Boomstick RBI Single Lifts M's Past Boston, 2-1 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Boomstick RBI Single Lifts M's Past Boston, 2-1

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Nelson Cruz came up with the walk-off RBI single to lead the Mariners past Boston. (Photo: Twitter/ESPN) Nelson Cruz came up with the walk-off RBI single to lead the Mariners past Boston. (Photo: Twitter/ESPN)

SEATTLE (AP) -- Nelson Cruz's RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning drove in Brad Miller from second base to give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.

Miller started it with a one-out single off Tommy Layne (0-1), and he advanced on Robinson Cano's groundout. Junichi Tazawa took over on the mound and Cruz hit his 3-2 pitch into the left-center gap for the victory.

Cruz has had at least one hit in each of his last eight games, hitting .467 (14 of 30) during that stretch.

Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0) tossed two shutout innings for the victory. J.A. Happ went seven innings in the start for the Mariners, allowing one run and five hits.

Clay Buchholz worked the first eight innings for the Red Sox with no walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts, one shy of his career high. He showed no signs of a left ankle injury sustained Sunday against Toronto.

Shane Victorino used his bat and back to score the game's first run in the second. After he singled, Pablo Sandoval hit a soft liner to Miller at shortstop and Victorino was caught too far off first and scrambled back. Miller's throw, however, hit Victorino in the back and he was ruled safe.

When the ball hit him, Victorino was on the infield grass, considerably out of the baseline. Manager Lloyd McClendon did not argue the point and it's not a reviewable play. It comes down to the umpire's judgment that the runner did not `willfully' interfere with the fielder's throw.

Victorino then stole second and scored on Xander Bogaerts' triple off the left-center wall.

The Mariners tied it in the sixth on Seth Smith's third home run of the season, off a 1-0 pitch from Buchholz, deep into the center-field seats.

Of the first 35 games, the Mariners have played 31 decided by three runs or fewer.

BREAKING UP THE RIGHTIES

With the Mariners hitting .053 (1 for 19) with runners in scoring position during their previous two games, McClendon adjusted, shifting left-hand-hitting Logan Morrison one spot down in the lineup to seventh. "Just to split (the right-handers) up," McClendon said. "We haven't had a lot of success down there." Morrison has been one of the team's top hitters, batting .353 since April 29. The Mariners have used 27 different batting orders in 35 games.

ORTIZ HAUNTS OLD TEAM

With his first-inning single, Red Sox DH David Ortiz has been on base with a hit or walk for 47 of the 49 career games he has played against the Mariners. That includes all 29 of his road games at Safeco. Ortiz, originally a Mariners farmhand, has the second-best OPS in Safeco Field history.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: CF Austin Jackson (right ankle sprain) "should be close" to heading out on a rehab assignment, McClendon said. "I told him what I'd tell any player: You have to swing the bat before you come back, and have some success `cause you don't want to waste your at-bats up here," McClendon said. ... SS Chris Taylor got a day to rest. He has a neck strain and is hitting .143.

Red Sox: RHP Justin Masterson (right shoulder tendinitis), placed on the DL on Wednesday, is starting off by merely playing light catch at this point.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (6-0, 1.85) has been a handful for the Red Sox to deal. In 17 career starts, Hernandez is 8-2 with a 3.06 ERA against Boston. He is 5-1 with a 3.51 ERA in eight Safeco Field starts, including 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA over his last six. He is off to the best start of his career and second best in club history behind Aaron Sele's 8-0 start in 2001.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.50) threw 101 pitches in only five innings in his previous start Monday against Oakland. He is 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA in five career starts against Seattle but this will be only his second career start in Safeco Field, since April 20, 2011, while with Detroit.

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