BOSTON — Scott Servais forced a wry smile and a small chuckle when it was mentioned that the sun came up Friday in Boston.

“It did,” he said.

For a time during the final innings of Thursday’s 12-6 loss, it likely felt like the world was going end for the Mariners manager. It certainly did on Mariners’ social media.

Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Servais made a glaring strategic mistake that he felt “changed the momentum” of the game.

Deciding a little too late to replace rookie starter George Kirby with reliever Sergio Romo for the bottom of the inning, Servais needed to buy some time for Romo to get loose in the bullpen. He went to home-plate umpire Scott Barry to check if he could allow Kirby to warm up and then replace him with a reliever. Barry, perhaps thinking Servais meant doing it if the Red Sox announced a pinch-hitter, said it was OK.

It wasn’t. The Red Sox weren’t pinch hitting and a substitution couldn’t be made once Kirby passed the baselines. He had to face one batter.

Kirby had no idea he was coming out and warmed up with the intent of pitching the inning. When Servais tried to make the move before Alex Verdugo batted, the umpires met and told him he couldn’t.


Kirby, who was less than enthused about being pulled from the game, was not much happier being called back from the dugout. He gave up a double to Verdugo and was removed for Romo, making him more irritated.

To make things worse, Romo gave up a single, and Julio Rodriguez’s throwing error allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Mariners bullpen imploded from there.

After the game, Servais “wore it” and accepted full responsibility for the mistake. He heard from plenty of colleagues about their similar difficult game situations and forgettable moments.

“The biggest thing is, and it’s the same thing I tell our players, you try to learn from it,” he said. “That’s why we watch baseball at all different levels for so many years and different things come up, and you try to learn from it and grow.”

Servais knows that he expects his players to be accountable for their mistakes on the field, so he certainly can’t ignore what happened.  

“If I’m going to preach these things to our players, it’s how you handle adversity when things aren’t going your way that really defines how it’s all going to play out. That’s what we are going to do here. We’ll learn from it and move forward.”


Festa returns from IL

The Mariners reinstated right-handed reliever Matt Festa from the 15-day injured list before Friday’s game, optioning reliever Wyatt Mills back to Class AAA Tacoma.

Festa, 29, was placed on the IL May 5 (retroactive to May 4) with elbow tendinitis. He said the issue quickly cleared up with rest and anti-inflammatories.

He had appeared in 11 games, posting a 5.25 ERA with five walks and 20 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.

“Matt was off to a really good start,” Servais said. “We’ve used him in different roles. We’ll ease him back in. We should be pretty good shape tonight with the bullpen.”

Festa’s rehab appearance with High-A Everett was canceled due a COVID outbreak with its opponents. He threw a 25-pitch simulated game instead.

“He’s been down for a little bit,” Servais said. “He had the live BP thing the other day, but he’ll be ready to go tonight. We’ll try to find, if we can, a little bit softer landing, but you never know how that works out.”


Mills, 27, has appeared in eight games for the Mariners with a 4.15 ERA (4 ER, 8.2 IP). He struggled in Seattle’s loss Thursday night, walking two batters and hitting another to force in a pair of runs while not recording an out.

Murphy not expected back soon

Catcher Tom Murphy won’t be activated from the injured list during this series as once hoped by the Mariners. And his return is not anticipated in the near future.

Murphy suffered a setback in his recovery from a dislocated left shoulder during a pregame workout in Toronto.

“He still doesn’t feel close to 100% with that left shoulder so it’s going to be little bit longer than we were hoping for. It’s just one of those things when something like that happens, you feel pretty good a couple days after and then you start to ramp up the baseball activity like he did in Toronto, and it just didn’t respond really well.”


  • Ken Giles (right middle finger strain) is still progressing and is getting closer to throwing off a mound in Arizona.