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Six-Run Eighth Helps Sox Inch Closer to Playoff Spot

September 14

Before the game, Martin Pérez returns from the COVID list, sending Kaleb Ort to Triple-A. Anderson pitches for the Mariners against Eovaldi. With one out in the top of the fourth, Martinez makes it 1-0 Boston with a homer to left-center. It is his twenty-sixth of the year after just missing one, hitting it just foul down the left-field line. According to NESN, Boston has at least one homer in 20 of the last 22 games. The first two batters reach in the bottom of the frame before France singles to center to score Haniger and tie it at 1-1. An error in right field loads up the bases. With one out, Seager scores on a sacrifice fly to give the Mariners their first lead of the night at 2-1. A strikeout ends the inning. Dalbec ties the game with a two-out solo homer to right in the top of the sixth. It’s 2-2 on his twenty-second of the year.

Bogaerts leads off the eighth with a triple to right, forcing a pitching change. A walk puts runners at the corners. A groundout puts two in scoring position with one out. Shaw walks to load the bases so that Schwarber can clear them with a triple to the alley in right! It’s 5-2! Naturally, there’s a pitching change. Verdugo thanks him with a homer to right to turn this into a rout at 7-2. A passed ball puts a runner at second with two out, but a strikeout ends an inning in which the Sox sent their entire batting order to the plate. The first two batters reach in the ninth before Martinez singles to left to score Bogaerts and make it 8-2. A double play ends the inning. The Mariners load the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth before a Crawford sacrifice fly makes it 8-3. A single to left by Haniger makes it 8-4. Suddenly, the blowout win is not something to take for granted. Seager strikes out harmlessly to end it, though, as the Sox win, 8-4. With the win, the Sox are permanently over .500 (82-65). That’s a step up from last year, when they finished 24-36. Again, they’re just outside of the playoff picture, right behind the Yankees and Toronto, both 81-64, .559 win percentage, while the Sox are 82-65, .558 win percentage.