The Red Sox put an end to their four-game losing streak with a series-evening victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night. Behind a four-run first inning, Boston defeated Seattle by a final score of 9-4 at Fenway Park to improve to 23-20 on the season.
With one of the most talented pitchers in baseball in Luis Castillo starting for the Mariners, the Sox drew first blood right away in the first inning. After leadoff man Alex Verdugo reached on a fielding error, Masataka Yoshida drove him in all the way from first with a line-drive triple off the center field wall. Justin Turner then gave Boston a 3-0 lead by depositing a 389-foot solo shot over the Green Monster for his fourth home run of the year.
Rafael Devers and Jarren Duran were both retired by Castillo, but Triston Casas extended the inning and his side’s lead by lacing a 373-foot solo homer into the right field seats. Casas’ sixth big fly of the season left his bat at 110.7 mph and provided Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta with a four-run cushion out of the gate.
Pivetta, making his eighth start of the year for Boston, cruised through the first three innings of Tuesday’s contest before running into some trouble in the top of the fourth. After giving up a two-out single to Eugenio Suarez and issuing a five-pitch walk to Cal Raleigh, the right-hander got Teoscar Hernandez to loft a 281-foot fly ball to center field.
Duran attempted to make a head-first diving catch, but he could not come up with the ball cleanly and it instead rolled all the way into the right-center field triangle. As a result, Hernandez plated both Suarez and Raleigh on a two-run triple to cut Seattle’s deficit in half. Moments after Hernandez reached third base safely, Taylor Trammell evened the score by crushing a game-tying, two-run home run to deep right field.
Though the Mariners had just come back to knot things up at four runs apiece, the stalemate did not last particularly long. That being the case because the Verdugo-Yoshida combination struck again in the latter half of the the fifth. The pair hit back-to-back doubles off Castillo to lead off the frame and put the Sox back up by one. Yoshida then advanced to third and scored on a wild pitch before Duran made up for his previous blunder by clubbing a first-pitch slider 417 feet over Boston’s bullpen to make it a three-run game at 7-4.
Castillo’s night came to a close after the fifth. The 30-year-old was charged with a season-high seven runs (five earned) on six hits. Pivetta, meanwhile, came back out for the top of the sixth and retired the final batter he faced in Hernandez.
Finishing with 98 pitches (58 strikes) Pivetta wound up allowing four earned runs on six hits and four walks to go along with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of work. The 30-year-old hurler picked up his third winning decision of the season, though his ERA did rise from 6.23 to 6.30.
In relief of Pivetta, Ryan Sherriff received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from manager Alex Cora. Making his club debut, the left-hander sat down all three batters he faced before making way for Josh Winckowski, who scattered two hits over 1 1/2 scoreless frames.
While Sherriff and Winckowski were putting up zeroes, the Sox tacked on a pair of insurance runs with a Duran RBI single in the seventh and a Yoshida run-scoring groundout in the eighth. Justin Garza — who, like Sherriff was making his club debut — then put the finishing touches on a 9-4 win by making quick work of the Mariners in a 1-2-3 ninth.
All told, the Red Sox had 11 hits as a team on Tuesday. Seven of the nine hitters recorded at least one hit while Verdugo (2-for-4), Yoshida (2-for-5), Turner (2-for-5), and Duran (2-for-4) all registered multi-hit games.
Next up: Bello vs. Gonzales in rubber match
The Red Sox will send right-hander Brayan Bello to the mound on Wednesday night as they look to close out the homestand by taking this series from the Mariners, who will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales.
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Justin Turner: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)