|Undefeated Mirage Gives Way to Reality of Flawed Patriots Team in OT Loss to Broncos||Gronkowski Avoids Major Injury||Connelly’s Top Ten: Harper Drop, Officials Desperate to be Liked, Run Out Clock||There’s Hope for a Hanley Trade|
Seattle was staring down their worst losing streak ever in Sunday’s series finale, but Boston was prepared to make it happen 12-8, despite Seattle’s best efforts. The Ms didn’t waste any time, either. After a hit-by-pitch, Miguel Olivo homered deep to left to put Seattle on the board 2-0. They nearly did more damage, but Justin Smoak was easily thrown out at the plate trying to score on Mike Carp’s single.
But Boston easily struck back in their first chance at the plate. Some good hitting put a run on the board, then Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run bomb over the Green Monster to take a 3-2 lead. Boston score twice more to take a 5-2 lead after just one inning of work.
Things calmed down after that, though Carl Crawford, in another display of how near-completely his base-running ability has degraded, was caught stealing for the fifth time in 15 attempts on the season in the 3rd, but was still safe on an error on Brendan Ryan, failing to secure the ball. Still, the inning ended moments later without incident.
Seattle got going again in the 5th, putting runners on the corners with one out. Tim Wakefield pulled the bluff to third move that never works, and caught Ichiro Suzuki at first in a rundown anyway. That was big, since Brendan Ryan doubling later in the at-bat to drive in another run.
In the bottom of the 5th, Mariners starter Michael Pineda found himself in some one-out trouble, and was removed after just 4.1 innings. Aaron Laffey then gave up four straight hits and left without recording an out. The end result of all that carnage was another five runs and a 10-3 lead. Another quick run in the 6th made it 11-3.
Before that happened, though, Wakefield ended the top half of the 6th with a strikeout of Mike Carp. It seemed ordinary, but it was the 2000th strikeout for Wakefield with the Red Sox. However, Wakefield was about out of steam. After a fly-out to start the 7th, Wakefield gave up three straight singles, then gave up a grand slam over the Green Monster to Brendan Ryan, ending his day at 6.1 innings and seven earned runs.
More singles gave Boston another run in the 7th, and though Seattle added one in the 9th, Alfredo Aceves gave Boston 2.2 shutdown innings of work to finish Seattle off.
Boston’s starting lineup delivered a whopping 17 hits, and six of the starters had at least two hits at that. Only Marco Scutaro failed to get a hit.
Wakefield isn’t alway consistent with his pitching. On this day, he let the Mariners get off to a quick start, and gave them new life in the form of a grand slam.
“We got to him before he got into a rhythm and got comfortable, and we got to him again later.” – Terry Francona on Boston’s performance against starter Michael Pineda
W: Tim Wakefield (6-3)
L: Michael Pineda (8-7)