The Boston Red Sox once again find themselves out of first place after completing a mediocre stretch against the other three AL East contenders.
A visit from the Seattle Mariners could be what they need to get back on track.
Boston seeks a seventh straight home victory over Seattle in the opener of a three-game series Tuesday night.
The Red Sox (63-44) went 5-5 against the Yankees, Baltimore and Tampa Bay over the last 11 days, falling to the now first-place Rays for the third time in that stretch Monday.
Brandon Snyder 's homer in the sixth inning accounted for Boston's only run in the 2-1 defeat, which was a makeup for Thursday's rainout. Manager John Farrell was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing Daniel Nava being called out at home plate. Replays showed Nava was safe."He had every right to be upset," outfielder Shane Victorino said when asked about Farrell's ejection. "The human error is part of the game and that stuff happens."
The Red Sox have dropped four of their last six at home, but they've won six straight over Seattle at Fenway Park and took the final three of a four-game series from the Mariners at Safeco Field from July 8-11.
Brandon Workman made his major league debut in that set, and he hopes this outing turns out better.
Workman (0-1, 4.40 ERA) gave up a homer to Brendan Ryan - the first batter he faced - and allowed three runs in two innings of relief in Boston's 11-4 victory July 10.
"That's not the way I saw it going in my head," Workman told the team's official website after his debut.
The right-hander will be making his third career start Tuesday after giving up two runs in six innings of a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay on July 22. He'll be opposed by Joe Saunders , who is looking to bounce back from a loss of his own.
Saunders (9-9, 4.48) had won his previous four starts while posting a 1.73 ERA before allowing six runs - five earned - in 4 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 10-1 loss to Cleveland.
"Just one of those days," Saunders said.
The left-hander went 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in his first five road starts this season, but he's gone 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his last six outings outside of Seattle. His last start against Boston also went well as he allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-3 win Sept. 30 while pitching for Baltimore.
Saunders will be looking to help the Mariners (50-55) win their fifth straight road game after they completed a 4-3 homestand with Sunday's 6-4 win over Minnesota.
Shortstop Brad Miller and second baseman Nick Franklin , both rookies, had solid efforts. Miller, batting leadoff, went 2 for 3 with a walk, and Franklin, the No. 2 hitter, went 3 for 4 with a three-run homer in the fourth and a solo shot in the seventh.
"They spark us at the top of the order," said acting manager Robby Thompson , who has guided the team the last seven games while Eric Wedge recovers from a mild stroke. "It's not often you see a couple guys come up from Triple-A and hit 1-2 in the order in a short period of time."
Seattle activated Michael Morse from his month-plus stay on the disabled list Monday while also designating veteran outfielder Jason Bay for assignment. Morse, who was battling a strained right quad, could be in the lineup Tuesday.
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|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|
|Boston Red Sox|
|July 19, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|July 13, 2013||Andrew Bailey||15-Day DL||Right shoulder strain|
|July 09, 2013||Alex Wilson||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|July 08, 2013||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|July 07, 2013||Andrew Miller||60-Day DL||Left foot surgery - out for season|
|June 29, 2013||Stephen Drew||15-Day DL||Right hamstring tightness|
BOSTON (AP) -- Rookie Brandon Workman may be working his way into Boston's starting rotation.
Workman struck out nine while picking up his first major league win, allowing one run over six innings as the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 8-2 on Tuesday night.
"It's great that they have confidence in me, to let me make these starts and think that I can help contribute," said Workman, who was making his third career start. "It's something I'm trying to make the most of."
Workman (1-1) has allowed five runs in 18 1-3 innings as a starter, going at least six innings each time.
Workman allowed six hits, half of which came when he got himself in and out of a jam in the sixth to preserve a 6-1 lead. Seattle loaded the bases with three straight singles with one out, then the rookie regained his composure with two more strikeouts.
Workman didn't allow a run after Seattle took a 1-0 lead on a pair of hits in the first.
"Once he gets through the first or second inning, he really starts to find a very good rhythm. I thought he showed a tremendous amount of poise, particularly in the sixth," Boston manager John Farrell said. "The thing that stands out is just his willingness to attack the strike zone."
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered in the second, giving Workman a cushy 5-1 lead, and the young right-hander held on tightly.
"He doesn't look like a young guy. He looks like a veteran guy," Pedroia said.
Workman spoke a couple of hours before the Red Sox announced they had acquired veteran right-hander Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox in a three-way trade.
"That's not my place to say. That's not something I try to worry about," Workman said about how a trade might affect his spot. "I'm just trying to go out there and do the best I can whenever they give me the ball, whatever role that may be in."
Joe Saunders (9-10) allowed six runs over five innings for Seattle, including two in the first as the Mariners set themselves back with an error and a passed ball.
Pedroia drove in three runs, Shane Victorino had three hits and scored three runs, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run homer in the eighth for Boston, which finished with 11 hits and left just three runners on base.
The Red Sox led 2-1 after the first, before breaking it open with three more runs. Ellsbury hit a one-out homer into the Mariners' bullpen, which appeared to be in for a busy night.
It was Boston's fifth hit off Saunders, who was lucky Ellsbury's fifth homer of the season was a solo shot. Jose Iglesias led off the inning with a single, but tried to stretch it into a double and got caught in a long rundown.
Victorino followed with a single, then Pedroia hit one out to left for a 5-1 lead, snapping an 0-for-16 slump.
"I was throwing good pitches. I wasn't getting much help," Saunders said, declining to clarify whether he meant from his teammates or the umpires. "It was just a tough night for us. We didn't get any breaks."
Saunders allowed one more run in the fourth when Victorino doubled and scored on a single by Pedroia.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first when Nick Franklin doubled with one out and scored on a single by Kendrys Morales .
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on consecutive singles by Kyle Seager , Morales and Raul Ibanez . Workman struck out Michael Morse for the second out, then got Justin Smoak swinging on his 103rd pitch of the night to end the threat.
"We had our backs up against the wall there early and were never able to make a run at it," acting manager Robby Thompson said. "We did have a chance in the sixth."
Workman's previous high for strikeouts was five against Oakland in his first career start on July 14, when he left with the score tied at 2 in the seventh and didn't figure in the decision.
His only other start was last Monday against Tampa Bay, when he allowed two runs in six innings but got absolutely no offensive support in the 3-0 victory for the Rays.
Notes: The Red Sox held a pregame ceremony honoring former manager Joe Morgan , who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Red Sox won their first 12 games after Morgan took over midway through the 1988 season and went on to win the American League East during the era dubbed "Morgan Magic" in Boston. ... The three-game series continues Wednesday with Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (11-4) facing Boston RHP John Lackey (7-8). ... Farrell said before the game that Boston hoped to have RHP Clay Buchholz (right shoulder) back in the rotation, but could not say how soon. "That would be as good of an addition as we can make at any deadline," Farrell said. ... Saunders opened July with four straight wins and ended the month on a two-game losing streak. ... Iglesias was applauded after his baserunning blunder in the second. He avoided the tag at second with a slide beyond the bag, then went back and forth until Seattle eventually got him on a 7-4.