After a pair of historic defeats Friday (15-1) and Saturday (22-10), the Mariners (55-63) built a 7-0 lead, survived some late-game flop sweat, and defeated the Boston Red Sox 10-8 in 12 innings Sunday to avoid a broom job at Fenway Park (box score). Franklin Gutierrez hit two home runs, Robinson Cano had five hits, including a homer, and Nelson Cruz crushed another, his MLB-leading 36th.
In the 12th, with the score 8-8 after Seattle led 7-0 in the third and 8-4 in the seventh, the Mariners loaded the bases courtesy of an error on Boston pitcher Craig Breslow. Seattle catcher Mike Zunino, fanned three times, delivered a chopper over shortstop for what proved to be the winning run. Kyle Seager’s subsequent single with the sacks still full accounted for the winning margin.
Cano went 5-for-7 with a home run (13th), double and three singles. That marked the first five-hit game by a Mariner since Mike Carp Sept. 20, 2011. Gutierrez hit his sixth and seventh homers and knocked in four runs. His second staked Seattle to a 7-0 lead.
Cruz went 1-for-7 but hit his MLB-leading 36th homer in the seventh inning. Cruz has reached base in a career-high 27 consecutive games. The back-to-back home runs by Cano and Gutierrez in the third marked the seventh time this season the Mariners have done that, most in the majors. The Mariners have home runs in 14 consecutive road contests. Ketel Marte went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles from the leadoff spot and is batting .271.
The Mariners, who finished with 18 hits, had ample opportunities to win before the 12th. They left two runners on in the fourth, fifth, seventh innings and ninth innings before Zunino delivered. Seattle finished 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
Seattle starter Vidal Nuno threw 84 pitches over 4.1 innings and exited with a 7-4 lead. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits, including two homers with two strikeouts and a walk.
The Mariners used six relievers after Nuno departed. Carson Smith recorded his third blown save, Rob Rasmussen (2-1) collected the win, and Danny Farquhar got the save, his first of the season.
The 45 runs allowed by the Mariners during the series are the most in any three-game stretch in franchise history. The Mariners allowed 41 to the White Sox and Angels from May 10-13, 1994 . . .Sixty-seven of Seattle’s 118 games have been decided by two or fewer runs . . .The Mariners have played 19 extra-inning games (10-9) . . . Boston’s No. 9 hitter, Jackie Bradley Jr., went 1-for-5 with a walk and a run scored as an encore to his five-hit, seven-RBI, five-run game Friday night. In that contest, Bradley became the first No. 9 hitter in major league history with five hits and five runs scored in the same game.
The Mariners begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers in Arlington Monday at 5:05 p.m. RHP Taijuan Walker (8-7, 4.60) will throw for Seattle against LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 5.93).