There have been a lot of close games lately. But every once in a while, or actually hopefully more than every once in a while, the offense cuts loose. This was a slugfest. Indicated, of course, by the fact that we hit three long balls that accounted in total for more than half of our runs. Refreshingly, there was nothing close about this game.
Wow. Brandon Workman is awesome. He just pitched six innings of one-run ball like it was a walk in the park. (Pun intended.) In between the first inning’s first two outs, he gave up a double that turned into a run thanks to a single. Other than that, he was lights-out for the remainder of his start. He faced four in the second and third, three in the fourth and fifth, and six in the sixth. After striking out the inning’s first batter, he gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. But he rallied after that, securing two swinging strikeouts to end the frame.
Breslow had a one-two-three seventh, and Thornton had a one-two-three eighth. They took pages from Workman’s book. Beato, who came on for the ninth, did not. Or rather he did, but from the first inning only. After putting up two outs, he gave up a single, a walk, and another single, which scored a run. So the Mariners scored one in the first, one in the ninth, and none in between.
The same can most definitely not be said of our lineup. We did not waste time. Ellsbury struck out to open the first, but then Victorino doubled, Pedroia reached on a fielding error, and both Victorino and Pedroia both scored, on a passed ball and a single, respectively. One out later, Salty singled and Gomes walked to load the bases, but Drew grounded out to end the threat.
Our second inning was even bigger in every way. We scored three runs that inning, all via the long ball. Iglesias singled to start it off but was out at second. Then Ellsbury unleashed on a slider, his third of the at-bat, and sent it flying beyond the right field fence for a solo shot. Victorino singled after that, and it was Pedroia’s turn. This was a real battle. He took a two-seam for a ball, fouled off a two-seam and a changeup, took a four-seam for a ball, fouled off a slider, took a two-seam for a ball, and fouled off two more sliders. So, by the time the ninth pitch rolled around, obviously the count was full. He got another two-seam and put on a laser show. The ball rocketed toward the Monster. Pedroia’s been in a slump lately, but hitting that two-run shot, he looked pretty comfortable. He just unleashed all his power on that ball, and he looked like his old self again at the plate.
With two out in the fourth, Victorino doubled and scored on a single by, obviously, Pedroia, who ended up out at second. And Salty joined the home run club in the eighth; Napoli had singled with one out, and Salty powered a fastball to right center field.
In every inning during which we did not score, we went down in order. But thanks to the innings in which we did score, we won, 8-2.