Mookie Betts broke a seventh-inning tie with a solo homer in support of David Price and slow-poke David Ortiz. The 230-pound slowpoke, 40, who averages one stolen base per eon, added insult to the napping Mariners by swiping second as the Boston Red Sox defeated Seattle 2-1 Sunday at Fenway Park (box). The Mariners (36-33) lost their third consecutive series and also may have lost starter Taijuan Walker.
Walker exited with a 1-0 lead after five innings, ailing from an apparent tendon strain in his right foot. Manager Scott Servais said after the game that he didn’t know whether Walker could make his next scheduled start, and Walker added that he didn’t know, either. The Mariners are already down two starting pitchers, Felix Hernandez and Wade Miley, both on the DL.
Meanwhile, since May 27 (Hernandez’s last start), when it held a 1.5-game lead over Texas in the AL West standings, Seattle is 8-14. The Rangers won Sunday, 5-4 to sweep St. Louis, so the Mariners are 8.5 games in arrears in the division race, a tough hurdle even with 93 to play.
Walker departed with a 1-0 lead (Franklin Gutierrez’s home run in the fourth), but reliever Vidal Nuno promptly gave the run back in the sixth when Xander Bogaerts scored on a fielder’s choice by Hanley Ramirez. Betts then led off the seventh by taking Diaz over the Green Monster.
The Mariners collected eight hits, including Gutierrez’s eighth homer, but couldn’t solve Price, who struck out seven with no walks. Price did not permit a Mariner to reach third base . . . Gutierrez went 2-for-4 as did Robinson Cano . . . The Gutierrez homer was Seattle’s 102nd of the season, third-highest total in the majors. Seattle has homered in 12 consecutive contests . . . The Mariners struck out 10 times, went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.
Walker scattered six hits, struck out three and walked one among his 88 pitches . . . Nuno allowed two singles and hit a batter while throwing only 14 pitches in the sixth . . . Diaz worked 1.1 innings and allowed the winning homer to Betts in the seventh. He sustained his first loss as a major leaguer (0-1) . . . The four Seattle pitchers (Nick Vincent finished it off) held the Red Sox to 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
“Taijuan (Walker) really gutted it out. His ankle was bothering him. The information I got was that it was best to get him out of there. We don’t know whether he’ll make his next start. David Price really threw the ball well and kept us off balance all day. We didn’t have a lot of chances against him.” — Servais
“I started feeling it in the first inning. Every time I pushed off, I felt it. We’ll see how it goes. I just have to stay off of it as much as possible.” — Walker
The Mariners have dropped 15 of their past 23 and are 2-4 on the 10-game road trip . . . Mariners fell to 12-8-3 in overall series, including 7-3-2 on the road . . . Seattle has not won a series since defeating San Diego in a two-game set at Safeco Field the final two days of May . . . Seattle is 9-5 vs. the AL East and 21-14 on the road . . . . Servais said Sunday that Miley, who went on the DL last Friday with a sore left shoulder, is expected to come off the disabled list June 28 . . . Hernandez (strained right calf) isn’t expected back until early July.
The Mariners and Detroit Tigers begin a four-game series at Comerica Park Monday with a first pitch at 4:10 p.m. RHP Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.06) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-7, 4.79). The Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday to host the St. Louis Cardinals.