SEATTLE – David Ortiz hit a three-run home run off Brandon League in the eighth inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 9-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Jed Lowrie homered twice for Boston, which is seven games behind New York and third in the A.L. East Division.
League (9-7) entered the game in relief of starter Luke French and quickly retired his first two batters. Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre followed with a pair of singles and League served up a fastball on the inner half of the plate that Ortiz drilled over the wall in right-center field to give the Red Sox a 7-5 lead.
The Mariners added a run in the ninth inning. Rich Hill (1-0) got the win in his first appearance since July 27, 2009 with Baltimore.
After League walked Varitek to lead off the ninth, Eric Patterson stole second as a pinch runner, moved to third on a ground out by Daniel Nava and scored on a fielder’s choice by Ryan Kalish. Josh Reddick followed with an RBI single to make it 9-5.
Lowrie hit his first of two home runs off Mariners starter Luke French in the second inning with a runner on to put the Red Sox on top.
Lowrie struck again in the fourth with a solo shot over a leaping Michael Saunders to take a 4-2 lead. French managed to settle down and retire his final 12 batters.
Daisuke Matsuzaka drilled Josh Wilson to lead off the fifth inning and Seattle capitalized on the mistake. Ichiro Suzuki doubled to left-center field to score Wilson from first. After Chone Figgins reached on a bunt, Branyan hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Ichiro and tie the game at 4.
A leadoff single from Ichiro chased Matsuzaka in the seventh inning. Figgins sacrificed Ichiro to second base and Gutierrez drove him in with a two-out double off the wall in left-center field to give the Mariners a 5-4 lead.
Mariners manager Daren Brown hinted Tuesday that Felix Hernandez may get three starts and not four the rest of this season, although he said it’s very unlikely. The Mariners are carefully watching Hernandez’s innings count, which is at 225 2/3. … As expected, catcher Guillermo Quiroz of Class AA West Tennessee joined the team Tuesday, with other September callups expected after the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers’ season ends. The Rainiers began their best-of-5 Pacific Coast League championship series Tuesday night at Memphis. Brown said Quiroz would be the third catcher behind Adam Moore and Josh Bard, and that Moore would get most of the playing time. … Among Mariners prospects assigned to winter league teams this offseason will be pitchers Dan Cortes and Jarrett Grube, plus third baseman Alex Liddi, to Venezuela and outfielder Carlos Peguero to the Dominican Republic, according to Mariners minor league director Pedro Grifol. … Former Mariner Alvin Davis threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday’s game.