Wright moves propel Red Sox past M's for third straight win
SEATTLE — The loud bats that had distinguished this series had become a whisper by the time Boston’s Daniel Nava came to plate in the top of the 10th inning when the switch-hitting outfielder delivered in the clutch.
Nava followed an intentional walk with a two-out single to center field, scoring pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. and ending four-plus innings of scoreless baseball to help the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 8-7 on Thursday afternoon.
Boston (57-37) outlasted the Mariners for its third consecutive win and finishing off a series that saw the teams combine for 64 runs in four games.
Red Sox reliever Steven Wright, a 28-year-old knuckleballer who was called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first career win.
For the first five innings, both offenses continued to dominate.
Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez lasted 4 2/3 innings in his 2013 debut, giving up six hits and seven runs while walking four, and Boston’s Ryan Dempster didn’t make it out of the fourth. He was charged with seven runs — four earned — while giving up nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Boston leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury welcomed Ramirez with a home run on the third pitch of the game, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager tied the score with a leadoff homer in the second.
Then the Mariners took advantage of a Boston error to score three more runs on the way to a 4-1 lead through two innings. Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt couldn’t corral a two-out ground ball, and back-to-back hits from Brad Miller and Endy Chavez brought in three unearned runs.
Seattle put together another two-out rally in the third when they took advantage of a walk and hit-by-pitch before Michael Saunders hit an RBI single to give Seattle a 5-1 lead.
But Boston got three runs back with consecutive two-out singles in the top of the fourth to pull within 5-4.
The Mariners chased Dempster from the game during a two-run fourth that gave them a 7-4 lead, but Boston responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to tied the score 7-7 and chase Ramirez from the game.
Wright (1-0) came on in relief of Dempster and kept the score tied through the ninth inning.
Boston’s David Ortiz, who had eight hits in his 10 at-bats this series heading into Thursday, had a chance to be the hero in the top of the ninth and came within a few feet of doing it. But his long fly ball to deep center field was caught on the warning track by Seattle’s Dustin Ackley, resulting in the second out of the inning.
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen (0-3) came on to get the final out of the top of the ninth, but he walked the first batter he faced in the 10th and, after Bradley moved to second base on a Brock Holt sacrifice bunt, intentionally walked Ellsbury to get to Nava with two outs.
Nava singled through a huge gap up the middle, scoring Bradley from second with the eventual winner.
Boston reliever Koji Uehara pitched a perfect bottom of the 10th to pick up his seventh save.
NOTES: Boston’s Sunday starter is still listed as TBA, but LHP Drake Britton of Triple-A Pawtucket looks more and more like the pick after recent call-ups Steven Wright and Brandon Workman were used out of the bullpen on successive days. Britton made his first Triple-A start on Tuesday after going 7-6 with a 3.51 ERA at Double-A.