SEATTLE — Dustin Pedroia rounded first base and pumped his fist. Seattle starter Jason Vargas stood on the mound with both hands on his head in disbelief.
Pedroia’s eighth-inning solo homer off Vargas tied the game at 1, and his 10th-inning single set up David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly to win it in Boston’s 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The Red Sox scored nine runs in the four-game series in Seattle, but that was enough to scratch out a split to start a seven-game West Coast swing. The win was Boston’s first (1-5) in extra innings this season.
“They were pitching pretty well,” Ortiz said. “You have to pitch extremely well to stop our offense, and they did.”
Pedroia’s homer tied Vargas’ career high for homers allowed in a season with 22. It took him 201 innings last year, 117 this year. It was Pedroia’s first home run since May 11 and he was 3 for 17 in the series.
“I felt like there were 50 outfielders and a lot of infielders,” Pedroia said. “I was hitting the ball good, just right to them. It’s frustrating. (But I) put a good swing on it, felt good.”
It spoiled an otherwise superb outing for Vargas. The day after the Seattle bullpen was forced to throw 8 1-3 innings because of an elbow injury to starter Erasmo Ramirez, Vargas went eight innings, allowed five hits, struck out six and was in trouble just once.
“Pedroia got him, but he handled everybody in a strong fashion today,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Ryan Kalish, pinch-hitting for Brent Lillibridge, hit a one-out double off the right-center field wall off Brandon League in the 10th. Pedroia followed with a single to right to put runners at first and third.
Ortiz hit a 2-0 pitch to deep right field off lefty specialist Lucas Luetge to plate Kalish and give the Red Sox the lead.
Vicente Padilla (2-0) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth. Alfredo Aceves recorded his 19th save of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 10th.
Boston starter Felix Doubront lasted just 4 1-3 innings and issued a career-high five walks. He struck out four, allowed three hits and repeatedly wiggled free to allow just a run.
“My arm was feeling good,” Doubront said. “I don’t know what happened. Seriously.”
Padilla worked around a one-out double from Justin Smoak in the bottom of the ninth. Dustin Ackley popped out and Brendan Ryan flew out to right. It was one of several scoring opportunities squandered by the Mariners, who often contributed to their own offensive problems.
Doubront walked the first two batters of the fourth inning, Miguel Olivo and Smoak. Ackley was unable to get a bunt down, then struck out looking for the first out. Three pitches later, a Doubront offering in the dirt temporarily got away from catcher Kelly Shoppach. Olivo went too far off second and was caught in a rundown for the second out. Chone Figgins then flied to left to end the inning.
Doubront was replaced by Matt Albers after hitting Kyle Seager to load the bases in the fifth inning. Jesus Montero bounced into a 5-3 double play on the first pitch from Albers.
“When you make the starting pitcher throw 100 pitches in 4 1-3 you’ve got to do a hell of a lot more than that,” Wedge said.
Ichiro Suzuki’s third-inning sacrifice fly to left drove in Figgins, who had singled then stole second. Ryan’s single up the middle pushed Figgins to third with none out. Despite the brisk start to the inning, Seattle scored just once. Casper Wells struck out, Seager walked, and Montero flew out to right, leaving two on base.
Seager saved Vargas from damage with a diving catch of Nick Punto’s two-out line drive in the second. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles to start the innings. Ross took third on Gonzalez’s hard grounder back through the middle.
Vargas struck out Will Middlebrooks with a changeup and Ackley trekked into shallow right field to catch a Daniel Nava pop-up to keep Ross at third. After Shoppach walked, Punto lined a 2-1 pitch to Seager’s left, forcing him to dive to close the inning. Frustrated, Punto slammed his bat into the ground.
NOTES: The Seattle Mariners placed Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right elbow flexor. Seattle called up reliever Josh Kinney from Triple-A Tacoma to replace him. To make space on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated oft-injured catcher Adam Moore for assignment. . Seattle starter Felix Hernandez and Boston designated hitter David Ortiz were selected as All-Stars on Sunday. They each are the only representatives for their teams. . Middlebrooks left the game after the eighth inning because of a hamstring issue.
SATURDAY NIGHT’S GAME: Maligned for most of the season and much of his career in Seattle, Chone Figgins came through with an at-bat Saturday night that finally had everyone cheering.
Figgins didn’t go deep, but his line drive was deep enough.
Figgins’ sacrifice fly in the 11th inning allowed Dustin Ackley to beat Cody Ross’ throw to the plate and the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Saturday night.
