Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gutierrez's career night powers Mariners

 Franklin Gutierrez walloped two homers and notched a career-high six RBIs to power the Mariners to an 8-4 victory over the Red Sox on Friday night at Fenway Park.
Gutierrez ripped the third pitch of the game from Roenis Elias over the wall in center for a two-run shot, and Seattle played from ahead for the entire contest.
"The last time I played here, I think I hit two homers, too," Gutierrez said. "So I guess I see the ball pretty good here at Fenway Park."
David Ortiz was the standout performer for the Red Sox, launching career homer No. 521 to tie Hall of Famers Ted WIlliams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas for 19th on the all-time list. Ortiz is hitting .344 with 18 homers and 59 RBIs in what is expected to be his final season.
"It means a lot," said Ortiz "Historically, all you guys know how great Mr. Ted Williams was. Like I always say, whenever they throw your name out there with those legendary [players], it kind of tells you what kind of career you've had through the years."
With a steady stream of offense at his back, Hisashi Iwakuma earned the win for the Mariners, allowing nine hits and four runs over seven innings.
It was a forgettable night for Elias, who made his first start for the Red Sox and was hit hard by his former team, giving up seven hits and seven runs over four innings. Elias was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following the game and Clay Buchholz will take his spot in the rotation.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A Guti beauty: Gutierrez came within a few feet of a three-homer night. The 33-year-old right fielder drove a 1-0 changeup over the center-field wall for the quick lead in the first against Elias, then hit a leadoff shot in the third for his seventh homer of the year. Gutierrez just missed adding a grand slam in the fourth, settling for a three-run double off the base of the short fence in right. It was the third multihomer game of Gutierrez's 11-year career -- and two of those have come at Fenway in the past two seasons.
"That third one, I hit it really good, for real," Gutierrez said. "To be honest, I really hit it good. I thought it had a chance, but everybody knows where the ball hit. It was really close." More >
Yet more milestones for Papi: Not only did Ortiz tie three Hall of Famers on one home run swing, but he also passed Jim Thome for 25th on the all-time RBI list with 1,700. Ortiz will likely pass Reggie Jackson (1,702) and Thomas (1,704) in the coming days. And if Ortiz stays healthy, he has a chance to pass Honus Wagner (1,732) before retiring at the end of the season.
"With each game, with each home run, with each extra-base hit, he is seemingly climbing up not only the Red Sox ladder but Major League Baseball history ladder," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We're watching not only an impressive year unfold with David, it may turn out to be a historic one before it's all said and done." More >
Cano making his own marks: Robinson Cano laced a solo shot over the Monster leading off the seventh off reliever Heath Hembree to give the Mariners an 8-2 lead and push his long-ball total to 19 for the year. Of Cano's 258 career homers, 247 have come while playing second base, which breaks Joe Gordon's American League record. Jeff Kent owns the MLB record for second basemen at 351.
"To be able to have that kind of record is something I take a lot of pride in," Cano said. "That's something that I've been worked hard for every single day. All the great second baseman that have played this game, to be able to accomplish that, especially here at Fenway, one of the greatest park in baseball, it's special."
Leon stays hot: Not known for his offense, backup catcher Sandy Leon has been producing of late for the Red Sox. Leon went 3-for-4 on Friday and is 9-for-13 with three doubles since being called up to fill in for Ryan Hanigan, who is sidelined with a neck strain. Leon only had two doubles in 114 at-bats last season.
QUOTABLE
"The American League has been around awhile. That's a pretty big deal. He's excited. We all are." -- Mariners manager Scott Servais, on Cano's AL home run record for second basemen
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox are 4-20 when they score four runs or fewer, another sign they've been far too reliant on their offense this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Towards the culmination of a fourth inning Seattle offensive surge came a line drive into center field by Cano, who opted to go for two. The tag by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was called safe, but the play was too close for the Red Sox to miss a challenge opportunity. After a two-minute, 38-second review, the call was overturned to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT
Mariners: Right-hander Adrian Sampson is expected to be activated prior to Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT game at Fenway and make his big league debut in place of the injured Wade Miley. Sampson, acquired from the Pirates for J.A. Happ last July 31, is 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A Tacoma.
Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello will try to make it six wins in as many starts at Fenway Park this season when he takes the ball for Saturday's 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Mariners. Porcello has a 3.03 ERA in his five home starts.

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