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Red Sox 8, Mariners 7

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox, who have done some special things in this special turnaround season, pulled off their biggest shocker of the year Thursday night.

Down 7-2 and on the verge of accepting a loss to Felix Hernandez, Boston erupted for six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and stunned the Seattle Mariners 8-7 to increase their lead in the AL East to a full game over idle Tampa Bay.

Daniel Nava capped the wild rally with a bases-loaded RBI single to deep center as the Red Sox moved to 22 games over .500 for the first time this season.

The first six Red Sox hitters reached base in the ninth, which started with closer Tom Wilhelmsen yielding a walk, a single, a double and another walk without getting an out. Shane Victorino had a two-run single and Dustin Pedroia a broken-bat RBI single off Oliver Perez (2-3), who then struck out David Ortiz on three pitches.

Enter Yoervis Medina, who thought he had been called in earlier in the inning. Jonny Gomes, who entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth, tied the game with a single.

Stephen Drew, who won Wednesday night's game with a 15th-inning single, followed with a 3-2 walk to load the bases. Nava then drilled the game-winning hit to dead center.

The Mariners, 1-6 against Boston this season, led 7-1 into the eighth inning. But Victorino homered off reliever Charlie Furbush in the eighth before the floodgates opened the following inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-0), recalled earlier in the day, got the win with two shutout innings of relief.

King Felix, who hasn't lost since May 25, shook off a bit of a shaky start and his catcher, Henry Blanco, hit a grand slam to build the big lead.

Hernandez, 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his last 12 starts, worked seven innings, allowing a run on six hits. Four of the hits came in the first three innings.

Ryan Dempster was taken off the hook by the comeback. Dempster, 2-0 with four no-decisions in his last six starts, flirted with danger throughout the early innings but was down just 2-1 entering the fifth.

Seager led off the inning with a triple and scored on Kendrys Morales' single. Then with the bases loaded and two out, Blanco ripped an 0-1 pitch for a homer to break the game open.

Seager drove in the game's first run with a bunt single in the first inning. Justin Smoak had an RBI single in the third and also doubled in the fifth.

David Ortiz's sacrifice fly cut Seattle's lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third.

NOTES: Jake Peavy, picked up in a three-way deal late Tuesday night, joined the Red Sox and will make his first start on Saturday night against the Diamondbacks. Peavy is wearing No. 44, which belonged to OF Jackie Bradley Jr. earlier this season. ... Raul Ibanez, the 41-year-old who had been on a tear before the All-Star break, has been slumping and got a rest on Thursday night for Seattle. Michael Morse, 0-for-9 in Boston after coming off the DL, also sat. ... The Red Sox sent Jose De La Torre back to Pawtucket to make room for Peavy. They also shipped rookie Brandon Workman, who has been so good in three starts but is now likely headed for the bullpen, to Triple-A and recalled Steven Wright. That move was necessary because of the relievers used in Wednesday night's 15-inning game. Manager John Farrell said Workman will be back after his 10-day minimum stay in the minors. ... RHP Aaron Harang opens Seattle's three-game series in Baltimore on Friday night, and LHP Jon Lester goes for the Red Sox at home against Arizona. ... Boston posted its 10th walk-off win on Wednesday, matching the franchise record through July set in 1918 and 1931. ... Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik, pleased with the Mariners' 15-9 July, said he had discussions at the trade deadline but elected to stand pat.
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