BOSTON -- Christian Bergman supplied a big boost to the Mariners' injury-riddled rotation with seven scoreless innings on Sunday as Seattle snapped the Red Sox's six-game win streak and avoided a series sweep with a 5-0 victory at Fenway Park.
Bergman, making his fourth start of the season for a pitching staff with four starters on the disabled list, allowed four hits with two walks and two strikeouts to even his record at 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA. The 29-year-old gave up 10 runs in four innings in his previous start against the Nationals.
"I couldn't wait to get back out there after last time," Bergman said. "Sometimes the best way is to just get back out, simplify everything and get back to making pitches. I wanted to find a way to step up and get these guys a good start and give us a chance to score some runs."
After totaling just nine runs in their previous eight games, Seattle needed 16 hits to put together five tallies Sunday, with Guillermo Heredia slugging a 401-foot homer over the Green Monster in the eighth and Robinson Cano cranking a two-run shot to center in the ninth to break the game open.
Rick Porcello, last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, allowed two runs on 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings as he fell to 3-6 with a 4.21 ERA. The Red Sox are 27-22 after completing a 5-1 homestand, while Seattle improved to 22-29 with just its ninth win in 29 road games.
"I thought early on, even though they were able to put a couple of hits together, [Porcello] did a great job of making some quality pitches to minimize damage and keep it a one-run game while we're having a scuffling of a time getting anything going offensively," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The long drought ends: Runs have been hard to come by for the Mariners, but their 23-inning scoreless streak finally was snapped in the fourth when Kyle Seager doubled, moved to third on Danny Valencia's single and scored on a wild pitch by Porcello. But Seattle was unable to capitalize further in that frame when Porcello struck out Jean Segura to leave the bases loaded and keep the score at 1-0.
"Runs are good," Seager said. "We were in a pitchers' duel at that point, so it was just good to get on the board. To be honest with you, I wasn't thinking too much about the streak. I didn't realize it had gotten as long as it did. That's certainly not a good thing." More >
Bergman's best friend: The Red Sox couldn't make much headway against Seattle's starter, in large part because the right-hander induced double-play groundouts in each of the first four innings. Boston rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi hit into two of the twin killings, ending both the first and fourth frames with 4-6-3 grounders. The four double plays were a season high for Seattle. The Red Sox lead the Majors in balls grounded into double plays, with 58 this season.
"He threw the ball great, attacked them, obviously had the double-play ball going, which was huge," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He kept the pitch count in check. I can't say enough about the effort he gave us today, throwing strikes and attacking the strike zone. That's certainly what you have to do in this ballpark against this team."
Farrell said his team's ability to get men on base overrides its double-play numbers.
"It's not a concern because what we do have is the least number of strikeouts in baseball as a team," Farrell said. "It's a lineup that has a high number of guys that have good plate coverage, and we are putting a good number of people on base."
"It hasn't been easy for us [to score runs]. It's been a struggle. I thought yesterday we probably hit rock bottom. And the only way to get out of the bottom is to start crawling up. Hopefully we're on the right path." -- Servais
"I just had to grind. With runners on base, you have to find a way. It was all about limiting the damage. I just have to make pitches in big situations, and for the most part I kept them off the board. I'd definitely like to be a little more consistent in the count early, though." -- Porcello
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mariners backup catcher Carlos Ruiz had just six hits on the season and three in May heading into Sunday, but he went 3-for-4 to hike his average from .130 to .180. Ruiz doubled off the wall in the seventh and scored Seattle's second run on an infield single by Nelson Cruz.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners made the first challenge of the series in the eighth inning after Jarrod Dyson was called out stealing third. But replay could not definitively determine if Dyson's trail foot reached the bag before Deven Marrero's tag, and the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio (0-1, 1.38 ERA) makes his third career start for Seattle in Monday's 12:10 p.m. PT Interleague series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field. The 26-year-old gave up six hits and five runs in six innings in his last start against the Nats, but four of the runs were unearned.
Red Sox: The long-awaited season debut of David Price will take place Monday at 2:10 p.m. ET when the Red Sox travel to Chicago for a three-game series with the White Sox. The start comes three months after Price suffered a left elbow strain during a simulated game in Fort Myers, Fla.