The Red Sox fell behind early, but ultimately prevailed against the Mariners for their second straight win on Thursday night. Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 12-6 to improve to 16-22 on the season.
Rich Hill made his seventh start of the year for the Sox, but really served as more of an opener. The veteran left-hander allowed four earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with two strikeouts over just two innings of work.
All four runs Hill surrendered on Thursday came in the top half of the second. He yielded a leadoff double to Eugenio Suarez and one-out single to Abraham Toro before Dylan Moore cranked a three-run home run over the Green Monster. Adam Frazier then reached base via a two-out walk and scored all the way from first on an RBI double off the bat of Ty France. That gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead before Hill was able to get through his second and final inning.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 56 (35 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw may not have been able to provide Boston with length, but it had a fresh bullpen to work with following Nick Pivetta’s complete game two-hitter the night prior.
Before the Red Sox bullpen was called into action, the lineup got things going against Mariners rookie starter George Kirby in their half of the second. Alex Verdugo broke out of of a prolonged slump with a leadoff single. Trevor Story followed by crushing a towering two-run home run 402 feet to dead center field to cut the deficit in half at 4-2.
An inning later, Story struck again with a runner on base ahead of him. Following a leadoff single from J.D. Martinez, Story clubbed his second two-run blast of the game — a 403-foot shot down the left field line — to knot things up at four runs apiece.
To that point, Tanner Houck had already received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in relief of Hill and worked a 1-2-3 third inning. The right-hander picked up where he left off in the fourth by retiring nine of the next 11 Mariners he faced while keeping that 4-4 tie intact going into the middle of the sixth.
Seattle was ready to take Kirby out of the game in favor of veteran reliever Sergio Romo, but the rookie had to face at least one batter since he had already taken the mound. That one batter he did face, Verdugo, led the bottom of the sixth off with a sharply-hit double. Romo was then greeted by Story, who managed to plate Verdugo on a single back up the middle that was accompanied by a fielding error. After taking their first lead of the night at 5-4, Story stole third base and scored from third on an RBI double from Jackie Bradley Jr.
John Schreiber took over for Houck following his four impressive frames in the seventh and retired the side in order. In the bottom of the seventh, the Sox padded their lead as Bobby Dalbec, Christian Vazquez, and Bradley Jr. were either walked or hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Mariners got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth when Hirokazu Sawamura loaded the bases with one out and Matt Strahm walked one of those runners in before ending the inning.
A half-inning later, Martinez and Bogaerts reached on back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and second for Story, who capped off his memorable night by depositing a 358-foot three-run home run into the Monster seats.
Story’s third big fly of the game and fifth of the season gave Boston a commanding 12-5 lead. Ryan Brasier gave one of those runs back on a Julio Rodriguez solo shot in the top of the ninth, but was able to slam the door on Seattle to secure a 12-6 victory.
Some notes from this win:
Trevor Story went 4-for-4 with three homers, seven RBIs, five runs scored, one walk, and one stolen base. It was the second three-home run game of the 29-year-old’s career and undoubtedly his best all-around performance with the Red Sox so far this season.
From MLB Stats, Story is the first second baseman in major-league history to hit three home runs and steal a base in the same game.
J.D. Martinez went 4-for-5 with three runs scored while Alex Verdugo went 3-for-5 with four runs scored.
Rafael Devers also extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games as part of a 1-for-5 night at the plate.
Alex Cora won his 300th game as Red Sox manager on Thursday.
Next up: Ray vs. Wacha
The Red Sox are expected to activate right-hander Michael Wacha from the 15-day injured list and have him start against the Mariners on Friday night opposite reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray.
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Trevor Story: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)