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Boston Red Sox hit two early homers, hold off Mariners

Apr 23, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (18) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (18) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez hit home runs and the Boston Red Sox held on to defeat the visiting Seattle Mariners 6-5 Friday night.

Seattle’s Kyle Seager belted a three-run homer off right-hander Matt Barnes with one out in the ninth to pull the Mariners within a run. However, Barnes retired the next two batters to end the game.

Red Sox reliever Hirokazu Sawamura (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball to earn his first major league victory and help Boston snap a two-game losing streak.

Mariners starter Yusei Kikuchi (0-1) allowed five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, with three walks and one strikeout.

Seattle’s Mitch Haniger led off the game with a double off the Green Monster in left field, and an out later, Seager also double to left to make it 1-0.

Kyle Lewis lined a single to left to put runners at the corners, but shortstop Bogaerts made a diving stop of a one-hopper up the middle by Evan White and turned it into an inning-ending double play.

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Boston’s Alex Verdugo singled in the bottom of the inning, and with two outs, Bogaerts hit an 0-1 pitch deep over the wall in left-center field.

The Red Sox extended their lead to 3-1 in the third as Martinez sliced a home run around the Pesky Pole down the right field line. It was Martinez’s American League-leading seventh homer of the season.

The Mariners pulled within 3-2 in the fourth as Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty walked with two outs and J.P. Crawford lined a run-scoring single to center.

That was it for Red Sox starter Martin Perez. The left-hander gave up two runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings, with four walks and three strikeouts.

The Red Sox tacked on two runs in the fifth. A single by Bobby Dalbec, a walk to Enrique Hernandez and a single by Verdugo loaded the bases. One run scored as Martinez grounded into a double play, and Bogaerts then lined a run-scoring single to center to end Kikuchi’s evening.

Boston added an unearned run in the seventh to make it 6-2.

–Field Level Media