SEATTLE – Don’t bury the Mariners quite yet.
After seven futile innings against Boston lefty David Price, the Mariners erupted for five runs in the eighth inning for an improbable 5-4 victory over the Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Robinson Cano capped the rally with a three-run homer, a no-doubter to right field against Fernando Abad that permitted Cano to stand and admire it for a few heartbeats.
Rookie Edwin Diaz then recorded his first save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning and striking out the side.
It was a remarkable comeback, and it lifted the Mariners back over .500 at 53-52.
The Mariners had just three hits against Price through seven innings, and trailed 4-0, when Mike Zunino rocked a leadoff homer in the eighth inning.
Price then allowed three straight singles, including Guillermo Heredia’s first major league hit, which prompted Boston manager John Farrell to go to his bullpen for Matt Barnes, who struck out Seth Smith.
Another switch replaced Barnes with Abad for a left-on-left match-up against Cano. The result was a 398-foot homer to right. Donn Roach (2-0) got the victory when Diaz closed out the game.
Abad (1-5) was the loser.
The Mariners got a quality start from lefty Wade LeBlanc – three runs in six innings – in his return to the rotation after a two-week absence. It was probably as good as they could hope for from the finesse lefty.
LeBlanc probably deserved better. The Red Sox scored two of their three runs on off-line throws to the plate. The other run against LeBlanc was a homer by Hanley Ramirez.
Boston scored its final run on Ortiz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth against Roach. That made it 4-0 … before everything turned around.
LeBlanc paid for a one-out walk in the first inning to Dustin Pedroia, after being ahead 0-2, when David Ortiz sliced a two-out double into the left-field corners.
A good relay throw by third baseman Kyle Seager might have nailed Pedroia at the plate, but the throw was off-line.
The Mariners got a two-out double in the second from Seager – it should have been a single. Bryce Brentz made an ill-conceived dive for the ball, and it got by him. But it didn’t matter. Price struck out Zunino.
It stayed 1-0 until two outs in the Boston fourth when Ramirez crushed an 86-mph fastball for a 455-foot homer to left-center field. LeBlanc had started the inning by striking out Xander Bogaerts and Ortiz.
Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a double to center and scored on Aaron Hill’s single left. As in the first inning, the Mariners had a play at the plate, but Heredia’s throw has high and off-line.
Boston led 3-0.
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