Mookie Betts smacks homer off Mariners closer, breaking a tie and giving the Red Sox a 2-1 victory, one night after Seattle’s 12-inning loss to the Cubs.

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The time has come for the Mariners to make a change at closer, at least in the short term.

Steve Cishek allowed a go-ahead solo home run to the first batter he faced in the ninth inning of Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Red Sox, a team the Mariners (52-52) are chasing in the wild card. The loss came just a day after Cishek allowed three runs and blew a save in Chicago and on the heels of a rough month; he had a 6.10 ERA in July.

“We probably need to look where we’re headed, in the short term anyway, to get him back on track,” manager Scott Servais said. “Anybody who has ever tried to do that role, you need confidence, you have to believe in it. And he’s made some rough pitches the last couple nights.”

Servais added, “We’ll probably take the gas off a little bit and try to get him in some better spots and maybe not when the game is on the line all the time and get it back going again.”

Cishek has blown six saves this season, and the three-run lead he blew against the Cubs on Sunday was particularly painful. With that wound still fresh, Cishek gave up what proved to be the game-winning home run to Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in the ninth inning.

The Red Sox fans at Safeco Field roared. Some Mariners fans joined in with boos.

“I don’t think I could be any more frustrated than I am right now,” Cishek said. “Obviously, this a tough stretch for me, but the worst part about it is hurting the team. That’s what makes it frustrating.”

If the Mariners remove Cishek from the closer role, the job will fall to hard-throwing rookie Edwin Diaz. Diaz, 22, has 49 strikeouts in just 25 innings and a 1.80 ERA.

Servais offered his usual disclaimers about Diaz: He’s just a rookie, hasn’t pitched a full season and the team will need to monitor his usage. But he called Diaz the “logical choice” to close.

“And he’s ready for that,” Servais said. “There’s no doubt.”

Diaz was actually warming up in the ninth inning when Cishek gave up the home run. Servais said the plan was to use Cishek against Boston’s three right-handed hitters due up that inning because righties are hitting .147 against Cishek this season.

And if the dangerous (and left-handed hitting) David Ortiz stepped into the batter’s box — he was due up fourth — Servais planned to call on Diaz.

Cishek struggled to pinpoint the root of his problems.

“It’s not a mental thing,” Cishek said. “Mentally, I’m confident when I go out there. For whatever reason, it’s not happening right now. It’s really hard to explain when you’re in the moment. I’m sure when the dust settles and everything clears out, I can look back and build off what I’ve been going through right now. But right now I need to find an answer pretty soon.”

The ending soured a brilliant start from James Paxton, with one caveat.

Paxton allowed only four hits all night, but one of those hits was a tying solo home run in the eighth inning to Red Sox third baseman Aaron Hill. It was the only run Paxton allowed and one of his only mistakes.

“He was really on top of his game,” Servais said.

Paxton should have been able to give up one run in eight innings and pick up the win, but he had no room for error because the offense struggled.

In the seventh inning, Dae-Ho Lee doubled to drive in Robinson Cano with one out. But that inning was more memorable for missed chances than the one cashed in.

The Mariners had the bases loaded with one out, but Franklin Gutierrez and Chris Iannetta both struck out. The Mariners have struggled, especially lately, with the bases loaded.

In the eighth inning, the Mariners had a runner at second with one out but stranded him as well.

To cap it off, after Cishek allowed the home run in the ninth inning, the Mariners had two runners with two outs in the ninth inning and once again couldn’t deliver, leaving Paxton with an unfulfilling result and Cishek searching for answers.

“It has been our Achilles heel all year,” Servais said. “The number of games we’ve been in that we’ve had a chance to extend leads and we haven’t, and it has come back and gotten us over and over again.”