer, single and double -- while knocking in a run and scoring two.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Joe Blanton
Getting rocked for seven runs on nine hits is bad enough, but Blanton added to his own troubles by committing not one but two errors fielding his position.

TURNING POINT: The Phils had runners at second and third and one out, trailnig by three, when Rich Hill came in to face Juan Pierre. He got Pierre on a harmless grounder to third that froze the runners.

BY THE NUMBERS: Jon Lester has made four career starts at Citizen's Bank Park and the Red Sox are a perfect 4-0 in those games.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I'm good for tomorrow, plus, I'm due to hit a bomb.'' Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in a late night text message Friday from the hospital to manager Bobby Valentine.

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six


After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

MARINERS
Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
---
Rob Whalen RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
---
Brian Johnson LHP 

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

Rodriguez continues strong stretch as Red Sox blank Seattle, 3-0

BOSTON -- The Red Sox scored runs in bunches in tallying four consecutive victories. They leaned on pitching and defense to earn their latest.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners for their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third win in a row for Rodriguez (4-1), who gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

"I just go out there and pitch," Rodriguez said. "I'm never really thinking about numbers. I just go out there and throw my pitches and do the best I can do."

That effort is producing one of the best stretches of his three-year career.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span. He hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings and only 11 runs in his last 49 1/3 innings. His ERA is just 2.01 over that same period.

"He was amazing," Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "Put zeroes on the board all night long. And he made the big pitch when he needed to."

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Manager John Farrell said his 24-year-old pitcher is in a "very good place" right now.

"He was powerful tonight," he said. "It's just a matter of his abilities coming together. This has always been an extremely talented young guy. We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively."

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs.

"The whole night obviously wasn't consistent," he said.

Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help defensively. Bradley had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBIs in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

MISSING: OFFENSE

Mariners manager Scott Servais said they are doing everything they can to find production from an offense that has gone missing.

"Offensively, we struggled to put innings together. That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so, we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason," he said. "Guys are frustrated by it, we all are. We know we're better than that, offensively. It's not happening right now."

Seattle was held scoreless for the fourth time this season.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his first major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.