|6:10 PM PT7:10 PM MT8:10 PM CT9:10 PM ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 PM MST8:10 PM EST8:40 PM VEN5:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, March 30, 2019
T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 34,928
Beckham, Mariners look to bounce back vs. Red Sox
Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
- The Red Sox won 108 games last season en route to a World Series win over the Dodgers. This was the franchise's first time crossing the 100-win plateau since 1946 (104 wins), and was the most wins in a season since the 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 games.
- Mookie Betts finished the 2018 season with a 1.078 OPS, 129 runs scored and 30 stolen bases. His was the first season with a 1.000+ OPS, 120+ runs scored and 30+ stolen bases since Jeff Bagwell in 1999.
- Seattle won 89 games in 2018, its most in a season since winning 93 in 2003. The Mariners have missed the postseason in 17 straight seasons, the longest active streak in baseball.
- Mitch Haniger has gotten off to a hot start in 2019, as he doubled and homered in the Mariners' opening series in Japan. In 2018, he became the first Mariner with 35+ doubles, 25+ home runs and 90+ runs in a season since Richie Sexson in 2005.
- Marco Gonzalez allowed two home runs in his Opening Day start for the Mariners in Japan, but still turned in a quality start (6.0 innings, three earned). Last season, his 1.73 walks per nine innings ranked fifth among qualifying pitchers.
- In his two seasons with Boston, Chris Sale has amassed 545 strikeouts and a .196 opponent batting average. These marks both rank second in MLB behind Max Scherzer (568 Ks, .183 BAA) since the beginning of the 2017 season (minimum 50 starts).
- Yankees' Paxton still nursing sore knee
- Reds rally to beat Cubs with HR in 9th
- A's put DH Davis on IL with bruised hip
- Astros to square off vs. Sale, Red Sox
- A's go after 7th win in row vs. Seattle
Less than a handful of games into the season, and there's already a Tim Beckham T-shirt available in Seattle.
Beckham is pictured on the front of the shirt, a bat sailing out of his hands with the words "Flip It Like Beckham." It's a nod to the 2002 movie "Bend It Like Beckham," the title of which was an homage to soccer star David Beckham.
Tim Beckham, a former No. 1 overall draft pick, finally seems to have found a home, if only temporarily.
Beckham went 5-for-7 with a home run in Seattle's season-opening, two-game series against the Oakland A's last week in Japan, then hit two home runs off Boston ace Chris Sale on Thursday as the Mariners won their home opener, 12-4.
The defending World Series champion Red Sox rallied from a five-run deficit to defeat the Mariners 7-6 Friday night on pinch hitter Mitch Moreland's three-run homer in the ninth inning.
The teams continue their four-game series Saturday night, with Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 3.82 ERA in 2018) set to face Mariners right-hander Mike Leake (10-10, 4.36 last season).
Beckham, 29, was signed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal in the offseason, primarily to play shortstop until J.P. Crawford, acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies, is ready to be promoted from Triple-A Tacoma.
Beckham might have other ideas. He went 1-for-4 on Friday drop his average to .500 (8-for-16).
"It's a good feeling," Beckham told MLB.com of his hot start. "No matter what team you're on, you want to come out and play winning baseball. I'm here in Seattle with a great group of guys who love to compete. I love it. It fires me up. But as far as a good start? It's (four) games into the season. Tomorrow is a new day."
Beckham said the Mariners players aren't worried about the "step-back" plan instituted by general manager Jerry Dipoto in the offseason, when he traded away the likes of Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura and James Paxton and let Nelson Cruz walk as a free agent.
"We're ballplayers," Beckham said. "We come to play a game. ... We're here between the white lines. It's baseball, and we're expected to produce. When you're in the lineup, productivity is expected. As far as the rebuild and everything else, we'll leave that to the front office. That's out of our control."
Rodriguez is 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners. Leake is 1-3 with a 5.30 ERA in six starts against the Red Sox.
Rodriguez, 25, had a solid spring and enters a season healthy for the first time as a major-leaguer. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said it's time for Rodriguez to evolve into being his own man. In the past, Rodriguez leaned heavily on veteran teammates such as David Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello.
"We want Eduardo Rodriguez. We don't want a mix of David and Chris and Rick," Cora said, according to MassLive.com. "We don't want a blend. We want him to be who he is because his stuff is that good. I think he finally understands that."
--Field Level Media
Updated March 30, 2019