One day after a five-run ninth cost the Red Sox a 3-0 lead, Boston saw an identical lead vanish in an instant after a disaster inning, this time a seven-run fourth that left them losers of their seventh straight game.
If nothing else, the Red Sox can be credited for consistency. They once more managed to build a 3-0 lead against the Seattle Mariners, this time striking for one in each of the first three innings. Yoenis Cespedes hit a sacrifice fly to cash in on a leadoff Brock Holt single and Dustin Pedroia double in the first. The second saw Mookie Betts draw a walk and David Ross double him home in the very next at bat. And, in the third, it was a Yoenis Cespedes double turned into three bases by a defensive gaffe from Austin Jackson in center leading off the frame, and Mike Napoli driving him in with another sacrifice fly.
Still, the Red Sox were wasting baserunners, stranding five through the first three frames. But they would have had to score every last one of them to have stayed ahead of the Mariners after the absolute disaster that was the fourth.
The first two innings from Workman had been scoreless, but long and unimpressive. It had taken him 25 pitches to get through four at bats in the first inning, and another 19 as the Mariners put up three singles, the third out coming on a bullet from Yoenis Cespedes to catch Kyle Seager at home plate by a mile. The third, however, promised better, with three outs coming on six quick pitches.
Call it the calm before the storm. The Mariners kicked off the fourth with a line drive single from Kendrys Morales, and didn't let off the gas from there. An infield single didn't help Workman any, but it was a hanging curve that earned him his first run on a double from Chris Denorfia. Workman seemed ready to battle back, striking out Endy Chavez, but Chris Taylor got the Mariners back on the attack with an RBI single to bring the Mariners within a run.
The tying tally wouldn't even require a hit. A wild pitch from Workman allowed Denorfia to score, and moved Taylor up into scoring position, making Jesus Sucre's single good for a fourth Seattle run. Austin Jackson's base knock--the sixth single and seventh hit of the frame--wasn't good for a run, but it put two men on for Dustin Ackley, who put an end to the nickle-and-dime carousel assault by depositing a three-run shot just past the Pesky Pole in right.
When the dust had settled, it was 7-3 Mariners. Had the Red Sox continued to hit the way they had in the first three innings, that might not have been enough to seal the deal. But a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning ended with a Mike Napoli strikeout with the bases loaded, and if the top of the fourth hadn't completely taken the wind out of Boston's sails, the bottom certainly finished the job. The score did not budge from 7-3 over the final five innings, leaving the Red Sox losers once more