Felix Hernandez was at the top of his game again tonight, while opposing starter Ryan Dempster was not. The result should have been a relatively easy — for Hernandez, anyway — win by the Mariners over the Boston Red Sox.
But it wasn’t.
Instead, it became an 8-7 loss.
It was 7-1 when Hernandez left the game, having gone seven innings and allowed the lone run on six hits while striking out eight.
Charlie Furbush gave up a solo homer to Shane Victorino in the eighth and then Tom Wilhelmsen was up to his old tricks in the ninth, walking a batter, giving up a single and then a double by Brock Holt that scored a run. Wilhelmsen then walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases with nobody out, forcing the Mariners to drop their closer in favor of lefty Oliver Perez.
But Perez was no better. He gave up a two-run single to Victorino and then another run-scoring single, to Dustin Pedroia, to cut the lead to one and put the tying run on second and winning run on first base with noody out still.
Perez then did himself a huge favor by striking out David Ortiz. The Mariners then brought Yoervis Medina into the game and he looked to have Jonny Gomes rung up on a 2-2 fastball down the middle. But it was called a ball. Gomes then lined the next pitch into center field to tie the game.
Stephen Drew then walked to load the bases and Daniel Nava put the Mariners out of their misery with a drive over the center fielder’s head and off the wall.
Now, it gets real tough in Baltimore, never a fun place for the Mariners to play. They’ll send Aaron Harang, Erasmo Ramirez and Joe Saunders to the mound.