The Boston Red Sox figured that the first half of this four-game set against the Seattle Mariners ' AL leaders in ERA would be difficult.
The Red Sox will look to avoid their first four-game slide of 2013 on Tuesday night when they face Hisashi Iwakuma , who has been vulnerable during his four-game winless stretch.
Boston (54-37) fell to 1-3 on this 10-game trip with an 11-4 loss to Felix Hernandez on Monday. Hernandez, second in the AL with a 2.69 ERA, gave up two runs over seven innings.
It may not get easier against Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60 ERA), the only pitcher in the league with a better ERA than his teammate. That mark, though, has risen from 1.79 during his last four outings, with the right-hander going 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA in that span.
Iwakuma has yielded exactly four runs in each start of his winless streak, pitching six-plus innings Thursday as he was charged with a 5-4 defeat at Texas. His 3.86 ERA in July is his highest in any month, and he has never faced the Red Sox.
Ellsbury is batting .389 during a 17-game hit streak and leads the majors with 36 steals. The center fielder suffered a left wrist injury in a 3-0 loss to the Angels on Sunday.
"We're hopeful that this is something that will respond to treatment," Farrell told the Red Sox's official website. "If it doesn't, certainly, every test at that point would be taken."
Victorino has sat out two straight games with a hamstring injury and remains day to day.
Seattle (40-49) entered play Monday averaging 3.7 runs for the second-worst mark in the AL. It reached double digits in runs for just the second time all year in its fifth victory in seven games.
Raul Ibanez homered and the bottom third of the lineup went 7 for 12 with six RBIs as the Mariners fell just shy of their biggest outburst of the season - a 12-2 win over the New York Yankees on May 15.
The 41-year-old Ibanez has homered eight times in his last 13 games, batting .364 with 15 RBIs in that span.
"I'm 41," he said. "You can't play this game forever. I used that approach. Hopefully, I can share that approach with the younger guys, telling them, 'Hey, time goes by really fast. Enjoy this.'"
The Mariners have yet to face Boston rookie right-hander Allen Webster (1-2, 7.88), who will make his sixth start after earning his first victory in his last one.
Webster, who is in his third stint with the Red Sox this year, allowed a season-low two runs over six innings of an 8-2 win over San Diego on Thursday.
"I think at each passing start here at this level he starts to get his feet underneath him," Farrell said.
|Boston Red Sox|
|July 08, 2013||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|July 07, 2013||Andrew Miller||15-Day DL||Left foot surgery - out for season|
|June 29, 2013||Stephen Drew||15-Day DL||Right hamstring tightness|
|June 28, 2013||Stephen Drew||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring tightness|
|June 23, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - back|
|June 23, 2013||Franklin Morales||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|June 21, 2013||Michael Morse||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|June 18, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Sore right quad|
|June 08, 2013||Kendrys Morales||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
SEATTLE (AP) -- Jackie Bradley Jr. was running on fumes by the time he finally got to Seattle after catching an early flight to rejoin the Boston Red Sox.
Apparently, his fatigue wasn't a problem.
Bradley hit a tiebreaking home run, Shane Victorino slugged the last of Boston's five long balls and the Red Sox snapped a three-game skid with an 11-8 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
"I'm tired. I'm going to crash out early tonight and try to get some rest. But it's great," Bradley said. "I had to dig a little deep. You always get a little adrenaline when you're out there and having fun."
Boston rallied from an early 5-1 deficit, using two-run homers from Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli along with Bradley's solo shot to come back against the Mariners. Pedroia and Napoli homered in the third inning and Bradley gave Boston the lead in the fifth. Victorino's drive was part of a three-run eighth.
David Ortiz had four hits - including a solo home run in the second off struggling Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma - to give him 1,688 hits as a designated hitter, tying Harold Baines for the career record. Ortiz doubled twice and singled in the eighth.
"It means I'm getting old, man. You've got to play for a while to put numbers together," Ortiz said. "But I'm really thankful. I'm really glad to be able to come through for the ballclub."
Boston avoided its first four-game skid of the season thanks to a bullpen that finally stymied the Mariners.
Seattle was potent early, with Kendrys Morales hitting two homers, but couldn't solve the Red Sox bullpen. Alfredo Aceves , Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey kept the Mariners scoreless for 4 2-3 innings after starter Allen Webster was tagged for seven earned runs in 2 1-3 innings.
Seattle got a run off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth, but Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Breslow (3-2) got the victory after throwing 2 1-3 innings.
"Those four innings in the middle of the game were the key to stabilizing it for us," Boston manager John Farrell said. "We fell behind early, our offense bails us out through the course of the night."
Seattle took a 5-1 lead in the second when rookie Brad Miller lined a three-run double into the right-field corner, but the lead was gone by the time the Mariners got back to the plate. Boston sent up nine batters and scored five times in the third, highlighted by two-run homers from Pedroia and Napoli, sandwiched around a double from Ortiz that missed clearing the fence by only a couple of feet.
Pedroia added an RBI single in the fourth and Bradley gave the Red Sox the lead in the fifth when he hit a hanging curveball from Blake Beavan (0-2) to right-center for his second homer. Bradley was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day to help provide depth in the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) and Victorino (hamstring) nursing nagging injuries.
Farrell also made sure to point out Ortiz's stolen base in the eighth inning. His third steal of the season helped the Red Sox tack on two more runs on RBI singles by Jose Iglesias and Brock Holt .
"The crowd is laughing about it because you're typically not going to see it, but it really set things up," Farrell said.
Morales' two-run shot in the first was thanks to the hustle of Raul Ibanez beating out a potential double play and extending the inning. Morales added a solo homer on the first pitch of the third inning and Seattle got an RBI triple from Michael Saunders , but the Mariners left runners at the corners in the fourth and never threatened again until the eighth.
Iwakuma lasted just three innings, the shortest start of his career, continuing a recent stretch of rough starts for the first-time All-Star. In his first 14 starts, Iwakuma was 7-1 with a 1.79 ERA, allowing 10 home runs and 22 earned runs. In his last five starts his ERA has ballooned to 6.83. He has given up 10 homers and 22 earned runs during the winless span.
"I think my pitches are catching too much of the plate the last couple of starts," Iwakuma said through a translator. "I need to work on that. We have some time to make adjustments and that's what I need to do."
NOTES: Boston hit five homers in a game for the second time this season. The Red Sox season high is six against Toronto on April 7. ... Seattle scored in the final five innings on Monday and first three innings on Tuesday. The eight straight innings with a run set a club record. ... The Red Sox placed reliever Alex Wilson on the 15-day DL with a thumb injury. He returned to Boston for further examination.