SEATTLE -- The Red Sox did what not many teams have done this season in delivering Mariners ace James Paxton an early knockout.Down, 3-0, after two innings, the Sox stormed back for six against the lefty in the top of the third, but still wound up taking a 7-6 loss
SEATTLE -- The Red Sox did what not many teams have done this season in delivering Mariners ace James Paxton an early knockout.
Down, 3-0, after two innings, the Sox stormed back for six against the lefty in the top of the third, but still wound up taking a 7-6 loss on Friday night at Safeco Field.
In that stunning, six-run third, it was Xander Bogaerts who came up with the biggest hit, a three-run homer to right-center that snapped a 3-3 tie.
It was the second homer in as many nights for Bogaerts, and his 11th of the season, topping his total from 2017.
"It feels good," said Bogaerts. "I put some runs up on the board. We were losing at that point. Guys were getting going, getting some base hits, good walks, quality at-bats. The guy pitching on their side was pretty good, and is a pretty good pitcher, and we continued to battle until we ran him out."
The rally started innocently enough when Jackie Bradley Jr. opened the frame by lacing a single to right. With one out, Mookie Betts smacked one in the hole at shortstop for an infield hit, and a throwing error by Jean Segura that allowed Bradley to scoot all the way to third.
Brock Holt's seeing-eye single -- which had a hit probability of just 26 percent according to Statcast™ -- slimmed Seattle's lead to 3-1. J.D. Martinez followed with a screaming liner to right that went off the glove of right fielder Mitch Haniger (originally called an error and then changed to a hit) to load the bases.
Then, Boston got a big break, as Mitch Moreland spun a broken-bat grounder to third that went under the glove of Kyle Seager and into short left, allowing two runs to score to tie the game.
Up came Bogaerts, who hammered a 3-1 fastball over the wall in right-center. Two batters later, Paxton was pulled from the game in what was easily his shortest outing (2 1/3 innings, 6 H, 5 ER) of the season.
"I can't say enough about the job our offense did putting up those runs against one of the tougher pitchers in the league this year," said Red Sox righty Rick Porcello. "But myself and us as a pitching staff as a whole, we've got to do a better job of keeping runs off the board. It's tough to win games giving up seven."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.