SEATTLE — David Ortiz matched history Tuesday night, when his Boston Red Sox rallied from an early deficit to end their three-game slide.
The Red Sox trailed 5-1 after two innings but used five home runs to rally for an 11-8 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Ortiz started Boston’s home run parade with a leadoff shot in the second inning and went on to go 4-for-5. His eighth-inning single off Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush gave Ortiz 1,688 career hits as a designated hitter, tying Harold Baines for the most in major league history.
“It means I’m getting old, man,” Ortiz said late Tuesday night. “You’ve got to play for a while to put numbers together. But I’m really thankful. I’m glad to be able to come through for the ballclub.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Ortiz “might be setting the bar for the position himself.”
Boston’s bullpen allowed just one run over the final 6 2/3 innings after the hit-happy Mariners (40-50) chased Red Sox starter Allen Webster from the game. Seattle had nine of its 13 hits over the first four innings and now has 28 hits and 19 runs over the first two games of the series.
The Red Sox (55-37) had 16 hits Tuesday night, including two-run homers in the third inning from Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli.
Boston used a five-run third inning to rally from the early hole and eventually took the lead for good on Triple-A call-up Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo homer in the fifth. The blast put the Red Sox ahead 8-7. Shane Victorino added a solo shot to lead off a three-run eighth inning, while five Boston relievers quieted the Seattle bats to avoid a season-long four-game losing streak.
“Today we just couldn’t get anybody out,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “Our guys struggled in the bullpen.”
Craig Breslow (3-2) threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to record his sixth save of the season.
The Red Sox had to overcome two home runs from Seattle’s Kendrys Morales, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Morales and Ortiz, both designated hitters, have combined to go 11-for-16 with three home runs, three doubles, four RBIs and seven runs during the first two games of the series.
Twelve pitchers took the mound in a game that lasted three hours and 44 minutes.
Both offenses were humming in the early going, which saw six home runs and 15 total runs in the first five innings alone. Neither starting pitcher made it past the third inning.
Morales had his 11th career multi-homer game, his second this season. He homered in the first and third innings, the latter of which tied the score 6-6.
Seattle led 5-1 early, but Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, a recently named All-Star, gave up three home runs in the first three innings to help Boston tie the score at 5. Iwakuma has allowed 20 homers this season.
The AL’s ERA leader entering Tuesday’s game, Iwakuma has struggled recently. He’s given up 22 earned runs and 10 home runs in his past four starts while posting a 6.83 ERA. His season ERA after Tuesday’s start is 2.97 after he began the night at 2.60.
“He’s just getting (the ball) up and over the middle of the plate,” Wedge said. “Tonight, he was a little flat.
“There’s no reason for him to be fatigued. … We’ve just got to get him back in line.”
Webster allowed six hits and seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.
“I didn’t have much going at all,” he said. “I fell behind, and they really made me pay. I’m glad the team stepped up and helped me out.”
NOTES: Bradley’s arrival gives Boston a legitimate center fielder while Jacoby Ellsbury (sprained wrist) and Victorino (hamstring) recover from injuries. … Boston also optioned RHP Jose De La Torre to Triple-A Pawtucket and placed RHP Alex Wilson (thumb) on the 15-day disabled list. Both pitchers struggled in Monday’s loss to the Mariners. RHP Brandon Workman was promoted from Pawtucket. … The two-run homer by Morales on his first at-bat marked the fourth time in five games that the Mariners have hit a home run in the first inning.