The Boston Red Sox secure win number one of 2019 following clutch ninth inning, pinch-hit at bat from Mitch Moreland against Mariners.
What better way for the Boston Red Sox to seize victory number one of the 2019 MLB season than to do so in comeback fashion?
The 2019 Red Sox opened up their season in fairly horrendous fashion on Thursday night. Chris Sale led the charge alongside Hector Velazquez, and Tyler Thornburg in allowing 12 Seattle Mariners runs to score on Opening Day.
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It seemed as though all was heading the same direction in game two of the season with second year righty, Nathan Eovaldi making his season debut.
Eovaldi like Sale, struggled as he allowed six earned runs through his 5.0 innings of work on the mound. The Mariners racked each of their eight hits off Eovaldi which included three home runs. That’s instant improvement from the five home runs that Red Sox pitching allowed to Mariners hitters on Thursday.
With back-to-back disappointing starts from Sale and Eovaldi, the Red Sox are the first American League team since the Live-ball era to have two consecutive six-plus run, three-plus home run starts from the first two games of the season.
Therefore it was the Red Sox offense that needed to lift the lackluster pitching effort in order to avoid going 0-for-2 in the first two games of the season.
Xander Bogaerts (1-for-3, RBI), J.D. Martinez (1-for-4, RBI), and Christian Vazquez (1-for-3, RBI) each took a page from the Mariners offensive game-plan, going deep for their first homers of the season.
In the ninth inning, the Sox made things interesting with Mariners right-handed pitcher Hunter Strickland on the mound. Rafael Devers kicked it off with a lead-off double off a 96 MPH fastball from Strickland to opposite field. That followed by a hit by pitch from Blake Swihart at the plate, pinch-hitting for Sam Travis.
Unfortunately the unicorn Boston Red Sox fans who stayed up on a Friday night to watch a West-Coast game in Seattle that technically ends Saturday morning, took a shot in the gut when Devers attempted to score off a Jackie Bradley Jr.grounder to first base.
This coming after Eduardo Nunez grounded into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases all loaded up and just one out in the eight inning.
Then came Plan B from Alex Cora. With two outs left in the ball-game and runners on first and second, Cora called on lefty Mitch Moreland to pinch-hit for the righty Christian Vazquez who had already homered in the game.
Mitch Moreland had went 0-3 with a walk previously on Thursday. With lefty Yusei Kikuchi on the mound for Seattle, Moreland sat on the bench with righty Sam Travis in the starting lineup.
This playoff call came with playoff results. Remember it was Mitch Moreland who came through for Boston in game four of the World Series with a three-run homer in Los Angeles. That at-bat would push the series lead to 3-1 in favor of the Red Sox.
Well, call it deja vu because results were identical in Seattle on just day two of 162.
Moreland clearly didn’t get the memo that October is well behind him. On a 2-0 pitch, Moreland took Hunter Strickland at 95 MPH to deep right and out of T-Mobile Park. An October-like three run bomb that gave the Red Sox their first lead since the first inning the day before.
Thanks to Mitch Moreland, the Boston Red Sox avoid their first 0-2 start in the regular season since 2012. Remember how that went?
Rick Porcello makes his season debut in game three of the series on Saturday night. First pitch from Seattle is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. E.T.