BOSTON (AP) — It didn’t much matter which arm acting Mariners manager Robby Thompson used to wave at the bullpen. None of the Seattle relievers could get anyone out.
One night after blowing a lead and losing to Boston in 15 innings, the Mariners coughed up a six-run lead in regulation last night, giving up six runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose 8-7 to the Red Sox.
The finale of the three-game sweep came after Seattle was forced to use left-hander Oliver Perez (2-3) instead of righty Yoervis Medina in the ninth because umpire Gary Darling said Thompson motioned with his left arm first.
“When I put my right arm up, Gary had already turned around and didn’t see me,” said Thompson, who took over as acting manager when Eric Wedge had what has been called a mild stroke on July 22. “Lesson learned.”
Perez, who blew a seventh-inning lead on Wednesday night, gave up a two-run single to Shane Victorino and an RBI base hit to Dustin Pedroia before striking out lefty David Ortiz. Medina came in, but Jonny Gomes singled in another run to tie it.
After Stephen Drew walked, Daniel Nava lined a ball over the center fielder’s head to win it.
“I don’t think anybody saw that coming,” Nava said, describing the “tempered excitement” in the dugout as the bases filled and emptied. “You could see it happening, but it was still too far off.”
It was the 10th walkoff victory for the Red Sox, who opened a one-game lead in the AL East over the idle Tampa Bay Rays.
“We don’t quit. Ever,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We truly believe we have a chance to do something special on a given night or given year. And that happens to be this year.”