It’s hardly unusual to see Felix on the mound at Safeco Field stifling the offensive momentum of the opposition.
Except on Wednesday at Safeco Field, the Felix in question was Boston left-hander Felix Doubront. And the offense being stifled for much of the game was that of the Mariners, who were blasted 11-4 by the Red Sox.
The Mariners had scored 19 runs in splitting the first two games of the four-game series. But it was all Boston in this one as Mariners starter Aaron Harang was ripped for seven runs in five-plus innings.
Doubront, on the other hand, silenced what had been an improving Mariner attack, limiting them to just five hits and a run through seven innings.
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“It wasn’t a very good ballgame at all,’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
The Mariners didn’t even get a runner to third base until the seventh, when Jason Bay led off with a double, took third on a ground out and scored on Henry Blanco’s two-out single to center. By that point, however, the Red Sox had already built a 9-0 lead.
“They made me work,’’ Harang said. “I was falling behind in the count early on, and you can’t do that with a lineup like that.”
David Ortiz, who began his career in the Mariners organization – he was named David Arias in those days – started the Boston onslaught with a second-inning double that launched a two-run inning. It was Ortiz’s 1,688th career hit as a designated hitter, surpassing Harold Baines’ total for most by a DH. Seattle’s Edgar Martinez is third all-time with 1,607.
Ortiz, having another superb season at age 37, launched the 420th home run of his career in the third inning with a runner aboard for a 4-0 Boston lead. Ortiz added another run batted in – his 65th of the season, despite not playing his first game until April 20 – with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
In the first three games of the series, Ortiz is 8 for 10 with five runs scored, three doubles, two homers and three RBI.
“He’s still a force,’’ Wedge said. “I’ve seen too much of him over the years. He’s about as professional a hitter as you can be. Still has the bat speed, still has the power. Commands the strike zone probably as good as anyone in the game.”
Wedge dismissed the notion of pitching around Ortiz.
“It’s tough,’’ he said. “You have guys behind him, too. They have one of the best offenses in baseball. You put someone on, they have someone else coming. I’ve been through this time and time again. You’ve got to make pitches. You make pitches, you can get anyone out. You make a mistake to him, he’s going to make you pay for it.”
The Mariners’ offense got a too-late boost in the eighth against Boston reliever Brandon Workman, whose major-league debut turned out to be an ordeal.
He was greeted with a home run by .198-hitting Brendan Ryan, then gave up a double to Dustin Ackley. Kendrys Morales followed with an RBI double before Workman finally recorded an out on a liner to center by Kyle Seager. Later in the inning Justin Smoak doubled home another run, but the rally barely made a dent in Boston’s comfortable lead.
Workman rebounded with a 1-2-3 ninth to finish out the game, and wound up getting four strikeouts.
Harang, on the other hand, failed to issue a single strikeout in the game. In addition to eight hits (three of them for extra bases), Harang walked three batters and hit one.
Harang finally was pulled after the first two hitters in the sixth got on base. Reliever Lucas Luetge gave up RBI singles to Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino, and another run came home on an error by shortstop Brad Miller.
Ellsbury, who grew up in Madras, Ore., and attended Oregon State, had three hits in the game, extending his hitting streak to 18 games with a leadoff single in the first. That’s the longest active streak in the majors.
Nick Franklin exited in the seventh inning when his sore knee began to bother him. He’ll be re-evaluated Thursday, Wedge said.
• Reliever Stephen Pryor threw 25 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday, and the team plans to have him do it again Saturday. Pryor has been out a lat tear since mid-April.
“It was good,” Wedge said. “(Pitching coach Carl Willis) was very pleased with it.”
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org