SEATTLE -- All you need to know about the Red Sox' 10-7 loss to the Mariners, complete with BSJ analysis and insight.
Another far-from-quality start: Rick Porcello followed in the footsteps of the three starters who preceded him the mound -- which meant another poor outing from a member of the Red Sox rotation. Porcello was sharp in the first inning, recording two strikeouts but gave up two runs in the second. The third inning, he came completely unglued, issuing three walks and allowing seven more runs while not finishing the inning. It was one of the worst starts of Porcello's career and it couldn't have come at a worse time for the Sox, whose bullpen has been overworked in the first series of the season. "Not good,'' sighed Porcello. "I've got to do a lot better. I only covered two and two-thirds innings. Not good enough, absolutely. No excuses.'' Porcello left some pitches over the middle of the plate and couldn't get the patient Mariners' lineup to expand the zone. And the uncharacteristically poor control came back to hurt: of the four walks he issued, three of the hitters came around the score.
Defense has been suspect, too: The pitching has obviously commanded much of the attention, but the team's defensive play has been shoddy at times, too. They've committed at least one error in each of the first four games. On Sunday, a misplay in left field by J.D. Martinez opened the door for the seven-run third inning. Martinez was getting the start in left to give Andrew Benintendi a day off after he fouled a pitch off his right knee. Battling a tough sun in the outfield, Martinez seemed to lose track of the ball and had it bounce off the heel of his glove. That meant, of the seven runs that followed that inning, five of them were unearned. Along with the disappointing starting pitching, the Red Sox were expecting sloppy play in the early going, but that's what they've experienced. And it hasn't helped.
Martinez already hot: At the plate, however, Martinez is already in mid-season form. He drove in first run of the game in the first inning, giving him an RBI in each of the first four games of the season. After a walk to lead off the third, Martinez drilled a three-run homer to left in the fourth, giving him his second homer of the young season to go along with a .412 batting average and seven RBI. That's quite a contrast to the start of last season, when Martinez didn't homer until his seventh game with the Sox and didn't hit his second until his 10th game of the season. Martinez also collected his 1,000th career hit with his homer. A trio of fans who caught the ball in the left field stands met with Martinez after the game and got a bat signed from him and a picture taken with him in exchange for the souvenir ball.
As poorly as the Red Sox played and pitched, they had a chance to overtake the Mariners in the ninth after the Seattle bullpen experienced another late-game meltdown. The Sox trailed by four entering the ninth but three walks by Cory Gearran forced in one run and Chasen Bradford issued another bases-loaded pass to produce a second run. With one out and trailing by two, the Sox had the bases loaded and just one out. But Bradford fanned Christian Vazquez for the second out, then got Jackie Bradley Jr. to roll out to second for the final out.
Colten Brewer: There were some command issues, resulting in a wild pitch on a third strike and a walk, but Brewer flashed some impressive stuff, racking up three strikeouts while pitching the seventh.
Rafael Devers: Devers continues to sting the ball, doubling in the first inning and adding a single in the fourth. Devers is hitting .353 for the season.
Sam Travis: Travis got another start against a lefty, but this one didn't work out as well the other night, when he collected two hits. Travis was hitless in four at-bats and didn't make much hard contact.
QUOTE OF NOTE
"We didn't play well. We're actually lucky we won one.'' Alex Cora on the weekend series.
- The Red Sox have allowed 11 homers through the first four games, the most ever for a defending World Series championship team at the start of the next season.
- Ryan Brasier made his first appearance of the season meaning that every member of the 25-man roster has gotten into a game except for David Price, who pitches Monday.
- J.D. Martinez has knocked in runs in every one of the first four games, becoming the first Red Sox player since Shea Hillenbrand (2003) to do so.
- Mookie Betts has a 10-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
- The Sox allowed at least 34 runs in a four-game series for the first time in 19 years, having last done so against the Yankees in June of 2000.
The Red Sox leave Seattle and travel to Oakland, for another four-game set. On Monday, it will be LHP David Price (16-7, 3.58 in 2018) vs. RHP Aaron Brooks (0-0, 0.00).