The reigning World Series champs had a rude welcome into 2019 as they went into Seattle to kick-off their title defense. The Mariners took three of four from the Red Sox as ineffective pitching and the long-ball told most of the story from Boston’s opening weekend.
Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox took the field at T-Mobile Park Thursday afternoon on ESPN and appeared to have picked up right where they left off – until the second inning. Boston strung together some hits in the top of the first, and Sale proved to be effective in the bottom half of the inning, striking out the side.
Sale would only last three innings, give up seven earned runs, strike out four, and walk two as he got the loss in his season debut; lack of command and low velocity appeared to be the issues for the lefty. He left pitches up and over the middle of the plate, leading to a pair of home runs to Tim Beckham, along with Edwin Encarnacion. Not what Red Sox fans want to see out of their lefty ace, who just signed a five year 145-million-dollar extension.
Ryon Healy and Domingo Santana would add on as they each hit home runs of their own for Seattle.
The slow-throwing lefty, Marco Gonzalez earned his first win of 2019 over five and a third innings, giving up three earned runs, striking out four, and walking only one as the Mariners took game one 12-4 over Boston.
The Sox stole game two from the M’s despite another poor pitching performance. On the bump for the Sox was one of last-postseasons heroes, Nathan Eovaldi. The hard-throwing right hander lasted five innings, but gave up homers to Mallex Smith, Domingo Santana, and Omar Narvaez along the way. Eovaldi gave up six runs, struck out three, and walked two.
Home runs from Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vazquez kept the Sox in the game for Mitch Moreland to deliver the final blow in the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit, three-run bomb to put Boston up 7-6 – which would stand for the final score.
Game three went down to the wire thanks to Seattle third baseman, Dylan Moore. Moore committed three errors in the top half of the ninth to help the Red Sox load the bases. The threat came to no prevail for the Red Sox as Seattle took the third game of the four-game set 6-5.
Eduardo Rodriguez would last only four and a third innings for Boston, and continued the home run streak for Boston starters, giving up a three-run homer to Jay Bruce in his final inning of work. E-Rod gave up five earned runs, struck out five, and walked three while earning the loss.
On the other side, Mike Leake earned the win for the Mariners over six innings, giving up two earned runs, striking out seven, and walking only two. Nick Rumbelow got the save for Seattle, closing out game three.
Boston went into game four looking to split the series as Rick Porcello and Wade LeBlanc took the hill for their clubs.
Porcello saw a similar story as Sale on opening day, starting strong in the first inning, but only lasting two and two thirds, giving up four earned runs, including a three-run homer to Omar Narvaez for his second of the season.
Seattle let Boston right back into the game in the ninth, walking four batters to score J.D. Martinez and load the bases, but Boston couldn’t get more than the Mariners would give them as the final score stood at 10-8.
LeBlanc would earn his first win of the season over five and third innings, giving up three earned runs, striking out only one, and walking three. Chasen Bradford got the save for Seattle.
The Red Sox are in the middle of a four-game set in Oakland, where they have yet to score a run. A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano has gunned down Bogaerts twice in the series so far in crucial moments of the game. The Sox dropped game one7-0, while losing game two of the series 1-0. The Red Sox currently sit at the bottom of the AL East at 1-5.
After two more games in California, the reigning World Series champions will travel to Phoenix for a three game set in Arizona.
Boston returns to Fenway Park April 9 against Toronto, where the World Series ring ceremony will take place.