Seattle Mariners

Mariners avoid disaster by pulling out 10-8 victory over Red Sox in 12 innings

Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano (22) celebrates his two-run home run that also drove in Ketel Marte, right, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015.
Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano (22) celebrates his two-run home run that also drove in Ketel Marte, right, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. AP

So what that the Seattle Mariners had to rally back from an epic collapse Sunday to avoid a thoroughly disastrous weekend at Fenway Park?

All that matters is they left Boston with a 10-8 victory over the Red Sox in 12 innings, right?


“You almost give it away,” said Robinson Cano, who matched a career high with five hits. “But you don’t look back at that. You end up with the ‘W.’ Take something positive and get ready for the next day.”

Even if that “W” takes an exhausting 4 hours and 24 minutes.

It all turned out well when Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager delivered RBI singles with the bases loaded in the 12th inning, which rescued the Mariners after they squandered the remnants of a seven-run lead in the ninth inning.

“It’s one of those things,” Zunino said. “If that one had slipped away, that would have been pretty demoralizing. But it was a good way to sneak it out.”

Think about what could have been.

After suffering blowout losses of 15-1 and 22-10 in the previous two games, the Mariners built a 7-0 lead against Boston starter Henry Owens behind two homers by Franklin Gutierrez and one by Cano.

When Boston began creeping back against Vidal Nuno, Nelson Cruz hit a homer; his 36th of the year. It was 8-4 for Seattle with one out and nobody on base in the Boston seventh.

And, still, somehow, the Mariners couldn’t close it out in nine innings.

“As a manager, you try not to get bad thoughts,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “But when we were up 7-1, and we had opportunities to add on …

“When that happens in this type of ballpark, you know something is going to come at the end. You try to wipe it out of your head, but you know it’s coming. It came.”

Boy, did it!

The Red Sox scored two runs in the seventh inning against Tom Wilhelmsen, Joe Beimel and Fernando Rodney without getting a hit. Two walks, a double steal and a wild pitch.

Rodney worked around a one-out single in a scoreless eighth. That got the game to Carson Smith with a two-run lead, but he couldn’t close it out after issuing a leadoff walk to Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley went to third on Brock Holt’s one-out single. Bradley scored on Xander Bogaerts’ grounder to second. After an intentional walk to David Ortiz, the Red Sox loaded the bases on Rusney Castillo’s infield single.

Travis Shaw then sliced a single to left that scored Holt with the tying run, but Seth Smith threw out Ortiz at the plate. The game went to extra innings.

The Mariners broke through in the 12th against Craig Breslow (0-3) after Austin Jackson and Mark Trumbo opened the inning with singles. Logan Morrison then put down a sacrifice bunt.

Breslow got to the ball quickly and appeared to have a play at third — until he fumbled it for an error. Everybody was safe, and the bases were loaded with no outs.

Zunino followed by delivering a hard bouncer over short on a 2-2 pitch for an RBI single. The Mariners were back on top.

“It looked like it took a pretty good hop when it hit the dirt on the infield,” Zunino said. “Once it’s two strikes, it’s just, ‘Get the bat on the ball’ and hope for the best.”

Robbie Ross Jr. replaced Breslow and struck out Ketel Marte before Seager broke a 0 for 26 skid with runners in scoring position by punching an RBI single to right.

It was Seager’s strikeout with one out and runners at second and third in the fourth inning that likely put those bad thoughts into McClendon’s head. If so, this was atonement.

“I’m not stressing about that,” Seager said. “You can’t change it in one swing. You take the same approach as in any other situation, and everything will work out the way it should.”

This time, it did.

All the Mariners had to do then was what they failed to do in the ninth inning: protect a two-run lead. Rob Rasmussen, after a scoreless 11th, started the Boston 12th by walking Travis Shaw.

The brought in Danny Farquhar, who threw 35 pitches Saturday over 2 2/3 innings. Farquhar struck out two batters before retiring Bradley on a soft hopper back to the mound.

Rasmussen (2-1) got the victory, while Farquhar got his first save since May 4, 2014. And what was Farquhar thinking as the ball came his way and the end beckoned?

“The usual,” he said. “Just go run it over (to first), so I don’t throw it away. It was a little bit of a relief to see the ball come at me slowly.”


MONDAY: Seattle (Taijuan Walker: 8-7, 4.60 ERA) at Texas (Cole Hamels: 0-1, 5.93), 5:05 p.m., Root Sports, 710-AM

Related stories from Tacoma News Tribune