Given that it marked his major league debut, Seattle rookie RHP Adrian Sampson will always remember — probably not fondly — Saturday’s game against Boston at Fenway Park, particularly the fifth inning. Sampson entered with a 2-1 lead and the potential for a win, but a series of quick mistakes set up what became a 6-2 Mariners’ loss to the Red Sox (box).
Summoned from Tacoma late Friday to take Wade Miley’s (disabled list) spot in the rotation, the Skyline High and Bellevue Community College product (also the 14th Washingtonian to pitch in the majors) worked four sold innings before unraveling, allowing the American League’s top-hitting team (.297 BA at Fenway) three runs, which ended his first day in the major leagues.
The Mariners are 36-32 overall and 2-3 on their 10-game road trip. Texas rallied from a 3-0 deficit and beat St. Louis 4-3 to move 7.5 games ahead of Seattle in the AL West.
Chris Young, Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts jumped on Sampson for consecutive singles to open the fifth, Betts’ hit scoring Young to tie at 2. After getting Dustin Pedroia to hit into a double play, Sampson ceded a two-run homer on an 0-and-2 pitch to Xander Bogaerts, the AL’s top hitter (.352). After Sampson departed, the Mariners failed to generate any offense.
The Mariners scored their two runs on a double-play ball by 2B Robinson Cano in the first that plated CF Leonys Martin and 1B Adam Lind’s ninth homer in the second inning . . . Lind’s homer was Seattle’s 101st . . . The Mariners blew a great opportunity to pad a 2-0 lead in the third when they had two aboard with no outs. But Cano and DH Nelson Cruz fanned and 3B Kyle Seager grounded out, ending the threat . . . Seattle collected nine hits, RF Seth Smith leading the way with a 3-for-3 effort (double, two singles) that hiked his batting average to .265 . . . Martin had Seattle’s only other multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored . . . The Mariners did not draw a walk and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
The 24-year-old Sampson (0-1, 7.71), a Redmond native acquired by Seattle from Pittsburgh in a July 31 trade for J.A. Happ, lasted 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk among his 85 pitches. In addition to giving up the Boegarts homer in the fifth, Sampson yielded a solo shot to Jackie Bradley Jr., in the fourth . . . Mike Montgomery finished up after Sampson departed, working 3.1 innings while allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
“He hung in there. It was his debut and I’m sure there were a lot of butterflies. He gave us a chance. We had a few opportunities to score more runs, but didn’t get it done. We weren’t able to add on. I look forward to his next outing and then I think he’ll be much more under control.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais on Sampson
“This (Fenway Park) is a pretty special place to start a professional career. I started off pretty well, but had some bad misses later. Overall, it was good. I feel good about it. I had a lot of family and friends here and it was special.” — Sampson
The Mariners had their two-game winning streak snapped and have dropped 14 of their past 22 . . . The Mariners, 21-14 on the road, are 12-7-3 in overall series, including 7-2-2 on the road heading into Sunday’s rubber game against Boston . . . The Mariners are 9-5 against the AL East . . . To make room for Sampson on the roster, the Mariners sent LHP David Rollins back to the Tacoma Rainiers after pitching 1.1 innings Friday.
The series finale starts at 10:35 a.m. Sunday PT. RHP Taijuan Walker (3-6, 3.69), who left his past start with tendinitis in the arch of his right foot, will pitch for Seattle opposite LHP David Price (7-4, 4.52). Seattle and Detroit begin a four-game series Monday at Comerica Park.