The Red Sox dug themselves out of a very deep hole Sunday afternoon only to fall in extra innings as the Mariners managed to salvage a solitary 10-8 win from what had been a very one-sided series.
After being on the right side of two huge blowouts, this time it was the Red Sox who found themselves behind big early on. And it was, frankly, for the worst possible reason: Henry Owens sucked. You can try to gussy his outing up however you please. There's plenty of strikeouts to show that, yes, Owens can have some pretty nasty off-speed stuff. But all the strikeouts in the world do little to cover up two hanging changeups in the first inning that were blasted for back-to-back homers by Robinson Cano and Franklin Gutierrez deep into the stands. Nor can they hide that same pair abusing him for another four runs in the third, with Gutierrez nabbing his second long ball off the lefty.
So it was that Owens allowed seven big runs before the fourth inning of his third outing. And so it was that the Red Sox found themselves far behind for the first time this weekend having gone scoreless in the first two frames. But they started chipping away, slowly but surely. Xander Bogaerts would be the first to put them on the board, cleaning out an inside fastball from Vidal Nuno in the third and sending it over the Monster for a solo shot. Rusney Castillo led off the very next inning in similar fashion, with Travis Shaw doubling and eventually scoring behind him to make it a four-run game.
The fifth saw the Sox grab another run on a David Ortiz sacrifice fly after Brock Holt led off the inning with a double, but after a scoreless sixth from Henry Owens, who at least managed to get the Sox into the late innings without allowing any more runs, the Mariners finally got back to scoring in the seventh when Nelson Cruz hit Alexei Ogando's sixth pitch of the game around the pole in right for a solo shot to make it 8-4.
Now with nine outs to score four runs, the Red Sox made good use of their first three. Walks from Mookie Betts and Brock Holt set the table, with a double-steal allowing Xander Bogaerts to drive in a run on a ground ball to first. And while David Ortiz wasn't capable of keeping the rally going, a wild pitch let Brock Holt come in too, cutting it to just a two-run deficit that would last into the ninth. There, the Sox proved to have just enough. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the frame with a walk, then moved to third on a Brock Holt single, and scored on another Xander Bogaerts ground out. This time, though, the out was worth the run for Seattle, as it left them just one away from the win. Not willing to take their chances with David Ortiz, the Mariners walked the designated hitter and made Rusney Castillo beat them. He could manage only a weak ground ball, but the Mariners couldn't manage to get the out, and Travis Shaw hit a line drive to left behind him to tie the game, though an ill-advised send from Brian Butterfield of David Ortiz kept Blake Swihart from having a chance to end it.
That sent the game into extra innings, but there the game was pretty one-sided. Craig Breslow managed a scoreless tenth and eleventh, but the Mariners were looking relatively competitive. The Red Sox, on the other hand, had seen a leadoff walk of Blake Swihart completely wasted when Garin Cecchini failed to get the bunt down then struck out--the first of five strikeouts the Sox would produce between the first two extra innings. And, in the twelfth, when Torey Lovullo tried to get a third frame from Craig Breslow, things predictably fell apart. The first two batters of the inning reached on solid singles, with Breslow failing to handle Logan Morrison's bunt to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Breslow would go ahead and give up the go-ahead run before leaving the game with the bases reloaded and still no runs on the board, and while Robbie Ross Jr. was able to get out of the inning allowing just the one additional run, the twelfth went much the same for Boston, with another walk wasted by another two strikeouts to end the game.