Rick Porcello won his sixth straight game at Fenway Park with six innings of two-run ball on Saturday as the Red Sox topped the Mariners, 6-2, to stay a game back of the Orioles in the American League East.
Porcello (8-2, 3.76 ERA) allowed eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts and is now 6-0 with a 3.03 ERA at home this season. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a home run and has hit .441 with three homers over his last eight games to hike his average to an AL-leading.352.
Mariners right-hander Adrian Sampson, making his Major League debut in place of the injured Wade Miley, got through three scoreless innings before giving up home runs toJackie Bradley Jr. and Bogaerts in the fourth and fifth, respectively. Sampson wound up allowing eight hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bradley goes deep: Bradley cut the Mariners' lead in half on a solo shot to the Green Monster in the fourth inning. It was his 12th home run of the year, adding to Boston's slugging success as an outfield. Red Sox outfielders have combined to hit 35 home runs, second most in the AL behind Toronto.
Not enough cushion: The Mariners missed two big chances to get to Porcello early and provide Sampson some breathing room. Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the first, but it managed only one run on a Nelson Cruz double-play grounder. And after Leonys Martinsingled and Seth Smith doubled to put runners on second and third leading off the third, the Mariners came up empty as Porcello struck out Robinson Cano and Cruz and got Kyle Seager to ground to second. Seattle still held a 2-0 lead at that point, but it wasn't enough against the AL's highest-scoring team.
Mini-rally sparks lead: After Travis Shaw led off the fifth with a base hit and Christian Vazquez broke his 0-for-12 slump with a perfectly executed hit-and-run, Mookie Betts tied the game at 2 with an RBI single. Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play, but Vazquez scored to put the Red Sox ahead. Moments later, Bogaerts crushed his ninth home run of the year, a rocket to left, to give the Red Sox a much needed insurance run.
Lind unleashes: The Mariners struggled to come up with big hits with men on base in the first few innings, but Adam Lind did just fine with the bases empty, unloading a leadoff blast in the second to give Seattle a 2-0 lead. Lind turned around a 3-2 fastball from Porcello, driving a shot to center field that was projected by Statcast™ to land 444 feet away. It was Lind's ninth homer of the year, with eight coming in his last 24 games.
Hanley's hustle: Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez opened the eighth inning with a double, and he then turned in some aggressive baserunning to score Boston's final run on the afternoon. After Bradley lined out to second, Cano tried to double up Ramirez, but the ball deflected off Ketel Marte's glove and trickled into left field. Ramirez rounded third, ran through third-base coach Brian Butterfield's stop sign and slid home to beat the throw..