Rafael Devers’ late home run lifts Red Sox over Mariners 2-0

Rafael Devers stunned his teammates, manager and opponent. Squares that are that far outside the strike zone should not end over the fence.

SEATTLE (AP) — Rafael Devers stunned his teammates, manager and opponent. Squares that are that far outside the strike zone should not end over the fence.

“Unreal,” said Boston manager Alex Cora. “It’s just hand-eye coordination, strength. You have to be perfect to hit a ball like that and he was for that one.”

Devers hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, Kutter Crawford and five relievers combined for a one-hitter, and the Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 2-0 on Sunday.

Boston ended a successful West Coast swing by halting Seattle’s offense, allowing only Luis Torrens’ single in the fifth inning. The Red Sox finished 8-2 on a 10-game trip.

You can thank Devers for delivering the needed punch on a day when it was difficult for either side.

Seattle hoped Devers wouldn’t even get on the plate in game eight, but reliever Paul Sewald hit Rob Refsnyder with a 2-2 fastball.

Sewald was 2-0 ahead of Devers and threw a fastball well outside the striking zone. Devers got his run onto the field and drove it into the Red Sox’s bullpen on the left for his 14th homer.

“I’m hitting everything and the pitch was a little closer than you think and I was able to hit it from inside the stadium,” Devers said.

It was the second straight day that Sewald (3-2) allowed a home run after Bobby Dalbec’s follow-up in the ninth inning on Saturday.

“There might be a hitter or two in this league, left-handers, who can hold that ball straight, let alone hit it out of the ballpark,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “You must take off your hat.”

Tyler Danish (2-0) was the third assist and earned the win. John Schreiber got help in eighth from a great dive catch from Refsynder in right field to rob Ty France of extra bases.

Tanner Houck threw ninth place for his second save. It was the fourth shutout for Boston during his voyage.

Crawford was recalled and started by Triple-A after Garrett Whitlock landed on the 15-day injured list. The right-hander threw one-hit ball for five innings and knocked out seven. Control problems on four walks prevented him from likely getting a chance in the sixth.

Crawford unsuccessfully held Seattle until Torrens lined a two-out single in the fifth. Jesse Winker followed with a walk, but Crawford beat France to end the inning for his last batsman.

“I mixed my places pretty well. Even when I was behind on the count, I could throw that cutter and get a weak contact or get back on the count,” Crawford said.

Boston’s throwing effort also spoiled Seattle’s Robbie Ray’s best start to the season. Ray mixed in a more downward motion fastball to match his regular four-seam fastball and slider and finished seven innings for the first time since opening day. He struck out a four, gave out a step and induced plenty of weak contact.

The only hits Ray allowed were a double for Xander Bogaerts that could have been counted as a miss, a bloop double for JD Martinez that hit France’s gauntlet, and a broken bat single by Alex Verdugo.

“I kept her on her toes the whole time,” Ray said.


Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi was placed on the 15-day injured list ahead of Sunday’s game with a lower back infection. Eovaldi returned to Boston for treatment and a stay in IL proved to be the best option. Eovaldi is 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 12 starts. … LHP James Paxton threw a 15-pitch bullpen on Saturday, continuing his recovery from Tommy John’s surgery. … LHP Chris Sale (ribs) is expected to pitch to hitters in Florida on Monday.

Mariners: RHP Ken Giles (finger) threw an inning of relief for Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday, giving up two hits and a run as part of a rehab effort. Servais wasn’t sure Giles would be ready to join Seattle’s roster in the next series.


Red Sox: After a day off, Boston returns home on Tuesday to take on Oakland. RHP Nick Pivetta (5-5, 3.78) will start the series opener against the A’s.

Mariners: Seattle opens a three-game series with AL Central, leading Minnesota, on Monday. RHP Chris Flexen (2-7, 4.35) will start the opener. Flexen has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his last three starts.

https://www.king5.com/article/sports/mlb/mariners/rafael-devers-late-home-run-lifts-red-sox-over-mariners-2-0/281-ce3f70b2-b815-42ea-b8bb-aed407ef24f2 Rafael Devers’ late home run lifts Red Sox over Mariners 2-0

Emma Bowman

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