The Red Sox capped off a six-game homestand by scoring early and often in a series-clinching win over the Mariners on Wednesday night. Boston throttled Seattle by a final score of 12-3 at Fenway Park to improve to 24-20 on the season.
Nine of the 12 runs the Red Sox scored came within the first two innings of Wednesday’s contest. With Marco Gonzales starting for the Mariners, Justin Turner and Rob Refsnyder hit back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the first. Rafael Devers then opened the scoring by driving in Turner with a base hit of his own.
After Masataka Yoshida drew a five-pitch walk off Gonzales to fill the bases, newcomer Pablo Reyes came up to the plate with two outs and extended Boston’s lead to 3-0 by plating both Refsnyder and Devers on a two-run double off the Green Monster.
An inning later, Alex Verdugo reached base on a one-out double and Turner followed by crushing a 358-foot two-run shot over the Green Monster for his fifth home run of the season and his second in as many nights. Refsynder then drew a walk and advanced to third on a two-out single from Yoshida that was aided by a J.P. Crawford throwing error. Enrique Hernandez kept the line moving and knocked Gonzales out of the game by ripping an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
Following a Seattle pitching change that saw Trevor Gott take over for Gonzales, Reyes greeted the new reliever with his second two-run double of the night. Jarren Duran capped off the six-run frame by singling in Reyes, thus giving Boston a commanding 9-0 advantage.
Brayan Bello, meanwhile, was in the midst of his sixth start of the season for the Red Sox. Celebrating his 24th birthday on Wednesday, the right-hander surrendered just one earned run on three hits and five walks to go along with seven strikeouts over five innings of work.
Though command was somewhat of an issue, Bello took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before giving up a leadoff double to Cal Raleigh. He retired the next two batters he faced, but allowed Raleigh to score on a two-out single off the bat of Jose Caballero. In the fifth, he escaped a bases-loaded jam to end his night on a positive note.
Finishing with a career-high 107 pitches (67 strikes), Bello induced 19 swings-and-misses, tying Braves ace Spencer Strider for the most in baseball on Wednesday. The young righty picked up the winning decision to improve to 3-1 and also lowered his ERA on the year to 4.45.
Shortly after Bello faced his final batter, the Red Sox lineup got back to work in the latter half of the fifth. With Turner and Refsnyder both singling off Gabe Speier, Devers drove in the former with an RBI double. Yoshida then plated Refsnyder on an RBI groundout before Hernandez pushed across Devers with a sacrifice fly to make it a 12-1 game.
The Mariners got two of those runs back off Joely Rodriguez in the top of the sixth. Rodriguez, making his Red Sox debut after missing the first seven weeks of the season due to a right oblique strain, filled the bases on two walks and a single with one out. The lefty then got Julio Rodriguez to hit a groundball to Hernandez at shortstop.
In an attempt to start an inning-ending double play, Hernandez made an underhanded flip to get the force out at second, but Reyes’ throw to Turner at first bounced in the dirt and went out of play, allowing two runs to score. Rodriguez, though, was only charged with one of those runs as Seattle cut the deficit to nine at 12-3.
From there, Chris Martin, Ryan Sherriff, and Justin Garza combined for three scoreless innings of relief to put the finishing touches on a rather convincing victory.
All told, the Red Sox tallied 16 hits as a team to tie a season-high in that category. Turner led the way with three hits while Refsnyder, Devers, Hernandez, and Reyes each had two.
Verdugo exits with groin tightness
Verdugo, who went 1-for-2 out of the leadoff spot, came out of the game in the third inning and was replaced in right field by Raimel Tapia. The Red Sox later described Verdugo’s departure “as a precaution due to left groin tightness.” He is expected to be available when they next play.
Next up: A long road trip out west
Coming off a 2-4 home swing, the Red Sox will enjoy an off day on Thursday before embarking upon a three-city, nine-game West Coast road trip that includes stops in San Diego, Anaheim, and Phoenix.
After Thursday’s off day, the Sox will open a three-game weekend set against Xander Bogaerts’ Padres on Friday night. James Paxton is slated to get the start for Boston in the series opener. San Diego will counter with fellow left-hander Blake Snell.
First pitch from Petco Park on Friday is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Pablo Reyes: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)