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Boston at Seattle

Boston (36-43) «2020100005110
Seattle (42-37)030000010480

Ortiz sparks Red Sox offense, Mariners' streak ends at five

CBSSports.com wire reports

SEATTLE -- Clay Buchholz felt exhausted after throwing only 76 pitches.

His return to the mound for the Red Sox after nearly a month on the disabled list was a test by an aggressive Seattle offense that had battered Boston pitching the first two games of the series.

"They made me work hard," Buchholz said. "I knew they were swinging. That's about the most aggressive team that I've pitched to in my career. For the number of pitches that I threw that was a grinding, stressful outing knowing I can't make a mistake."

Buchholz pitched into the eighth inning in his first start since late May, David Ortiz gave him cushion from the start with his 449th career home run in the first inning, and Boston avoided being swept with a 5-4 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

Outside of three batters in the second inning, Buchholz's return could not have gone much better. He was efficient, he pitched deep into the game to save Boston's bullpen and he relied on more than only two pitches.

Buchholz was using just his fastball and cutter early in the season. The time away allowed him to work on his curveball and changeup and as his outing progressed, those pitches got better. Buchholz was so good with his pitch efficiency teammates were questioning whether the count was correct.

"At one point I had to ask if the pitch count was right because it was the fifth and he had like 45 pitches," Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "It was good. It was an encouraging outing and I'm glad for Clay that he went out and pitched like he did."

Ortiz knocked around Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, plunking a two-run shot off the windows of the cafe in right field at Safeco Field for a 2-0 lead, his 18th of the season. He drove in another run in the third with a line drive off the wall in right that barely cleared the glove of Seattle right fielder Stefen Romero.

"I thought we had a very good approach against Iwakuma, who pitches very well in this ballpark," Boston manager John Farrell said.

Buchholz (3-4) was knocked around in the second, giving up home runs to Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino, but otherwise avoided problems. Buchholz retired 11 of 12 during one stretch and pitched out of trouble in the sixth inning when the first two batters reached on singles.

Buchholz won for the first time since May 2. He had been on the disabled list since May 27 with a hyperextended left knee and after two rehab starts in the minors was brought back to the Red Sox's rotation.

Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs. He struck out two and walked none. He might have gotten through the eighth but Brad Miller led off the inning with a home run.

Reliever Andrew Miller struck out pinch-hitters Willie Bloomquist and Cole Gillespie to end the eighth. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 16th save despite allowing two runners.

"He looked confident, he looked relaxed," Farrell said of Buchholz. "He was able to make pitches with four different types of pitches. An overall outstanding performance."

Iwakuma struggled for the second straight outing, his pitches missing location. Iwakuma (5-4) lasted just four innings, giving up eight hits and five earned runs. Iwakuma was done when he failed to record an out after the first three batters of the fifth inning.

This wasn't the first time Boston has made Iwakuma's night short. Last season, Iwakuma lasted a career-low three innings, giving up eight hits and six runs against the Red Sox.

"I couldn't get the first pitch strike which cost me in a couple of at-bats," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "They took advantage of that, so not being able to throw strike one got to me."


Ortiz is tied for 36th on the all-time home run list with Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero. ... Boston RHP Brandon Workman will start Friday's opener in New York against the Yankees. ... Seattle recalled RHP Brandon Maurer to work out of the bullpen. He was a starter earlier in the season.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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In his first appearance since May 26, Clay Buchholz pitches efficiently and wins despite giving up three HRs.  (Getty Images)
In his first appearance since May 26, Clay Buchholz pitches efficiently and wins despite giving up three HRs. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

K. Seager
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

D. Ortiz
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Boston Red Sox
Brock Holt, 1B5220020 .323
Daniel Nava, RF4031000 .227
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3110103 .265
David Ortiz, DH4123010 .256
Jonny Gomes, LF4000043 .232
A.J. Pierzynski, C4020012 .254
Xander Bogaerts, 3B4000021 .256
Stephen Drew, SS4000000 .122
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF4110000 .211
Clay Buchholz, P00000001.000
   Andrew Miller, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
2B - Jackie Bradley Jr. (14, Iwakuma)
HR - David Ortiz (18, Iwakuma)
RBI - Daniel Nava (5), David Ortiz 3 (49)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz 2 (19)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Daniel Nava 1
DP - Drew-Holt
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz (W,3-4) 7.1744023 6.75
Andrew Miller (H,8) 0.2000020 2.61
Koji Uehara (S,16) 1100110 1.26
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 76-55, Andrew Miller 11-8, Koji Uehara 19-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 5-13, Koji Uehara 2-0
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 27, Andrew Miller 2, Koji Uehara 5
Seattle Mariners
Endy Chavez, DH3010000 .266
   a-Willie Bloomquist, PH-DH1000010 .276
James Jones, CF3010000 .280
   b-Cole Gillespie, PH-CF1000010 .250
Robinson Cano, 2B4000002 .324
Kyle Seager, 3B4131001 .267
Logan Morrison, 1B3110110 .225
Mike Zunino, C4112022 .231
Dustin Ackley, LF4000002 .222
Brad Miller, SS3111000 .208
Stefen Romero, RF3000000 .200
Hisashi Iwakuma, P0000000 .000
   Tom Wilhelmsen, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Maurer, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Chavez in the 8th
b-struck out for Jones in the 8th
HR - Kyle Seager (12, Buchholz), Mike Zunino (11, Buchholz), Brad Miller (7, Buchholz)
RBI - Kyle Seager (54), Mike Zunino 2 (27), Brad Miller (21)
Team LOB - 3
Outfield Assists - Dustin Ackley 1
DP - Miller-Morrison
Seattle Mariners
Hisashi Iwakuma (L,5-4) 4855131 3.48
Tom Wilhelmsen 3200030 2.63
Brandon Maurer 2100040 7.08
Pitches-Strikes - Hisashi Iwakuma 80-54, Tom Wilhelmsen 35-27, Brandon Maurer 24-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hisashi Iwakuma 5-4, Tom Wilhelmsen 3-1, Brandon Maurer 1-1
Batters Faced - Hisashi Iwakuma 21, Tom Wilhelmsen 9, Brandon Maurer 7
Game Information
Attendance - 27333
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Pat Hoberg, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Dan Bellino