SEATTLE (AP) - All the attention will fall on what happened with Rickie Weeks in left field in the ninth inning, even if the Seattle Mariners blew plenty of chances earlier.
Once again, the Mariners were unable to get key hits with runners in scoring position.
“It happens to every team,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It’s a nasty funk to be in.”
Brock Holt doubled and scored the go ahead run on Weeks’ error with one out in the ninth inning, Shane Victorino hit his first home run of the season and the Boston Red Sox beat the Mariners 2-1 on Thursday night.
Seattle lost its second straight because it couldn’t get hits with runners on base. The Mariners were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position a night after going 1 for 13 in a loss to San Diego.
That inability to come through with clutch hitting stood out in the ninth inning when Boston manufactured a run to take the lead. Holt lined the second pitch of the ninth from Seattle closer Fernando Rodney (1-2) into left-center and was easily safe at second when Weeks’ throw sailed over Robinson Cano’s head. Holt was sacrificed to third by Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval was hit by a pitch.
Mookie Betts followed with a fly ball that was likely deep enough for Holt to score anyway. But Weeks closed his glove too soon and everyone was safe on the error.
“I was just rushing, I think,” Weeks said. “I was right up under it. I was going to close my glove and was just rushing it.”
Weeks had just entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. It was just his 11th appearance this season in the outfield.
“He was trying to be a little bit too quick and that’s what happens with an inexperienced outfielder,” McClendon said.
Seattle would not have been in that position if it hadn’t missed key scoring chances in the fourth and eighth innings.
The Mariners left the bases loaded in the fourth when Mike Zunino struck out looking and Boston got a break on Dustin Ackley’s groundball that bounced off the glove of first baseman Mike Napoli but right to Dustin Pedroia. Boston starter Joe Kelly raced over in time to cover and get Ackley for the final out.
Seattle pulled even in the sixth when Nelson Cruz scored on Logan Morrison’s slow grounder, but the Mariners missed another chance in the eighth when Cano and Cruz reached with one out. Matt Barnes (2-0) recovered and got Seager to ground into a double play to end the inning.
“I see the right things. Sometimes it’s a lot of bad luck. There is nothing you can do in that situation,” Cano said.
Along with his homer, Victorino also made a made a tremendous running catch on the warning track in the seventh to start a double play and likely save a run.
With Chris Taylor on first and running on the play, Justin Ruggiano hit a drive deep to right that Victorino was able to reach over his head and catch just before crashing into the wall. He quickly turned and threw to first for the double play on Taylor to the inning. Taylor likely would have scored if Victorino failed to make the catch.
“He finds a way to put the glove up in the right spot,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “That’s the difference in the ballgame at that point.”
Lost in the problems hitting, lefty Roenis Elias had another solid start. Elias went 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, but just Victorino’s homer. He struck out two and was efficient with his pitch count.
“That’s his fourth game in a row where he pitched and deserved to win and he didn’t get the win,” McClendon said.
Red Sox: RHP Justin Masterson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. In seven appearances this season, he is 2-2 with a 6.37 ERA.
Mariners: CF Austin Jackson went through another day of running on his sprained ankle. Seattle is still hopeful he could go out on a rehab assignment this weekend.
Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz (2-4) goes for his second straight victory. Buchholz matched his longest outing of the season last time out, going 6 1/3 innings in beating Toronto.
Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (3-1) looks to win his fourth straight decision. Happ has a 3.60 ERA during his win streak with 23 strikeouts.
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