Cordero hits slam in 10th, surging Red Sox sweep Mariners

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — Franchy Cordero hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the surging Boston Red Sox to an 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Trevor Story continued his recent power surge with his fifth homer over the Green Monster in four days and Christian Arroyo added a solo shot for Boston, which posted its season-high fifth straight victory and completed a four-game sweep over Seattle.

“Did you see how I reacted? I was going nuts,” Arroyo said, wearing a Celtics’ Jayson Tatum jersey. “We’ve got that feel, kind of how it was last year. We were winning games late, a reliever would come in and we’d be down by three, it doesn’t matter. We were always battling back.”

Boston posted its first win in extra innings after losing its first six tries.

The Red Sox trailed 4-3 when pinch-hitter Christian Vazquez singled against Andres Munoz (1-2) in the 10th, advancing automatic runner Bobby Dalbec. After Kike Hernandez hit a tying single, Vazquez was thrown out at the plate by right fielder Dylan Moore on Rafael Devers‘ single, a play upheld by review.

Following an intentional walk and Story’s flyout, Cordero won it with his drive to right on 0-2 pitch. Seattle left fielder Jesse Winker and center fielder Julio Rodriguez stood out on the field in disbelief for a while before slowly walking off as the Red Sox celebrated at home plate, spilling over toward their dugout.

“I was looking for a pitch up in the zone,” said Cordero, wearing a Celtics’ Marcus Smart jersey, through a translator. “He hung that slider and I was able to hit it well. … Super excited to see the boys jumping around.”

Adam Frazier had a go-ahead single in the 10th inning for Seattle after Eugenio Suarez‘s homer tied it with two outs in the ninth.

Frazier also had a two-run homer for the Mariners, who have lost six of seven and 19 of 25.

“It’s continuing to focus on getting better, and we’ve had some adversity early in the season, more than we had really bargained for,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That’s just the way it goes. You’ve got to figure out a way to fight through it. `What can I do to help the team win today?’ We need everybody to chip in. It’s not just one guy.”

With thunder and lightning off to the first base side, Frazier lined an RBI single to center against Jake Diekman (1-0), who earned the victory.

Suarez homered into the Monster seats against Hansel Robles.

The Red Sox nearly wasted a solid outing from Nathan Eovaldi, who rebounded from a historically bad outing by striking out 11 while allowing two runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings.

“I got back to the basics for me,” Eovaldi said. “Sticking the heaters down and away, but making sure I was getting them down in the zone. … I felt like I did a better job of really commanding the zone.”

He became just the third pitcher in MLB history to get tagged for five homers in an inning during a loss to Houston last Tuesday, joining Toronto’s Chase Anderson (Sept. 17, 2020, vs. Yankees) and Milwaukee’s Michael Blazek (July 28, 2017, vs. Nationals).

Story lined a 94 mph fastball off Logan Gilbert that barely cleared the top of the 37-foot Monster in the sixth, landing in the first row to make it 3-2.

Story finished the series with the five homers and 13 RBIs, going deep three times in the opener and hitting a grand slam on Friday.

Gilbert gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings.

Frazier hit a flyball that hooked around the Pesky Pole.

Inserted into the lineup when J.D. Martinez was a late scratch with back spasms, Arroyo hit the first pitch off a billboard above the Monster seats in the second.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: Placed 2B Abraham Toro on the 15-day injured list with a sprained left shoulder he suffered hitting the ground after colliding with right fielder Adam Frazier in Saturday’s loss. They were chasing a pop in shallow right that Toro caught. … Gilbert was hit on the back of the right leg by Kevin Plawecki‘s grounder for a single but didn’t need a visit from the trainer.

Red Sox: OF Alex Verdugo was out after leaving Saturday’s game with flu-like symptoms, but manager Alex Cora said he tested negative for COVID-19.

COOLER THOUGHTS

With temperatures unseasonably in the 90s, the Fenway Park organist had a sense of humor before the first pitch, playing `Let it Snow!’ and a few songs later adding `I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.’

TEMPER, TEMPER

Winker struck out swinging to end the fourth and flung his bat to the ground in disgust.

UP NEXT

Mariners: Open a six-game homestand Monday against Oakland. LHP Marco Gonzales (2-4, 3.08 ERA) is scheduled to start.

Red Sox: Off Monday before beginning a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox Tuesday. RHP Nick Pivetta (2-4, 4.22) is slated to start for Boston.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.