After finally getting over the .500 hump on Friday, the Red Sox took their fourth straight contest on Saturday afternoon, improving to 21-19 with a 9-5 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Making his eighth start of the season for Boston in this one was Rick Porcello, who entred Saturday unbeaten in his last four outings.
Pitching into the seventh inning on Saturday, Porcello extended that run, as he surrendered four runs, all earned, on five hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts on the day.
All four of those Mariners runs and all five of those hits came around to score in the first, with Porcello getting downright bombarded, really.
Back-to-back RBI doubles from Dan Vogelbach and Domingo Santana, followed by a two-run shot off the bat of veteran slugger Jay Bruce put Porcello in a fairly deep hole early, but the righty turned things around.
In fact, from the beginning of the second all the way to the two out point in the top half of the seventh, Porcello did not yield a single hit, as he retired 17 of the final 19 Seattle hitters he faced.
A two out walk of Shed Long in that seventh inning would wind up being how the New Jersey native’s up and down afternoon came to a close.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 107 (76 strikes), Porcello relied on his four-seam fastball 38% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, as he induced six swings and misses and topped out at 92.5 MPH with the pitch.
Improving to 3-3 on the year, Porcello will look to extend his unbeaten run in his next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park next weekend.
In relief of Porcello, Brandon Workman came on with a five-run lead to protect and one out to get with a runner on in the seventh.
Making his 20th appearance of the season, the righty worked his way around walking the first hitter he faced by getting JP Crawford to ground out to first and retire the side.
From there, Ryan Brasier needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth frame of work before Colten Brewer served up a solo home run to Omar Narvaez in the ninth in an otherwise clean inning, thus securing the 9-5 win for his club.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against veteran right-hander Felix Hernandez for Seattle, and for the second time in less than 24 hours, a Mariners starting pitcher was charged with seven runs.
The scoring for Boston opened in the second, when already faced with an early four-run deficit, Mitch Moreland put the Red Sox on the board with his 12th home run of the year and second of the series, a 384 foot solo shot to right field. 4-1 Mariners.
Just an inning later, as they seem to be making a habit of doing lately, the Sox bats broke out for eight runs, and it all started with Mookie Betts drawing a one out walk off of Hernandez.
Following consecutive singles from JD Martinez and Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers chipped in with RBI base hits of their own, driving in the first three hitters to reach base in the third to tie this thing up at four runs a piece.
That tie would not last long, however. Not with Michael Chavis drawing another walk to reload the bases and end the day for Hernandez after only recording seven outs.
Enter ex-Red Sox lefty Reonis Elias for Seattle, who was greeted immediately by a Jackie Bradley Jr. RBI single up the middle to plate Bogaerts and Devers and put the Red Sox ahead for the first time.
A few moments after that commotion, Sandy Leon, manning the ninth spot in Boston’s lineup, essentially delivered the finishing blow in this one, taking Elias deep over the Monster for a three-run dinger.
Leon’s first big fly of the season, registering at a nice 369 feet and 95.5 MPH off the bat, put the Sox ahead 9-4, and they would not have to look back in this eventual four-run victory.
Some notes from this win:
The Red Sox drew 11 walks on Saturday, with each starter one through nine accounting for at least one. According to @RedSoxStats on Twitter, that’s the first time that’s happened in the majors since 2010.
Felix Hernandez became the sixth-youngest and 36th overall pitcher in major league history to record 2,500 career strikeouts.
With another three-hit performance on Saturday, Rafael Devers has lifted his on-base percentage up to .402, currently second best on the team behind only Mookie Betts.
12 of Mitch Moreland’s 27 hits this season have gone for home runs. His slugging percentage currently stands at .566 on the year.
The Red Sox are 15-6 in their last 21 games.
Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to complete the three-game sweep of the Mariners on Mother’s Day.
Hector Velazquez will be getting the ball for Boston, as announced by Sox manager Alex Cora postgame Saturday.
As a starter this season, the Mexico native owns a 4.40 ERA over five outings and 14.1 innings of work.
Opposite Velazquez will be Mariners lefty Marco Gonzales, who surrendered four runs over six innings in a winning effort against the Red Sox back on Opening Day.
First pitch Sunday afternoon is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Both clubs will be donning pink caps and pink ribbons on their uniforms to support the fight against breast cancer.