SEATTLE — This time, it wasn’t David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia or any of Boston’s other big sluggers at the center of a Red Sox rally.
Try Brock Holt, Jose Iglesias, Daniel Nava and a reliever in Steven Wright – making just his second major league appearance – as the reason Boston was able to get out of Seattle taking three of four games.
Nava hit a two-out single in the top of the 10th inning to score pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr., and the Red Sox rallied from a four-run deficit for the second time in the series to beat the Mariners 8-7 in 10 innings on Thursday.
Once again, the Red Sox found themselves trailing 5-1, just as they were on Tuesday night. In that game, Boston got homers from Pedroia and Napoli and a big game from Ortiz to rally for an 11-8 victory.
In the series finale, it was two-out hitting that proved critical for the Red Sox. Boston got two-out hits to score runs in the fourth, fifth and 10th innings.
“A number of big swings for us with two outs, and the two-out runs scored,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “We continue to grind away and play it right to the last out.”
Ryan Lavarnway walked to open the 10th against Tom Wilhelmsen (0-3) and was replaced by Bradley. Holt laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Bradley to second base with one out. Wilhelmsen struck out Iglesias on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, then intentionally walked Jacoby Ellsbury.
Nava fell behind in the count, but was able to roll a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. He was 0 for 5 prior to his hit.
“I was trying to get on top of something and go back up the middle and that was it,” Nava said.
Koji Uehara pitched the 10th for his seventh save.
Wright (1-0) was the reason Boston was able to rally, shutting down the Mariners after replacing starter Ryan Dempster in the fourth inning. Theknuckleball-throwing right-hander allowed just three hits and two walks in 52⁄3 innings.
“Given how well they swing the bat against fastballs it was the right combination today,” Farrell said.
“He came to us, today would have been his fifth day where he was completely rested, and we needed every pitch that he could give us. Just an outstanding job.”
Uehara made sure the ball from the final out ended up in Wright’s locker.
“That my goal every time just to keep going until they tell me I’m done. Today I was able to do that,” Wright said.
Ellsbury hit the eighth leadoff homer of his career to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest in the American League this season. Seattle got a solo homer from Kyle Seager leading off the second inning.
Seager’s homer helped Seattle build a four-run lead, only to watch Boston rally against Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez. Boston scored three times in the fourth on two-out hits from Holt, Iglesias and Ellsbury, then got three more in the fifth.
Boston loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Pedroia and Jonny Gomes sandwiched around a walk to Ortiz. Mike Carp’s sacrifice fly scored Pedroia before Holt and Iglesias came through again with two-out RBI singles.
“Every ground ball just got to the right spot. The hitters got the luck today,” Ramirez said. “What I can do is just continue throwing the ball trying to make quality pitches, but I didn’t, so they made me pay for that.”