Seattle Mariners

Battling Ackley lifts Mariners to win

Logan Morrison hit a pair of homers Monday night, and Felix Hernandez turned in a typically dominant effort, but the signature moment in the Mariners’ 12-3 romp over Boston came from Dustin Ackley.

“I had a great view from second base,” Morrison said. “He was fouling off everything (Boston starter John) Lackey had and two times over. (Lackey) was tired after that and couldn’t get out of the inning.

“We took advantage of it.”

It was Ackley’s grinding at-bat in the fourth inning, which lasted 13 pitches against Lackey, that turned a tight game into a blowout ... even though it resulted in nothing more than a fielder’s-choice grounder to first.

OK, let’s reset:

The Mariners had just pulled even at 2 on a Kyle Seager RBI single. They had the bases loaded with one out, and Ackley fouled off a series of tough pitches from Lackey.

“I think there was one or two that I maybe could have handled,” Ackley said. “But the rest of them were cutters down and in. Curveballs down and in. Backdoor stuff. I was just trying to put the bat on it the best I could.”

Finally, Ackley sent a grounder, a potential double-play grounder, to first base, which Mike Napoli fielded and threw to second for the force. For whatever reason, Lackey broke late to first base.

That took away any chance for a double play.

“Mike Napoli makes a very nice backhanded play and gets the lead out,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Just a lapse there didn’t allow John to receive the back end of the throw to get a potential double play.”

It changed the game.

The go-ahead run scored. The Mariners then blew open the game by scoring four more runs in the fourth and another run in the fifth. That provided Felix Hernandez with a six-run cushion on a King’s Court Night.

Felix, plus-six? Yep, game over — long before they struck for four more runs in the seventh.

Hernandez (9-2) held the Red Sox to two runs and six hits in seven innings before Dominic Leone and Tom Wilhelmsen closed out the victory.

The rout also enabled manager Lloyd McClendon to resist any temptation to use closer Fernando Rodney for a fifth consecutive day. Rodney closed out three tight victories in a weekend sweep at Kansas City.

The Mariners have won four in a row and, at 41-36, are back to a season-best five games over .500. The finished with 14 hits and batted around in their six-run fourth and a four-run seventh.

Morrison had the first multi-homer game of his career and finished with four hits and four RBIs. Seager had three hits and two RBIs. Endy Chavez capped the big fourth with a three-run triple. And lots more.

“I got good pitches,” Morrison said. “I didn’t try to do too much. I barreled them up. Went out. And the singles, I beat the shift on one, which I haven’t been doing very much of lately. I’ve been finding gloves.”

Lackey (8-5) gave up seven runs and seven hits in three-plus innings. The Mariners also roughed up reliever Chris Capuano for five runs in a little over two innings.

But it all turned with Ackley’s at-bat.

“His at-bat, for me, was the ballgame,” McClendon said. “It did open the floodgates for us and things took off from there.”

Lackey then bounced a wild pitch past catcher A.J. Pierzynski that scored Morrison for a 4-2 lead. Next, Lackey walked Brad Miller before Willie Bloomquist loaded the bases with a single to right.

All three runners scored when Brock Holt misread Chavez’s drive to right. Lackey began walking toward the dugout believing it to be the third out, but the ball sailed over Holt’s head for a three-run triple.

“I was thinking, ‘Maybe,’ ” Chavez said. “Then, ‘Yes, yes ... yes!”

The Mariners led 7-2, and the Red Sox summoned Capuano. It made little difference. Morrison’s RBI single in the fifth extended the lead, and his two-run homer keyed the four-run seventh.

Afterward, general manager Jack Zduriencik stopped Morrison in the clubhouse and deadpanned: “I would say congrats, but this is why we brought you here.”

Morrison answered: “Yeah, just doing my job.”