The Mariners, specifically Franklin Gutierrez, beat up on former teammate Roenis Elias on Friday night at Fenway Park, rocking him for seven runs in four innings and then holding on for an 8-4 win over the Red Sox.
BOSTON — Franklin Gutierrez always liked having Roenis Elias as a teammate. But he likes hitting off him as an opponent a little bit more.
The Mariners, specifically Gutierrez, beat up on their former teammate Friday night at Fenway Park, rocking him for seven runs in four innings and then holding on for an 8-4 win against the Red Sox and the most dangerous offense in baseball.
Gutierrez did the bulk of the damage against Elias, driving in a career-high six runs on a solo homer, a two-run homer and narrowly missing a third, instead settling for a three-run double.
@ Red Sox, 1:05 p.m., ROOT Sports
If there is some perceived advantage because he was teammates with Elias, Gutierrez wasn’t seeing it.
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“Not really, because I’ve never faced him before,” Gutierrez said. “We only had the reports. I just went out there, knowing the reports. He just threw me some pitches over the plate and I put some good swings on them.”
Robinson Cano drove in the other two runs. He had a run-scoring single off Elias and then hit his 19th homer of the season, launching a solo homer over the Green Monster in the seventh inning for an insurance run. By comparison, Cano didn’t hit his 19th homer last season until Sept. 22. The homer was his 247th as a second baseman, passing former Yankee Joe Gordon for the most home runs hit as a second baseman in American League history.
“The American League has been around for a while,” manager Scott Servais said. “That’s a pretty big deal.”
Cano was all smiles.
“To have that kind of record is something I take pride in myself and the way my parents raised me,” he said. “A lot of great second basemen have played this game, and to be in the company of that group is special. It’s special to do it here at a historic ballpark.”
The Mariners (36-31) were three pitches into the game and had a two-run lead against the emotional Elias. Ketel Marte hit the first pitch of the game off the Green Monster for a single. Two pitches later, Gutierrez sat on a changeup, crushing it over the wall in center for his sixth homer of the season.
“My job right now is hitting against lefties,” he said. “And there are times when more lefties come in a row and you get time to play. I’m glad we’ve had three or four lefties in a row.”
The lead went to 3-0 in the third when Gutierrez led off the inning by launching a moonshot on a first-pitch fastball over the Monster. It was the third multihomer game of his career and his second at Fenway. The other came on Aug. 16 last season.
“I was thinking about that today that the last time I played here I hit two homers too,” Gutierrez said. “I guess I see the ball pretty good here.”
Gutierrez had a chance to be the first Mariner since Jose Lopez (Sept. 22, 2010) to hit three homers in a game. Elias managed to load the bases with two outs for Gutierrez in the fourth inning. This time Gutierrez went with a 1-1 fastball away, driving it to right. The ball hit off the base of the right-field wall. While it wasn’t a homer, it cleared the bases and gave Seattle a 6-0 lead.
“I hit it really good, man, for real,” Gutierrez said. “I thought it had a chance. Everybody saw where the ball hit. It was really close.”
Cano made it 7-0, scoring Gutierrez on a line drive to left-center.
A 7-0 lead was more than enough run support for Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who exorcised some of his past struggles against the Red Sox, working seven innings, giving up four runs while scattering nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts to improve to 6-5. That’s a solid outing against a Sox offense that came into the game leading all of baseball in runs scored (378).
Holding Boston to four runs, and more importantly working seven innings, were much needed.
“It was huge, especially with a spot starter coming tomorrow,” Servais said. “We really needed that to calm things down a little bit.”
Easy as 2, 1, 3
|Franklin Gutierrez’s first three at-bats at Fenway Park on Friday (he’s batting .252 for the season with seven homers and 21 RBI):|
|First||2-run homer||M’s 2-0|
|Third||Solo homer||M’s 3-0|
|Fourth||3-run double||M’s 6-0|