Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox
When and Where: Sunday, May 12, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass., 1:05 p.m. EDT.
Looking to end a tough road trip on a positive note, the Seattle Mariners turn to staff ace Marco Gonzales to help avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the surging Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
Gonzales looks to build on solid outing
Gonzales (5-1, 3.08 ERA) has been one of the few Mariners pitchers to avoid struggling on this trip, with Seattle needing a victory to finish 3-7 on its run through Cleveland, New York, and Boston.
Marco Gonzales has:
– 3rd slowest average MPH pitch velocity (83.1) in MLB
– 6th highest in AL First Pitch Strike (66.8%)
— Ariel Cohen (@ATCNY) May 8, 2019
Seattle’s bullpen cost the left-hander a win over the Yankees on Tuesday night after he limited them to one run and three hits in six innings of the Mariners’ eventual 5-4 walk-off loss, not returning to the game following a rain delay.
It was a welcome bounce-back effort for Gonzales, who was coming off the shortest outing of his career versus the Chicago Cubs on May 1 in which he gave up more runs (6) than recorded outs (5).
“I’ve been thinking about this one for five days now,” Gonzales told the team’s official website. “I had some time to weigh how my last one went, and I thought I corrected a lot of things I wanted to work on. They’re a very aggressive team, so I wanted to locate the offspeed early and get ahead and get them off-balance, and I think we did a good job of that.”
Gonzales labored to a home win over Boston on March 28, which was his first start after he opened the season in Japan facing Oakland. The southpaw ground out 5 1-3 innings, yielding four runs and nine hits in Seattle’s 12-4 victory.
His only other start against the Red Sox was a loss at Fenway last year, giving up five runs and seven hits in six innings. J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr. are a combined 6 for 11 versus Gonzales, and Xander Bogaerts has a pair of doubles in six at-bats.
Red Sox hitting stride and seekinf fifth straight win
After a 9-15 start, the Red Sox (21-19) have reeled off 12 wins in 16 games to get themselves back in the AL East hunt. They have won four straight after Saturday’s 9-5 victory, erasing a four-run, first-inning deficit with an eight-run third.
Sandy joins in on the fun! 💣 pic.twitter.com/0185uttRqf
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 11, 2019
Bradley, whose two-run single gave Boston the lead for good, is still trying to string together good at-bats and batting just .149. He is, however, 4 for 11 with runners in scoring position at home.
The rest of Boston’s offense has more than picked him up, averaging 7.4 runs and batting .284 with 22 homers while winning 10 of the last 12 games
The Red Sox have yet to officially name a starter, but it is believed Hector Velazquez (0-2, 4.03) will get the ball first in a bid for the sweep. The right-hander has served as an extended opener for Boston, not throwing more than 3 1-3 innings in any of his five occasions as starter.
He had a rough first inning Tuesday night versus Baltimore, serving up a two-run homer, but bore down to pitch two uneventful innings as Boston eventually won 8-5. Velazquez has a 4.40 ERA as a starter, giving up seven runs in 14 1-3 innings but only two extra-base hits.
The righty made two relief appearances versus Seattle last month, yielding three runs and four hits in a combined 3 1-3 innings. Velazquez has no record and a 4.70 ERA in four lifetime matchups with the Mariners, all in relief totaling 7 2-3 innings.
The Mariners are:
- 2-8 in their last 10 games following a loss.
- 1-4 in Gonzales’ last five starts vs. AL East teams.
- 2-10 in their last 12 road games.
The Red Sox are:
- 5-1 in their last six games when allowing five or more runs in the previous game.
- 17-5 in their last 22 home games vs. left-handed starters.
- 6-1 in Velazquez’s last seven starts vs. sub-.500 teams.