A whole different energy as Sox rally to clinch third straight series win

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May 22—Things are finally starting to go the Red Sox way.

After a first month where seemingly nothing went right, the Red Sox are building real momentum and with Saturday's 6-5 win over the Seattle Mariners have now clinched their third consecutive series victory.

As recently as two weeks ago the Red Sox would not have won this game. The offense was too ineffective to capitalize on its chances, and even if they had the bullpen likely would have given it up.

Now? Garrett Whitlock pitched by far the worst game of his big league career to put the Red Sox in a 5-0 hole in the third inning, and it didn't matter. The rest of the team responded and picked up their teammate with six unanswered runs, six scoreless inning of relief and the win.

Offensively, Saturday may have been among the team's most confident performances of the season. Rafael Devers delivered two home runs, and the second of those came during a fifth inning rally where Boston's first five batters of the inning recorded hits. That included doubles by Kiké Hernández and J.D. Martinez, a single by Xander Bogaerts and an RBI bloop single by Bobby Dalbec, all before the Mariners had recorded an out.

From there a sacrifice fly by red hot Trevor Story tied the game, and shortly afterwards in the eighth Franchy Cordero tripled and Christian Vazquez drove him in with a go-ahead RBI single off the Green Monster. That set the stage for Matt Barnes to close the door for the save in the ninth, delivering a scoreless inning in by far the biggest spot he's pitched in this season.

"This is what we're accustomed to, this is what we expect to do," Barnes said. "You can kind of tell the energy's shifted and guys are just having fun playing."

While the Red Sox haven't climbed all the way out of their early hole, the club is in a much better position now than it was this time last week. The Red Sox currently stand at 18-22, have won four in a row and eight of 11, and Sunday they will have a chance to sweep this weekend's four-game set against the Mariners.

Nathan Eovaldi (1-2, 4.32 ERA) will take the hill for the Red Sox to try and make that happen. He'll take on the Mariners' Logan Gilbert (4-2, 2.40) for a 1:35 p.m. first pitch.

Email: mcerullo@northofboston.com. Twitter: @MacCerullo.