The Mariners scored 30 runs and hit .301 (47-for-156) in four games against the Red Sox, and what did it get them? A grand total of one victory.
Thursday’s 8-7 loss in 10 innings was frustratingly similar to Tuesday’s 11-8 defeat. In both cases, the Mariners jumped ahead 5-1 early, only to have their starter struggle as the Red Sox roared back. On Tuesday, it was Hisashi Iwakuma. This time, it was Erasmo Ramirez.
A pitcher who relies heavily on his command, Ramirez had little, throwing 54 strikes and 47 balls among his 101 pitches.
Ramirez, who once walked five batters in 88 innings in an entire minor-league season, issued four base on balls and also hit a batter in 4 2/3 innings. That’s in addition to giving up six hits, a mishmash that resulted in seven runs charged to Ramirez.
“He just didn’t have the command he needed to have,’’ Wedge said. “It’s his first start up here, so you have to take that in consideration. But he’s been up here before. He has to pitch to his strength, and a big part of his strength is commanding the baseball, using all his pitches and executing his pitches.”
Ramirez had walked six in his final outing for Tacoma before being called up Thursday to replace Jeremy Bonderman in Seattle’s rotation, so it’s an ongoing issue.
“All I could do is continue throwing the ball, and try to make quality pitches, but I didn’t and they made me pay for that,’’ Ramirez said.
The solace, Ramirez said, is that his arm feels great after the 23-year-old spent the first two months of the season on the disabled list with an elbow injury.
“Being able to pitch and feel good is the best feeling I’ve got right now,’’ he said. “I don’t like to lose, but it’s part of the game. I have to work on my mistakes and try to be better next time.”
Ramirez facing the most productive offense in the majors, one that Wedge would love to have his team emulate.
“In regard to grinding through at-bats, they have two of the greatest examples in the game in (Dustin) Pedroia and (David) Ortiz,’’ Wedge said. “They’re MVPs, they’re all-stars, they’ve been doing it for years. They take it to another level. Ellsbury’s about as hot as anyone can be. All the other guys, they watch it day and day out.”
The Mariners have scored 30 runs in the four games against Boston despite losing three of them. In this one, Kyle Seager homered in the second off Dempster, giving the Mariners a home run in 19 consecutive games, matching their club record. The Mariners were an uncharacteristic 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
“Our offense has been a lot better,’’ Wedge said. “That’s been obvious. We’ve been fighting and going deeper in counts, and we did it today.”
But in the end, all it got them was another loss.
A few notes:
Outfielder Endy Chavez had to be removed from Thursday’s game in the fourth inning with right groin tightness. He said he hurt himself running out a bunt single.
“I think it’s not that bad,’’ Chavez said. “I feel sore right now. Hopefully that soreness goes away fast.”
In the 10th inning, Mariners catcher Mike Zunino took a foul ball off the inside of his kneecap and went down in pain. He stayed in the game, however.
“It locked up, but with a little movement it loosened back up,’’ Zunino said. “I just threw some ice on it. It feels a lot better now.”
(bullet) The Mariners announced that the contract of Jeremy Bonderman, who had been designated for assignment on Monday, was outrighted. But Bonderman declined to accept the outright and became a free agent.