With the Red Sox’s infield playing in and expecting a possible squeeze bunt from Figgins, Seattle manager Eric Wedge let his little-used utility player hit. Figgins came through with a line drive off Boston closer Alfredo Aceves (0-5) that Ross caught cleanly in right field. He made a strong throw, but the ball bounced before getting to the plate and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia could not pick it cleanly.
It was the seventh career game-ending RBI for Figgins and the first on a sacrifice fly.
“That’s the one chance you get to try and hit a home run, so you don’t want to back off your swing. You want to be aggressive,” Figgins said.
Shawn Kelley (2-2) pitched the 11th for the victory. But the bigger performance was Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen working two scoreless innings, and collectively Seattle’s bullpen that allowed just two runs in 8 1-3 innings of relief after starter Erasmo Ramirez left with pain in his right elbow.
South Portland native Charlie Furbush, Oliver Perez, Wilhelmsen and Kelley all had scoreless stints of at least one inning.
John Jaso snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run double off Boston starter Josh Beckett in the sixth inning for Seattle. The Red Sox tied the game in the seventh thanks to an infield groundout from Ryan Kalish that scored Adrian Gonzalez from third and a passed ball by Olivo that rolled to the backstop and allowed Will Middlebrooks to score the tying run.
Olvio’s mistake was forgotten when he dropped a two-strike single into right field that allowed Ackley to reach third base in the 11th. Ackley started the rally with a one-out single through the right side for his second hit and his first multi-hit game since June 19.
Boston pitched out initially to Figgins believing he could be dropping a bunt, but the second pitch from Aceves was lined deep enough for Ackley to tag and score. It was just the 10th RBI of the season for Figgins.
“It was one of those plays, kind of do-or-die on both sides,” Saltalamacchia said of the play at the plate.
Boston had a chance in the 10th inning. Dustin Pedroia led off with a single after going hitless in his previous 15 at-bats. David Ortiz followed with sharp base-hit back up the middle and quickly the Red Sox were threatening. Wilhelmsen got ahead of Saltalamacchia 0-2 and finally struck him out on a 2-2 breaking ball. Gonzalez then hit a grounder that bounced off the backside of the mound and handcuffed Ackley and kept the Mariners from turning an inning-ending double play. But Wilhelmsen got a weak grounder from Middlebrooks and the go-ahead run was left at third base.
Wilhelmsen worked more than one inning for the eighth time this season, but the previous seven came before Wilhelmsen took over as Seattle’s closer. Kelley struck out a pair during an easy 11th inning.
Wedge called a team meeting before Saturday’s game after the Mariners’ meek performance a night earlier when Boston right-hander Aaron Cook tossed a two-hitter and needed just 81 pitches for the complete game. Wedge’s concern was specifically about the Mariners offense and for five innings against Beckett, his message wasn’t being received.
Olivo got Seattle’s first hit with two outs in the fifth, but it was the sixth when Seattle finally got its offense going. Ichiro Suzuki singled and followed by stealing second to get into scoring position. Casper Wells walked and Kyle Seager followed with a pop up down the left-field line that both left fielder Daniel Nava and shortstop Mike Aviles chased after. The pair miscommunicated making long runs and the ball fell just fair in between the pair.
Jaso then turned on a 1-0 pitch from Beckett and lined it off the right-field wall on the fly. It might have scored only one run had the ball not hit hard enough to bounce back toward home plate and past Ross, allowing Wells to score from second.
“Just overall, I loved our fight today,” Wedge said. “Playing a good ballclub, tight game like that, our starter goes down early and when that happens you know everybody is on deck, everybody is going to have to really fight hard to help us win that ballgame.”
Ramirez left in the third inning with an undisclosed injury after retiring the first eight batters. With two outs in the inning, Ramirez threw a first-pitch strike to Aviles. After throwing the pitch, Ramirez signaled for Olivo, who then signaled to the dugout for the trainer.
Wedge said Ramirez was taken for an MRI on his pitching elbow, but results wouldn’t be available until Sunday.
“We used all but one guy down in our bullpen and kept them in tow and really that was the story of the ballgame,” Wedge said.
Notes: Boston designated OF Darnell McDonald for assignment Saturday, clearing the needed roster spot for Beckett to return from the disabled list. McDonald played in 38 games this season. … Seattle entered the night hitting .197 at home this season, the worst home batting average in baseball.