BOSTON (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have scored in only two innings the past two days, and that’s still been enough to beat slumping Boston.
Dustin Ackley’s three-run homer capped a seven-run fourth inning that carried the Mariners to a 7-3 win Saturday, sending the Red Sox to their seventh straight loss.
After rallying against closer Koji Uehara for five runs in the ninth and a 5-3 victory Friday night, the Mariners broke loose just once again Saturday en route to their ninth win in 12 games.
“I don’t care how we get them as long as we get them,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “That was nice, to bounce back like that.”
The victory increased Seattle’s slim lead over Detroit for the second AL wild card.
Ackley was prepared for Brandon Workman after earning a 12-pitch walk his first time up.
“That first at-bat was huge, kind of seeing everything,” Ackley said. “He threw me everything he had. Changeup, curveball, cutter, fastball. That was a good at-bat, that first at-bat. It gave me a gauge for the rest of my at-bats against him.”
Trailing 3-0 in the fourth, the Mariners chased Workman (1-8) with their big inning.
Chris Denorfia had an RBI double, and Chris Taylor and Jesus Sucre added run-scoring singles before Ackley hooked a drive around the right-field foul pole. Workman’s wild pitch allowed Denorfia to score the tying run.
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz had his streak of reaching base four times in four straight games halted, but he did walk and was hit by a pitch before leaving with a bruised left elbow.
Dustin Pedroia had a double and two singles for the Red Sox.
Tom Wilhelmsen (2-2) struck out three in 1 1-3 innings of relief after starter Chris Young couldn’t make it out of the fourth.
Young gave up three runs on seven hits and five walks in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start since his second of the season when he lasted just three innings at Miami.
Workman lost his seventh consecutive start, getting tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings.
“He gets through the first three innings in good shape,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “In the fourth inning where things started to slip away from him, he still pitched ahead in the count, and unfortunately was unable to put a number of hitters away.”
Workman didn’t feel good from the start.
“The ball was up all day for me,” he said. “You can’t pitch like that. You can’t pitch everything belt high. That’s what I did today and they took advantage of it.”
Boston took a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first three innings.
David Ross had an RBI double for the Red Sox before getting ejected by first base umpire Vic Carapazza.
Seattle relievers came in leading the AL with a 2.43 ERA. They combined for 5 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. “Obviously, the goal is to go as deep into the game as possible and turn it over to them, but they’ve been unbelievable time and again when I turn it over to them,” Young said.
Mariners: The team hopes CF Michael Saunders (oblique strain) can resume his rehab assignment soon. It was halted Friday for a few days because he had flu-like symptoms.
Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was held out of the lineup after getting hit in the head by Felix Hernandez’s pitch Friday night. “Anytime you get hit in the head — like he did last night — he’s got to go through a protocol,” Farrell said. “He will today just to see if there’s any concussion symptoms.” Farrell also said RHP Joe Kelly is in line to make his next start. Kelly left Friday’s game after feeling slight discomfort in his shoulder.
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.57 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for Seattle in the series finale Sunday. He’s been hit hard by the Red Sox in three career starts, giving up 12 runs in 12 2-3 innings.
RHP Allen Webster (3-1, 4.73) gets the ball for Boston. He’s given up three or fewer earned runs in four of his five starts this season.
Both dugouts were warned after Boston’s Alex Wilson hit Robinson Cano on the backside below the hip with a pitch in the seventh. Ortiz was hit on the left elbow by Charlie Furbush’s fastball, and Yoenis Cespedes had to get out of the way of Danny Farquhar’s high fastball in the sixth.
The Red Sox announced during the game that they signed Cuban defector Rusney Castillo to a seven-year contract, beginning in 2014. The 27-year-old outfielder hit .324 in 2011 and .332 in 2012, his two best years in Cuba.
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