The Seattle Mariners were in prime position to go up 2-0 in the series with Boston, but the Red Sox were saved in the ninth inning.
Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi made quick work of the Boston Red Sox. The visitors went down 1-2-3. However, in the home half, the M’s continued their hot hitting with lead-off hitter Mallex Smith’s first home run as a Mariner.
Domingo Santana responded two batter later in the bottom of the first with his third homer of the season. Mariners led 2-0 through one inning.
In the top of the second, the Red Sox responded with a Xander Bogaerts solo blast. 2-1 M’s.
In the bottom of the second, the Seattle Home Run Derby continued with catcher Omar Narvaez joining in to make it 3-1 Mariners.
It was a quiet third inning, before the Mariners continued to clobber the baseball in the bottom of the fourth. Ryon Healy got in on the action with an RBI Double to give the Mariners a larger lead, 4-1.
Narvaez moved to third on Healy’s double, which put him in great position for Dee Gordon. The second baseman’s sacrifice fly ball scored another M’s run, 5-1 in the fourth.
After Healy advanced to third on Gordon’s sacrifice, Mallex Smith put a charge into the baseball. However, he was robbed of extra bases, but did get the Mariners second straight sac fly. Mariners led 6-1 through fourth innings.
In the top of the fifth, Kikuchi got into his first bit of trouble. He allowed back-to-back base runners, which put runners at the corners for Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox center fielder couldn’t take full advantage, as he ground into a double play. Rafael Devers did score for Boston from third, 6-2 M’s.
After a quiet fifth for the Mariners, Boston wanted more. J.D. Martinez crushed a ball to straight away center field, M’s lead down to 6-3 in the top of the sixth.
Both teams did nothing in the seventh inning, but in the eighth inning, Christian Vazquez hit a home run to bring the Red Sox within 2, M’s lead 6-4.
Luckily, the Mariners kept the Red Sox from scoring again in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, they still had to play the ninth inning. The Red Sox managed to get two runners on, and they sent pinch hitter Mitch Moreland to the plate. He hit a three-run frozen rope over the right field fence. Boston had their first lead, 7-6, of the night.
The three-run shot cost Seattle the victory and Yusei Kikuchi his first career MLB win. The Mariners went quietly in the bottom of the ninth. Daniel Vogelbach was called on to pinch hit for Seattle, but he wasn’t as fortunate as Moreland.
The Mariners and Red Sox will battle Saturday (pre-game at 5 p.m.) and Sunday (coverage starts at 11 a.m.) to complete the four game series.