Mariners look to rebound vs. Red Sox
Finally above .500, the Boston Red Sox have come a long way since losing three of four to begin the season in Seattle. Unfortunately for the Mariners, they're a long way from those days as well.
While Boston seized its first winning record of the year with a 14-1 win on Friday, Seattle fell below .500 for the first time. The Mariners will look to rebound from the defeat when they play Game 2 of the three-game series in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
Having lost 10 of their last 12 games, the Mariners will send struggling right-hander Felix Hernandez (1-3, 5.20 ERA) to the mound. The Red Sox will counter with righty Rick Porcello (2-3, 5.11).
Boston's bats were relentless in the series opener. After scoring four times in the third inning -- three coming on a Mitch Moreland home run -- the Red Sox crossed the plate in each of the next five frames, including another four-spot in the bottom of the eighth. When the damage was done, Boston won for the ninth time in its last 11 games, outscoring opponents 80-30 in that stretch.
"We didn't play well, so we needed to get back to .500," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "We did it without playing our best baseball, I think. We still can do better. Now the goal is to get to five over .500, and so on and so on. That's how you do it. You can't start looking at 10 or 20. It's by stages. We'll try to get to five over .500 as soon as possible and then go from there."
On the other side, the Mariners have allowed opponents to score more than 10 runs in four games since their most-recent funk began April 27. Seattle's 13-2 start to the season seems a distant memory now.
"I'm confident that these guys will come out tomorrow and put this game behind them," said Manny Acta, who is serving as manager while Scott Servais misses the first two games of the series to attend his daughter's graduation. "Like mama always said, 'You'll have days like this.'"
Hernandez is no stranger to days like this the past few years. Last time out against the New York Yankees, the former Cy Young winner allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in five innings. The 33-year-old largely dominated Boston early in his career, though the Red Sox have roughed him up for 16 runs (15 earned) in his past three starts against them.
Porcello, meanwhile, is rolling after a slow start with a 2-0 record and a 2.45 ERA across his last four outings. He is 6-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 14 career starts against Seattle, though the Mariners tagged him four nine runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings on March 31.
Rafael Devers is red hot for the Red Sox, with 15 RBIs in his last 15 games after driving in a season-high four Friday. For the Mariners, former top prospect J.P. Crawford had two hits in his team debut after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day with Dee Gordon (wrist) day-to-day.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 11, 2019