Felix Hernandez marked the third anniversary of his perfect game (2012 vs. Tampa Bay) with an utter clunker (even his change up failed him). The Mariners (54-63) followed with an epic pratfall, losing to the Boston Red Sox 22-10 Saturday at Fenway Park (box score) as a sorry encore to their 15-1 drubbing Friday night. Boston led 19-2 entering the eighth as Seattle established franchise records for most runs and hits allowed in a game (see below). This is how bad it was: Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston’s No. 9 hitter, went 5-for-6 (two homers, three doubles), drove in seven runs and scored five times.
Mookie Betts singled on Hernandez’s third pitch of the game and the rout was on. The Red Sox scored five runs in the second, five more in the third, four each in the sixth and seventh innings, three in the eighth and added a single run in the fourth. The Mariners came back against a lame Boston bullpen with eight runs in the eighth and ninth innings long after the issue was decided.
With the score 19-2 in the eighth, Nelson Cruz ripped his 35th home run, a two-run shot to left center. Austin Jackson also had a two-run homer (seventh of season) in the eighth, cutting Boston’s lead to 19-6. Jackson finished with three RBIs. Mike Zunino hit a solo homer in the ninth, his 11th of the year.
The Mariners had 13 hits, went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded six. After homering in each of the past 13 road games, the Mariners have 105 extra-base hits since the All-Star break, most in the majors.
The bottom three hitters in Boston’s order, Alejandra De Aza, Blake Swihart and Bradley, combined for 10 hits, 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Six Red Sox hitters had at least three hits and two besides Bradley, Xander Bogaerts and Swihart, had four each. In the first two games of the series, that 7-8-9 trio produced 18 hits and scored 17 runs.
Hernandez lasted only 59 pitches and 2.1 innings, allowing 10 earned runs on 12 hits. He became the 11th pitcher in franchise history to allow 10 or more. Jamie Moyer (Aug. 9, 2000 vs. Chicago White Sox) and Ryan Rowland-Smith (July 27, 2010, also vs. the White Sox) allowed 11. The three homers allowed by Hernandez — two came on his change — fell one shy of his career high of four (Aug. 29, 2014 vs. Washington). Hernandez has given up 12-plus hits in a game 10 times, topped by 13 in a Sept. 24, 2008 contest against the Angels.
The Seattle bullpen also allowed 10 earned runs, including three by backup catcher Jesus Sucre, who made his second mound appearance of the season, working the Boston eighth.
“There’s not a lot you can say. We got our butts kicked. The only silver lining today was that we scored 10 runs. From that standpoint, I’ve got no issues. Felix threw a clunker, that’s the way it is. He just didn’t have it. We need a good start tomorrow and get out of here with a victory. We’ve pitched pretty darn good this year. It’s just unfortunate this happened” — Manager Lloyd McClendon.
The most comparable back-to-back thumpings to Friday’s (15-1) and Saturday’s (22-10) occurred May 10-11, 1994, when the Chicago White Sox wiped out the Mariners 16-2 and 14-6 at Comiskey Park. Those games were started by Roger Salkeld (seven earned runs) and Chris Bosio (also seven) . . . The runs allowed are the most in team history. Seattle gave up 20 in a 20-3 loss to Detroit April 17, 1993 . . . The Mariners are the first team to surrender 15 or more runs in consecutive games since the 2007 Tampa Bay Rays . . . The Mariners are only the third team since 1953 to allow 15-plus runs and 20-plus hits in consecutive games. The Cubs did it June 12-13, 1990 against the Mets, and the Rays did it July 21-22 against the Yankees . . . After allowing 21 hits Friday night, they yielded a franchise-record 26 Saturday. This is the first time in club annals that Seattle has given up 20 or more hits in consecutive games. The record for hits allowed was 24, to Minnesota Sept. 29, 1989, and to the White Sox Aug. 9, 2000.
The series concludes Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 10:35 a.m., PT. LHP Vidal Nuno (0-1, 3.00) will throw for Seattle opposite LHP Henry Owens (1-1, 3.60), a rookie.