Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester have been dealing for most of the night, but the Red Sox have retaken the lead in Game 5.
Wainwright struck out Daniel Nava to begin the top of the seventh inning, but then allowed a single to Xander Bogaerts and a walk to Stephen Drew. This set up a ground-rule double to left from David Ross which put the Red Sox in front. Instead of going for the kill, John Farrell then elected to have Lester for for himself. He was retired on a comebacker. However, Wainwright failed to escape the jam, as Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to center field to drive home Drew. Ross also attempted to score on the play, but he was thrown out by Shane Robinson, though replays indicate that Yadier Molina may have missed the tag.
It’s stretch time in St. Louis, with the Red Sox holding a 3-1 advantage. Lester remains in the ballgame for Boston.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.