Red Sox manage a split in Seattle
Seattle - Dustin Pedroia rounded first base and pumped his fist. Seattle starter Jason Vargas stood on the mound with both hands on his head in disbelief.
Pedroia's eighth-inning solo homer off Vargas tied the game at 1, and his 10th-inning single set up David Ortiz's sacrifice fly to win it in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The Red Sox scored nine runs in the four-game series in Seattle, but that was enough to scratch out a split to start a seven-game West Coast swing. The win was Boston's first (1-5) in extra innings this season.
"They were pitching pretty well," Ortiz said. "You have to pitch extremely well to stop our offense, and they did."
Pedroia's homer tied Vargas' career high for homers allowed in a season with 22. It took him 201 innings last year, 117 this year. It was Pedroia's first home run since May 11 and he was 3 for 17 in the series.
"I felt like there were 50 outfielders and a lot of infielders," Pedroia said. "I was hitting the ball good, just right to them. It's frustrating. (But I) put a good swing on it, felt good."
It spoiled an otherwise superb outing for Vargas. The day after the Seattle bullpen was forced to throw 8 1-3 innings because of an elbow injury to starter Erasmo Ramirez, Vargas went eight innings, allowed five hits, struck out six and was in trouble just once.
"Pedroia got him, but he handled everybody in a strong fashion today," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Ryan Kalish, pinch-hitting for Brent Lillibridge, hit a one-out double off the right-center field wall off Brandon League in the 10th. Pedroia followed with a single to right to put runners at first and third.
Ortiz hit a 2-0 pitch to deep right field off lefty specialist Lucas Luetge to plate Kalish and give the Red Sox the lead.
Vicente Padilla (2-0) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth. Alfredo Aceves recorded his 19th save of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 10th.
Boston starter Felix Doubront lasted just 4 1-3 innings and issued a career-high five walks. He struck out four, allowed three hits and repeatedly wiggled free to allow just a run.
"My arm was feeling good," Doubront said. "I don't know what happened. Seriously."
Padilla worked around a one-out double from Justin Smoak in the bottom of the ninth. Dustin Ackley popped out and Brendan Ryan flew out to right. It was one of several scoring opportunities squandered by the Mariners, who often contributed to their own offensive problems.
Doubront walked the first two batters of the fourth inning, Miguel Olivo and Smoak. Ackley was unable to get a bunt down, then struck out looking for the first out. Three pitches later, a Doubront offering in the dirt temporarily got away from catcher Kelly Shoppach. Olivo went too far off second and was caught in a rundown for the second out. Chone Figgins then flied to left to end the inning.
Doubront was replaced by Matt Albers after hitting Kyle Seager to load the bases in the fifth inning. Jesus Montero bounced into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch from Albers.
"When you make the starting pitcher throw 100 pitches in 4 1-3 you've got to do a hell of a lot more than that," Wedge said.
Ichiro Suzuki's third-inning sacrifice fly to left drove in Figgins, who had singled then stole second. Ryan's single up the middle pushed Figgins to third with none out. Despite the brisk start to the inning, Seattle scored just once. Casper Wells struck out, Seager walked, and Montero flew out to right, leaving two on base.
Seager saved Vargas from damage with a diving catch of Nick Punto's two-out line drive in the second. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles to start the innings. Ross took third on Gonzalez's hard grounder back through the middle.
Vargas struck out Will Middlebrooks with a changeup and Ackley trekked into shallow right field to catch a Daniel Nava pop-up to keep Ross at third. After Shoppach walked, Punto lined a 2-1 pitch to Seager's left, forcing him to dive to close the inning. Frustrated, Punto slammed his bat into the ground.
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