Stephen Drew, batting a meager .226, sent a barely fair line drive down the right-field line in the 15th inning off Lucas Luetge that scored Dustin Pedroia, giving the Boston Red Sox a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Mariners Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The game lasted five hours and three minutes, falling an inning shy of Seattle’s longest contest of the season, and was its seventh walk-off loss.
To open the 15th, Luetge, the Mariners’ sixth pitcher, walked Pedroia. A David Ortiz ground-ball out sent Pedroia to second. After Luetge walked Mike Napoli intentionally, Luetge walked Jonny Gomes to load the bases. That set up Drew’s walk-off single.
The Mariners (50-57) have lost both games in Boston and are 2-5 since the end of their eight-game winning streak. The Mariners lost the series after arriving in Boston 5-1-1 in their previous seven series. Both series defeats have been administered by the Red Sox.
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, fell behind 2-1 in the fifth, went ahead 3-2 in the sixth, fell behind 4-3 in the seventh, and then tied it at 4-4 in the eighth when Kyle Seager, who went 3-for-6 with three RBIs, ripped his 17th home run.
From then on, bullpens dominated. Seattle’s Danny Farquhar had an especially impressive outing, throwing three scoreless, hitless innings with four strikeouts.
Boston almost won it in the 14th when pinch hitter Brandon Snyder opened with a double and advanced to third on Jacoby Ellsbury’s sacrifice. But after catcher Shane Victorino’s fly ball in mid-center, Michael Saunders unleashed a fabulous throw that made it on the fly to catcher Umberto Quintero. He tagged out Snyder, who failed to slide.
The Mariners are 6-10 in extra-inning games. Their previous longest game was June 5 vs. Chicago when Seattle lost 7-5 in 16 innings in five hours, 42 minutes.
The Mariners broke through against starter John Lackey in the fourth inning when Seager doubled, scoring Brad Miller, who opened the inning with a single. But Boston answered with two unearned runs in the fifth, courtesy of two Seattle errors.
After Brock Holt doubled, Ellsbury reached on an error by center fielder Dustin Ackley, who dropped an easily catchable fly, sending Holt to third. Holt scored on a misplayed grounder by Nick Franklin, tying the score 1-1. Ellsbury scored when Pedroia hit into a fielder’s choice.
After Quintero opened the sixth with a single and Miller walked on a full count, Seager singled, setting up a sacrifice fly by Kendrys Morales that tied the game at 2. An RBI single by Raul Ibanez pushed Seattle to a 3-2 lead. With Seager on third, Michael Morse struck out.
Acting manager Robby Thompson lifted Iwakuma after 5.2 innings and 102 pitches. Iwakuma did not allow an earned run and yielded seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks, lowering his ERA to 2.76.
Reliever Oliver Perez, an impending free agent whom the Mariners elected to hang on to at the trading deadline, got one out but gave up a two-run bomb to the Pedroia in the seventh that sent Boston back in front 4-3.
Seager collected his third hit, a long home run off reliever Junichi Tazawa in the eighth on an 0-0 count to tie.
The series wraps Thursday with a 4:05 p.m. start. RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4, 2.34), who hasn’t lost since May 25, will work opposite RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.24). The Mariners play three in Baltimore before returning to Safeco Field Monday to face the Toronto Blue Jays.
NOTES: The Mariners allowed the major league trading deadline to come and go without making a major league deal. A number of veterans — OF Michael Morse, OF Raul Ibanez, 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, SS Brendan Ryan, LHP Joe Saunders and LHP Oliver Perez — are on one-year deals and will be free agents at the end of the season . . . The Mariners traded minor league outfielder Robert Andino to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Andino, 29, hit .229 (35×153) with 17 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 44 games with AAA Tacoma after being outrighted May 27. The Mariners designated Andino for assignment May 24 when they brought up C Jesus Sucre from the Rainiers . . . Nick Franklin recorded a “golden sombrero,” Wednesday, fanning four times . . . Michael Morse, who went 0-for-4 in his return to the club Wednesday following five weeks on the disabled list, will play right field, first base and DH over the next few weeks, according to acting manager Robby Thompson. Morse went 0-for-5 Wednesday and is 0-for-9 since his recall.