Mitch Moreland hit a pinch hit three-run homer in the ninth in Seattle last night, helping the Red Sox rally to a 7-6 win over the Mariners for their first win of the season.
The Sox were down 6-1 after four innings but chipped back for one in the fifth and then got homers from J.D. Martinez in the sixth and Christian Vazquez in the eighth to make it 6-4.
Rafael Devers opened the ninth with a double off of Hunter Strickland and, after advancing to third on a passed ball, Blake Swihart was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. A fielder’s choice which nailed Devers at home put Jackie Bradley Jr. on base, setting the stage for Moreland’s heroics:
Note to Mariners closer Hunter Strickland: keep the ball down a bit next time, mmkay?
Lost in Boston’s comeback was a nice outing my Mariners rookie pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who allowed three — two earned — over six innings and was in line for the win before the M’s bullpen collapsed.
Meanwhile, M’s hitters hit three home runs off Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi, who lasted five innings and allowed six runs. One of those homers came from Domingo Santana, who now has three on the season. Talk about a fast start. The Mariners have 12 home runs in four games, including eight in the first two against the Red Sox.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.