David Ortiz is one hit away from history and the Boston Red Sox appear to be back on track. Ortiz and the Red Sox go for another win Wednesday in the third test of a four-game set against the Seattle Mariners.
Ortiz helped the Red Sox end a three-game losing streak in Tuesday's 11-8 win at Safeco Field and finished 4-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored. He is now tied with Harold Baines for the most hits by a designated hitter (1,688). Ortiz is already the all-time leader in runs scored, doubles, homers, extra-base hits and RBI as a DH.
"I'm getting old, man," Ortiz, 37, told the club's website. "You've got to play for awhile to put numbers together. I don't really think about it right now, just trying to go through the motions and produce for this ballclub and win some ballgames."
Big Papi's contributions helped Boston end its brief slide and win for the 10th time in the past 14 tries. Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went deep and Pedroia had a team-high three runs batted in. The AL East-leading Red Sox are 3 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay in the division.
Red Sox starter Allen Webster gave up seven runs on six hits over 2 1/3 frames, but five Red Sox relievers combined to hold the Mariners to one run the rest of the way. Craig Breslow picked up the victory after tossing 2 1/3 scoreless frames and Koji Uehara recorded his sixth save.
"His ability to use multiple pitches in any count just to slow them down, that was the approach," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Breslow. "He gave us a chance to get on track."
Boston is 2-3 on its 10-game western trek and will visit Oakland for three games this weekend.
The Red Sox turn to starter Felix Doubront Wednesday and he ended a string of four straight no-decisions his last time out in a 6-2 win at the LA Angels. He was charged with two runs in 6 2/3 innings and improved to 5-3 with a 4.11 earned run average in 16 games (15 starts).
Doubront is 3-2 in nine road starts and has faced Seattle twice (1 start) in his career. The left-hander has no record and a 1.59 ERA against the Mariners.
One night after taking the series opener, 11-4, the Mariners couldn't find a way to overcome a shaky start from All-Star Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw only three innings and surrendered six runs and eight hits, including three homers. Blake Beavan was dealt the loss for allowing two runs in the next two frames.
"For the most part, I was missing location-wise, catching too much of the fat part of the plate, and that was the main issue today," Iwakuma said through an interpreter.
Iwakuma is winless in his last five starts and has allowed at least four runs in each game during the drought.
Kendrys Morales powered the Seattle offense, finishing 3-for-5 with two homers and three runs batted in. Brad Miller had three hits as well and knocked in four runs for the Mariners, who entered the game having won two in a row and five of their previous seven games. It was the second time in the past four games Seattle has permitted 11 or more runs.
Seattle's Raul Ibanez went 0-for-5 to snap a 13-game hitting streak. He batted .364 with eight homers and 15 RBI in the streak.
M's starter Aaron Harang made a return to his stomping grounds of Cincinnati his previous time out and is back in the Emerald City ready to take on Boston. Harang held his former Reds club to a pair of runs in six innings of Friday's 4-2 win and was 0-1 in his past three starts.
Harang pushed his record to 4-7 in 14 starts with a 4.92 earned run average and is 3-3 in eight starts at Safeco Field. The right-hander has made three career starts against the Red Sox, going 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA.
Seattle and Boston are engaged in a series for the first time since the Red Sox took five of nine encounters a season ago.