Red Sox beat Mariners 14-1, over .500 for first time
BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox have been among baseball’s hottest-hitting teams in May. It’s gotten the defending World Series champions above .500 for the first time this season.
The Red Sox (20-19) have won nine of 11, scoring 80 runs during the stretch and outscoring opponents 66-25 this month. Seven of their runs Friday came with two outs.
“I know it’s hard to do, but good teams do that. We really believe we have a good team,” manager Alex Cora said. “I feel like we’re getting closer to who we are.”
Seattle (20-21) lost for the 10th time in 12 games and is under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2017 season. The club started this year 13-2.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2) pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out five to pick up his third win in four starts. It was the first time Rodriguez lasted seven innings in a start since Sept. 23, 2017, at Cincinnati. The Red Sox have won each of Rodriguez’s last six starts.
“I had everything working tonight,” Rodriguez said. “It’s the first time I went seven innings in like two years, so it’s something I’m having in my mind every time I go out there and see my pitch count. But today was pretty good.”
Rookie Erik Swanson (1-4) took the loss, allowing seven hits and seven runs over 4 2/3 innings.
“It is a learning process for him,” said bench coach Manny Acta, filling in for manager Scott Servais, who was attending his daughter’s graduation. “We like him a lot. He had good stuff at the beginning, but they caught up to him.”
It marked the latest rough outing for a Mariners’ pitching staff that has given up 11 or more runs four times in 12 games.
The Red Sox did the brunt of their damage in the third inning.
J.D. Martinez moved Betts over to third base with a single, and Moreland cleared the bases with his looping blast that landed just over Boston’s bullpen in center. It was Moreland’s 11th home run of the season.
Devers led off the fourth inning with a line-drive homer over the Mariners’ bullpen in right field.
Moreland added an RBI double in the fifth.
Boston scored in all but two innings.
Cora said getting back to .500 was just the first goal the team had after starting the season 2-8.
“We did it without playing our best baseball,” he said. “I think we still can do better.”
Mariners: Placed IF Dylan Moore on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist bruise. Moore was injured after being hit by a pitch Wednesday against the Yankees. … Scans on the right wrist of 2B Dee Gordon revealed no fractures. He is day-to-day. He was forced to leave Seattle’s game against the Yankees on Thursday after getting hit by a pitch from J.A. Happ.
Red Sox: Cora said left-hander David Price (left elbow tendinitis) continues to throw, “feels a lot better” and “seems like he’s in a good place.” The plan is for him to get in a few bullpen sessions before a decision is made on his next step. … Cora said he texted with 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee irritation), who is travelling with Double-A Portland. Cora said next for Pedroia is to see how he reacts to playing three straight games. … Utility man Brock Holt (scratched cornea) was with the team Friday and could soon begin a rehab assignment.
‘BACK TO BASEBALL’
Cora said there was no uneasiness in the clubhouse a day after several members of the team decided not to attend a celebration at the White House for Boston’s World Series championship.
“That’s the route we decided, and we respect everything and we’re fine with it. Back to baseball today,” Cora said. “In my world, I decided not to go for my reasons. I know the government has helped. We still have a long way to go. That’s our reality.”
Mariners: Félix Hernández (1-3, 5.20 ERA) gets the ball for Saturday’s matchup with Boston. He is coming off a start against the Yankees on May 6 in which he allowed three home runs in seven batters.
Red Sox. Rick Porcello (2-3, 5.11 ERA) is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last four starts. He has held opponents to a .202 batting average with 25 strikeouts during that stretch.