David Ortiz smacked his 19th home run, Felix Doubront pitched seven effective innings, and Boston, after taking a 5-0 lead, poured it on with a four runs in the sixth inning en route to a 11-4 shellacking of the Mariners Wednesday night at Safeco Field. Seattle, which scratched out five hits through seven innings before scoring four late runs, lost to the Red Sox for the second time in two nights.
In its wins Tuesday and Wednesday, Boston battered Seattle’s feeble pitching for a combined 22 runs on 28 hits.
Trailing 9-0 and on the verge of one of the biggest blowout losses of the season, the Mariners got a run back in the seventh on a Henry Blanco RBI single. In the eighth, a solo homer from Brendan Ryan and run-scoring doubles from Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak averting a complete rout.
The AL East leaders, with Ortiz going 2-for-3 with three RBIs one night after going 4-for-5 (Oritz is 8-for-10 in the first three games of the series), had their way with Seattle starter Aaron Harang from the second inning on, abusing him for seven earned runs on eight hits. They continued their assault on Lucas Luetge (two earned runs) and Tom Wilhelmsen.
While Harang (4-8) lasted 5.0 innings, striking out none and walking three as his ERA soared to 5.38, Doubront allowed one run on five hits in 7.0 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.
“It wasn’t a very good ball game at all,” said manager Eric Wedge. “Aaron just didn’t have a very good day.”
Sacrifice flies in the second by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jose Iglesias staked the Red Sox to a 2-0 lead. Boston padded its advantage to 4-0 in the fourth on a two-run homer by Ortiz. Shane Victorino hit a run-scoring single to make it 5-0. Then came the sixth, when the Red Sox avalanched the Mariners with four runs.
Boston tallied on run-scoring singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Victorino, a fielder’s choice by Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz’s sacrifice fly.
The Red Sox blew a chance to pad their lead in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out, but couldn’t score.
Seattle finally got on the board in the seventh when, after Jason Bay doubled, Blanco singled, making it 9-1. In the eighth, Ryan made it 9-2 with a solo homer, and run-scoring doubles by Morales and Smoak brought Seattle to within 9-4.
The Red Sox tacked on two more runs in the ninth, one when Wilhelmsen, after walking two, threw a wild pitch that scored Daniel Nava.
Thursday’s 12:40 p.m. matinee will likely have Erasmo Ramirez make his season debut opposite Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.04), who has turned in quality starts in seven of his past eight outings. Ramirez was pulled from his start in AAA Tscoma Wednesday, and reliever Carter Capps was seen packing his bags for Tacoma, clearing a roster spot.
Following the Boston series, the Mariners will host the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series that will take the club to the All-Star break.
NOTES: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said Wednesday that he is not “actively” pursuing deals as the July 31 trading deadline approaches. The Mariners have six potential candidates who will be free agents at the end of the season, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, outfielders Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse, Jason Bay and Franklin Gutierrez, DH/1B Kendrys Morales and SS Brendan Ryan . . . RHP Stephen Pryor, sidelined since mid-April with a torn muscle in his throwing shoulder, worked a simulated inning Wednesday. Pryor hopes to return sometime after the All-Star break . . . When Brad Miller went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs Tuesday, he became the 12th rookie in Seattle history to produce three hits and four RBIs in the same game.