In what’s likely to be his final appearance as closer for a while, Steve Cishek delivered
again – for the other team. This time Cishek gave up a solo home run in the ninth as the Mariners blew another lead, as well as an outstanding performance from starter James Paxton, losing 2-1 to the Boston Red Sox Monday at Safeco. Afterward, manager Scott Servais said Cishek won’t serve in the closing role for the time being.
On the heels of Sunday’s debacle at Wrigley Field, Cishek came on in a non-save situation with the score tied 1-1, and promptly served up a home run to the first batter he faced. Boston leadoff hitter Mookie Betts hit his 22nd home run with a solo shot to open the ninth.
A pair of solo home runs were enough for a Boston team that managed three other hits. Paxton turned in one of his best starts — one run off four hits over eight innings. But he gave up the tying homer by 3B Aaron Hill with one out in the eighth.
Cishek fell to 2-6.
Seattle stranded eight runners, seven in the final three innings. 2B Robinson Cano had Seattle’s first two hits. It took 12 batters to get the first one, then Cano doubled four innings later. 1B Dae-Ho Lee had the biggest hit of the night with an RBI double that gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the seventh. Cano’s success led to a risky decision by the Red Sox in the eighth.
After pinch hitter Norichika Aoki singled and moved to third with two outs, Boston opted to intentionally walk Cano to get to Nelson Cruz. Seattle’s cleanup hitter worked the count full before striking out. Not even two-time walk-off hero Adam Lind could deliver the goods, striking out in the ninth for the second out. SS Shawn O’Malley’s game-ending strikeout came with runners on first and second base.
“We’ll probably take the gas off a little bit and get him in some better spots without the
game on the line.” –Servais, on temporarily removing Cishek from the closer role
Boston closer Craig Kimbrel, who came on to earn his 18th save of the season with a scoreless ninth, came off the disabled list earlier in the day. He pitched for the Red Sox for the first time since July 6 . . . RHP Donn Roach was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Monday, marking the latest turn in a revolving door for a bullpen. Roach, who fills the spot that opened when LHP Wade Miley was traded Sunday, is the third addition to the bullpen since Seattle acquired veteran Drew Storen from Washington Tuesday . . . LHP Ariel Miranda, acquired in the Miley trade, could be in line to start Thursday. Miranda, 27, began the week on the Tacoma roster, but he could be promoted. Miranda started 19 games for Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate and made his only major-league appearance out of the Orioles’ bullpen in Seattle last month . . . LF Guillermo Heredia got his first career start Monday, and it came in the leadoff spot. Heredia went 0 for 3 before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth,
LHP Wade LeBlanc – remember him? – is back on the mound when the Mariners host Boston at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. LeBlanc (1-0, 4.26 ERA) has made two appearances since the All-Star break, only one as a starter, because Felix Hernandez is back in the rotation. LeBlanc is scheduled to face Boston LHP David Price (9-7, 4.26 ERA). The former Cy Young winner beat the Mariners June 19, a one-hitter in a 2-1 win.