Michael Pineda was pounded for five runs in the first inning and seven in 4 1/3 innings overall as the Red Sox beat the Mariners 12-8 on Sunday, sending Seattle to its team-record 15th straight defeat.
The Mariners’ losing streak is the longest since the Royals lost 19 in a row in 2005. It ties the 2002 Rays for the third-longest streak since 1990, one behind the 1996-97 Cubs.
Seattle’s previous long losing streak was 14 games in 1992. The 2008 Mariners has a 12-game losing steak. The worst streak for last year’s 101-loss Mariners was eight in a row.
The Mariners lost this one even though Brendan Ryan hit a grand slam and drove in five. The team took a 2-0 lead on Miguel Olivo’s homer in the first, but Pineda gave that up quickly and ended up having his shortest start as a major leaguer. He’s given up 19 runs in 15 2/3 innings in his last three outings, taking his ERA from 2.58 to 3.64.
It was a better day for the Red Sox. Tim Wakefield gave up seven runs, but he picked up his 199th victory and his 2,000th strikeout with the Red Sox. Kevin Youkilis homered for Boston, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked in four runs.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.