Don’t bury the Mariners quite yet.
After seven futile innings against Boston left-hander David Price, the Mariners erupted for five runs in the eighth inning Tuesday night for an improbable 5-4 victory over the Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Robinson Cano capped the rally with a three-run homer, a no-doubt bomb to right field against Fernando Abad that permitted Cano to stand and admire it for a few heartbeats.
Rookie Edwin Diaz then recorded his first save by pitching a scoreless ninth, striking out the side.
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The remarkable comeback lifted the Mariners back over .500 at 53-52.
The Mariners had just three hits against Price through seven innings and trailed 4-0, when Mike Zunino rocked a leadoff homer in the eighth. Price then allowed three consecutive singles, including Guillermo Heredia’s first major-league hit, which prompted Boston manager John Farrell to go to his bullpen for Matt Barnes, who struck out Seth Smith.
Another switch replaced Barnes with Abad for a left-on-left matchup against Cano. The result was a 398-foot homer to right. Donn Roach (2-0) got the victory, and Abad (1-5) took the loss.
The Mariners got a quality start from Wade LeBlanc – three runs in six innings – in his return to the rotation after a two-week absence. It was probably as good as they could hope for from the finesse left-hander.
Actually, LeBlanc probably deserved better. The Red Sox scored two of their three runs on off-line throws to the plate. The other run against LeBlanc came on a homer by Hanley Ramirez.
Boston scored its final run on David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly in the eighth against Roach. That made it 4-0 … before everything turned around.
LeBlanc paid for a one-out walk in the first to Dustin Pedroia, after being ahead 0-2, when Ortiz sliced a two-out double into the left-field corner. A good relay throw by third baseman Kyle Seager might have nailed Pedroia at the plate, but the throw was off line.
The Mariners got a two-out double in the second from Seager, and it should have been a single. Bryce Brentz made an ill-conceived dive for the ball, which got by him. But it didn’t matter. Price struck out Zunino.
It stayed 1-0 until two outs into the Boston fourth, when Ramirez crushed an 86-mph fastball for a 455-foot homer to left-center field. LeBlanc started the inning by striking out Xander Bogaerts and Ortiz.
Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a double to center and scored on Aaron Hill’s single to left. As in the first, the Mariners had a play at the plate, but Heredia’s throw has high and off line, and Boston led 3-0.
Rotation plans – The Mariners are about to throw just-acquired left- hander Ariel Miranda into the deep end of the pool. Manager Scott Servais confirmed Miranda will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in time to start Thursday’s series finale against Boston.
Miranda, 27, was obtained Sunday from Baltimore in a trade for veteran left-hander Wade Miley. Miranda’s only previous big-league appearance was July 3, when he gave up three runs and four hits in two innings to the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Still … the Mariners want to take a look.
“Miranda has topped out as high as 96 mph,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “His average velocity is in the 92-mph range, which for a lefty is firm. A real good changeup. A four-pitch guy. Has thrown strikes.”
Right-hander Taijuan Walker is in line to rejoin the rotation this weekend after throwing 69 pitches Monday over 4 1/3 innings for Tacoma in a rehabilitation start. It was Walker’s first game action since foot tendinitis forced him to the disabled list after a July 5 start at Houston.