The Seattle Mariners are a team begging to get beat. They came into Saturday's game at Safeco Field hitting .197 at home and averaging 2.8 runs a game.
True to form, they managed only nine hits over 11 innings and three runs. But that was enough to beat the Red Sox.
"We have to find a way to win that game," Dustin Pedroia said after a 3-2 loss. "We had a lot of chances."
The Sox had 11 hits and drew two walks off seven Seattle pitchers. But they were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. The Sox had two hits in the ninth and didn't score, and two more in the 10th.
"You never want to go extra innings on the road," Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Then it takes just one swing of the bat."
Alfredo Aceves (0-5) got one out in the 11th before Dustin Ackley singled. Miguel Olivo also singled and Ackley went to third base. With the infield in, Chone Figgins hit a liner to right. Cody Ross made an accurate throw but it short-hopped Saltalamcchia and Ackley scored.
It was the second walk-off win in the series for Seattle. The Sox are 0-5 in extra innings this season. Now they need a win on Sunday just to split the series.
Aceves was working his third inning but had thrown only 14 pitches. Bobby Valentine went for it with his closer. "There was no way he was coming out of that game," he said.
Last night's loss pisses me off. I can deal with the game one loss because King Felix was on the mound and not many teams have overwhelming success against him. But, after game 1, the Red Sox should be crushing teams like Seattle. As said at the top of the Globe article, the Mariners are just begging to be beat.
The only thing the Marniners have going for them is pitching, which is not that great. The Red Sox missed some great opportunities last night to put the Mariners away, especially Mike Aviles. You don't see the number 9 hitter get many opportunities to put runs on the board, and Mike Aviles squandered every chance he got. Mike went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and the team went 1-for-12, and left 10 on base. Awful. It pisses me off even more that it was against Seattle. I think I can safely say that this team is not going to make the playoffs this season. I am giving up on them.
On page 2, we bid farewell to Darnell McDonald
He wound up playing in 117 games for the Sox that year. But that number dropped to 70 games played in 2011 thanks in small part to an injured quad. And he'd played in just 38 of the first 77 games this season when he got the word midday Saturday that he was being handed the DFA card once again.
"Dream come true to play in Boston want to wish my boys good luck the rest of the year! Much love to RSN! #ShowGoesOn," McDonald tweeted Saturday.
The Red Sox needed to make a move to get Saturday's starting pitcher, Josh Beckett, off the disabled list and eligible to play. It wasn't a huge surprise since McDonald had gotten just 28 at-bats in June.
"He's one of the guys you love to have here," manager Bobby Valentine said of the 33-year-old McDonald, who played all three outfield positions in his 2½ seasons with the Red Sox. "He helped us win games defensively and offensively. He's a well-respected guy."
The respect couldn't outweigh the numbers. Boston has been getting good work out of Daniel Nava, Cody Ross and Ryan Kalish of late, and Ryan Sweeney is due off the disabled list next week. Beyond that, Ellsbury and Carl Crawford both should be back mid-July or so.
"With all the outfielders we have eventually coming back, his number eventually would have come," Valentine said. "We decided to do it now."
ESPN Boston: Sox designate McDonald for assignment
Darnell had his moments in the spotlight, but had more moments struggling to get hits and make an impact. His job was never secure, at least long term, but he was used to his full potential while in Boston.
McDonald was a force while in Pawtucket in 2010, and the Sox needed him with the loss of Ellsbury. The Sox came across a similar situation this season and McDonald saw some shared time in the outfield with the abundance of outfielders at the Sox' disposal.
It was clear that McDonald was not making the Sox better, and it was time to let him go.
Thanks, and, Good luck Darnell, you may need it.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Doesn't get old | Deja Vu for Cody Ross | Mariners outlast Red Sox in 11 | ESPN Boston: Sox can't solve M's in another walk-off loss | Rapid Reaction: Mariners 3, Red Sox 2 (11) | A's Reddick proving Red Sox wrong | Globe: Mariners outlast Red Sox in 11 innings, 3-2 | Aaron Cook starting to find his form