Mariners can't overcome Harang's rough outing

Mariners can't overcome Harang's rough outing

Mariners can't overcome Harang's rough outing

SEATTLE -- If the Mariners never see Red Sox slugger David Ortiz again, it will still be too soon. Unfortunately for them, a four-game series doesn't conclude until Thursday and there's still another day for the big man to do damage at Safeco Field.

Ortiz continued a red-hot series for the Red Sox in Wednesday's 11-4 victory, going 2-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBIs as the Red Sox won for the second straight night to improve their American League-best record to 56-37.

Ortiz is 8-for-10 with two homers, three doubles, five runs scored and four RBIs in the first three games of the set.

"He's still a force," said skipper Eric Wedge. "I've seen too much of him over the years. He's about as professional a hitter as you can be. He still has the bat speed and power. He commands the strike zone about as good as anybody in the game."

Ortiz got a standing ovation from the crowd of 20,480 after moving past Harold Baines for the most all-time hits by a designated hitter at 1,689 with a second-inning double. Ortiz added a two-run homer in the third and has now batted .413 over his past 21 games to raise his season average to .331.

The Red Sox have the highest-scoring team in the Majors, and the Mariners found out why after surrendering 11 runs for a second straight night after winning the opener 11-4 themselves on Monday.

"That's a good lineup one through nine," said center fielder Michael Saunders. "Everybody hits on that team and they were cashing in a lot with two outs today. That's a good ballclub. That's why their record is what it is. They have a lot of professional, veteran guys. They get on and they're aggressive on the bases as well. They don't miss mistakes."

The Mariners managed just five hits in seven innings against Red Sox southpaw Felix Doubront, who allowed only one runner past first base -- on a fifth-inning double by Saunders -- until Jason Bay doubled and scored on a single by Henry Blanco in the seventh.

Rookie right-hander Brandon Workman replaced Doubront in the eighth to make his Major League debut, and Seattle immediately jumped on him with a leadoff home run by shortstop Brendan Ryan and back-to-back doubles by Dustin Ackley and Kendrys Morales.

Workman, 24, is one of Boston's highly regarded prospects, but he wound up allowing three runs on four extra-base hits before finally getting out of the frame.

Seattle starter Aaron Harang went five-plus innings, surrendering eight hits and seven runs with three walks and no strikeouts. The veteran right-hander's record fell to 4-8 with a 5.38 ERA.

Harang got off to a slow start this year after being acquired by trade in early April, but he had gone 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 11 starts since May 1 before getting roughed up by the hot-hitting Red Sox.

"Aaron struggled," said Wedge. "He battled and tried to get through it, but we couldn't take it any further than that point in time. Then it actually got worse from there. It just wasn't a very good ballgame at all. We didn't play very well. They've been knocking the ball around the ballpark the last couple days, so we've got to work to try to even things up tomorrow."

Harang's night ended when he gave up two singles to lead off the sixth, and the Red Sox wound up scoring four times to run their lead to 9-0 by the time the inning ended, with the help of a throwing error by rookie shortstop Brad Miller.

"They made me work," said Harang. "I was falling behind in the count early on and you can't do that with a lineup like that. You have to try to get ahead early, and I wasn't doing that. So you have to start throwing more strikes over the plate, and with a veteran lineup like that, they're going to take advantage."

Wedge used four relievers to finish things off, including 1 1/3 innings from Carter Capps, who was told after the game he was being sent down to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Thursday's starter. That's expected to be young right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, though the club won't make it official until Thursday.

Tom Wilhelmsen needed 36 pitches to get through a rocky ninth when he gave up two runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch. That snapped a string of six straight scoreless appearances by Wilhelmsen, who'd regained his closer role after a rough stretch in June.

Wedge didn't put too much stock in that outing, however.

"It's one of those momentum-type situations," Wedge said. "He's been throwing the ball so well. We needed to use all of our guys because we've been struggling so much on the mound. He needed to pitch today, like Oliver [Perez] did. He just didn't have a very good day, but it's a different situation."

Third baseman Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a second-inning single in a 1-for-4 night. It's his third streak of 10-plus games this season.

Rookie second baseman Nick Franklin was removed in the seventh inning after Wedge said his right knee flared up again. Franklin has been dealing with that since bunting a ball off his leg last weekend in Cincinnati.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.