BOSTON — The Seattle Mariners’ quick start lasted just half an inning.
Up 1-0 after a pair of hits off Red Sox rookie Brandon Workman, the Mariners were trailing 2-1 just four batters into the Boston lineup, with much more to come in an eventual 8-2 loss Tuesday night.
An error, a passed ball and a pair of hits gave Boston a 2-1 lead, which grew to 5-1 in the second on homers by Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.
“They’ll learn from it. They’re young. Their first time here playing in Boston,” acting manager Robby Thompson said. “We did have a chance in the sixth.
“A little bit sloppy early. We had our backs up against the wall there early and were never able to make a run at it.”
Workman (1-1) struck out nine while picking up his first major league win, allowing one run over six innings. He allowed six hits, three of them in the sixth when Seattle loaded the bases with one out before Workman ended the threat with back-to-back strikeouts.
Joe Saunders (9-10) allowed six runs over five innings for Seattle, including two in the first.
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 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.
Saunders allowed one more run in the fourth when Victorino doubled and scored on a single by Pedroia.
“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.”
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.
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.