With the other four teams in the American League East losing on Thursday, the Boston Red Sox had a prime opportunity to pick up a game on everybody in the standings. Unfortunately though, they ran into King Felix Hernandez.
King Felix tied his career-high of 13 strikeouts and John Jaso delivered the pinch-hit walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th to give the Seattle Mariners the 1-0 win over the visiting nine.
Franklin Morales did his best to match Hernandez as he allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out seven in seven innings of work. Morales gave way to Andrew Miller who set the side down in order in the 8th.
However in the 9th Scott Atchison gave up a one out double to Casper Wells. After an intentional walk to Justin Smoak, Jaso singled to Cody Ross in right field. Ross' throw to the plate was on target and beat Wells to the plate but Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn't hold on to the baseball.
You have to like what Morales has given the Red Sox in just his third start after 22 appearances out of the bullpen.
Once again, he showed great life on his fastball as he averaged almost 94 mph for the night. The best part though he continued to show great command and location of all of his pitches. He did miss the zone later in the game as he ventured into uncharted waters with his pitch count but overall there's nothing bad you can say about his outing.
In his three starts now since coming out of the bullpen, he has allowed 14 earned runs on 18 hits and three walks while striking out an astounding 24 batters.
Yes those numbers haven't come against the best of offenses in the league. The thing is though that Morales was doing this out of the bullpen as well. With him starting now, we getting a bigger sample size of what he can do.
I know manager Bobby Valentine said before the game that he was going with a six-man rotation until the All-Star break but you'd have to think that Morales will be a part of the rotation going forward. He's definitely earned it.
If you were going to say there was a winner in the Red Sox lineup last night, you'd probably go with Mike Aviles. But that's because he was the only member of the starting nine not to be struck out by Hernandez. King Felix got Ryan Kalish three times, Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks and Cody Ross two times while striking out Daniel Nava, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and Salty once.
Hits were few and far between off of Hernandez as well as the Sox managed just five on the night, all singles. Those came off the bats of Nava, Big Papi, Salty, Gonzo and Aviles.
When the Red Sox had the opportunities, they weren't able to take advantage. Their best one came in the 9th.
Big Papi reached on a one-out single and went to second on a Salty walk. Brent Lillibridge came into pinch run for Big Papi and second. But Michael Saunders robbed Gonzo of extra bases and at least one Red Sox run maybe two as the runners were off on the 3-2 pitch. That could have ended up costing the Red Sox because the runners were off on the pitch, they couldn't tag up. It wouldn't matter though as Middlebrooks popped out setting the stage for Jaso in the 9th.
Definitely a tough way to lose last night (early this morning really) for the Red Sox. You really hate to see an effort like the one of Morales wasted. But that's the game of baseball. All we can do now is hope they come out and win later tonight.
We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take at look at the overnight links from the media by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click
Sox lose heartbreaker on Jaso walkoff single [boston globe]
Cook served up a winner last time [boston globe]
Ortiz shows his clout on and off the field [boston globe]
Iglesias back in for Pawtucket [boston globe]
Mariners get drop on Sox [boston herald]
Classic duel slips from Sox' grasp [boston herald]
Aaron Cook's ready to serve [boston herald]
Jarrod Saltalamacchia thrives in his expanded role [boston herald]
Five things we learned on another memorable night for Franklin Morales [rob bradford - weei.com]
Red Sox drop the ball, lose to Mariners, 1-0 [csn new england]
Pitching duel ends in play at the plate [csn new england]
Pedroia: Hernandez 'was pretty special tonight' [csn new england]
First Pitch: Sox find a winner in Morales [csn new england]
Sox to use 6-man rotation 'til break? [espn boston]
All-Star homecoming for Bobby V in Seattle [espn boston]
OF update: Crawford, Ells, Pods, Sweeney [espn boston]
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 1, Red Sox 0 [espn boston]
Salty, Sox let one slip away [espn boston]
Boston Red Sox outfield picture is about to get crowded [espn boston]
Win a prize in our Dropkick Murphys trivia contest [extra bases]
Franklin Morales' Efficiency, Dominance Deserving of Permanent Spot in Red Sox Rotation [nesn.com]
Red Sox Offense Continues to Find Trouble With Young Aces Like Felix Hernandez, Stephen Strasburg [nesn.com]
David Ortiz Misses Out on Milestone in Day One of the Pursuit For 400 Career Home Runs [nesn.com]
Morales turns in yet another stellar start [redsox.com]
Sox to use six-man rotation through All-Star break [redsox.com]
Crawford makes strong throw; Ellsbury set for action [redsox.com]
Saltalamacchia hopeful of All-Star bid [redsox.com]
Valentine has fond memories of '88 All-Star Game [redsox.com]
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.
And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the Everett Herald, Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune websites.
Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.
photo credit: Getty Images
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
|Best of Yardbarker||NFL News||MLB News||NBA News||NHL News|
Today's Best Stuff