Every pitcher gets shelled sooner or later. For Hisashi Iwakuma, his rude comeuppance came in the third inning Tuesday night at Safeco Field. Coasting with a 5-1 lead, the first-time All-Star surrendered a pair of two-run homers and five runs overall as the Red Sox stormed back to take a 6-5 lead and eventually beat the Mariners 11-8.
The loss snapped Seattle’s two-game winning streak and marked the 11th time since May 4 that the Mariners (40-50) botched a shot at winning three in a row.
Named to the All-Star team Saturday, Iwakuma didn’t make it past the third inning in what was, by far, his worst outing of the season. He allowed six earned runs on eight hits, fanned only three and surrendered three home runs among his 61 pitches.
Iwakuma has allowed 10 home runs in his last four starts after allowing 10 in his first 15. Since June 10, when he was 7-1 with a 1.79 ERA and leading some early Cy Young lists, Iwakuma has yielded an astonishing 22 earned runs. Over that stretch, his ERA has soared to 12.97.
Iwakuma’s only consolation was that he wasn’t saddled with his fifth loss. That went to Blake Beavan, doused by two runs in mop-up duty.
Iwkuma, staggering into the All-Star break, wasn’t the only Seattle pitcher thoroughly abused by the Red Sox. Six collaborated to yield 16 hits, including five home runs, offsetting Seattle’s 13 hits, which included two long balls by Kendrys Morales, his 12th and 13th of the season.
The Mariners 5-1 lead cameon two runs in the first and three in the second. Morales belted a two-run homer, scoring Raul Ibanez (0-for-5), to get it going. Brad Miller, who had three hits and four RBIs, followed with a three-run double. The Red Sox were only able to counter with a long ball by David Ortiz, the former Mariner farmhand who went 4-for-5 and scored three runs and had a stolen base.
But the Red Sox exploded for five runs off Iwakuma in the third to take a 6-5 lead. Dustin Pedroia had a two-run homer, Mike Napoli followed with another two-run shot, and Brock Holt hit a sacrifice fly that scored catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Morales retaliated with his second homer in the bottom half of the inning to tie at 6. Then Michael Saunders tripled to center, scoring Kyle Seager, who singled following Morales’ home run.
Beavan replaced Iwakuma in the fourth, but hit Daniel Nava with a pitch and issued a walk to Shane Victorino, setting up Pedroia to tie the game 7-7 with a single to right. An inning later, Jackie Bradley homered off Beavan, giving Boston an 8-7 lead.
Boston made it 9-7 in the eighth when Victorino homered off Charlie Furbush on a 1-1 count, and tacked on two more runs off Carter Capps on run-scoring singles by Jose Iglesias and Holt.
Seattle got onen back in the eighth when a ground ball by Miller scored Saunders, who had singled.
The four-game series continues Wednesday at Safeco Field with RHP Aaron Harang (4-7, 4.92 ERA) facing LHP Felix Doubront (5-3, 4.11).
NOTES: Dustin Ackley, who started in center Tuesday night (1-for-3), will eventually see some time in left field, according to manager Eric Wedge . . . Sidelined since June 21 with a strained quad in his right leg, OF Michael Morse will hit in a simulated game situation Wednesday, after which the Mariners will decide on the next move, with a rehab stint at AAA Tacoma likely . . . The Mariners have yet to announce their starter for Thursday’s game. Jeremy Bonderman had been scheduled to start, but was designated for assignment Monday. The Mariners could recall 23-year-old Erasmo Ramirez from Tacoma to take the assignment.
This day has been coming. Having drafted Iwakuma for my fantasy league he earned a spot on my bench three starts ago. Not sure if teams have caught up with him or if he’s getting bad coaching or if he’s injured but what a drop off recently. All the coaching staff must be on the hot seat right now.
Don’t agree with Ackley moving to the OF. His fielding has never been an issue. Sure, recent injuries have necessitated the move to a degree but if Casper Wells, Trayvon Robinson and Eric Thames were kept on that wouldn’t be an issue would it? The personell decisions have been very questionable this season.