BOSTON (AP) — David Price didn’t exactly have much run support.
It hardly mattered the way he shut down Seattle’s powerful lineup.
Price snapped a personal three-game losing streak with eight sharp innings, Mookie Betts hit a go-ahead homer and the Boston Red Sox beat the Mariners 2-1 on Sunday.
“To go out there and be on that side of that type of game always feels good,” Price said. “I’m getting better, absolutely. There’s always room for improvement no matter how good you are. I’m still not satisfied.”
Price opened the season by winning four of his first five decisions, but his ERA was 6.75 before he straightened out some delivery problems. He’s lowered his ERA to 4.24 after a nice run.
“I think he’s just settled in to what’s been his normal delivery for a number of years,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Betts also had two singles for Boston, which won its second straight after losing four of five.
Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo homer for the Mariners. He sparked their series-opening victory with two homers and six RBIs.
Price (8-4) gave up one run on eight hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk. He fanned his final two batters before Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 16th save.
Price was rarely in trouble, but his teammates had difficulty scoring for him again. In his previous three starts, they had just five total runs.
The lefty got just enough support when Betts led off the seventh by hitting a fastball from Edwin Diaz (0-1) into the Green Monster seats.
“His last couple of starts we haven’t done too much offensively behind him,” Betts said. “I can’t say we did too much today.”
Mariners’ starter Taijuan Walker kept the majors’ top scoring team off the scoreboard over five innings after leaving his previous start with a strained tendon in his right foot.
But the 23-year-old righty was lifted after throwing 88 pitches, and Boston tied it at 1-1 in the sixth against Vidal Nuno on Hanley Ramirez’s fielder’s choice grounder. He said it started to bother him again in the first inning.
“Yeah, after the first at-bat. Didn’t really get any better,” he said. “It happened in the first inning and just kept getting worse.”
Seattle manager Scott Servais said before the game that he didn’t think Walker would be 100 percent, but hoped the adrenaline of starting would negate any lingering problem.
“He really gutted it out, the fourth, fifth inning. After the third inning his ankle was bothering him,” Servais said. “I would like to have kept riding him because he was getting them out, but the information I got and everybody thought it would be best to get him out at that point.”
Gutierrez led off the fourth with a line drive that snuck inside the Pesky Pole in right.
Ramirez’s bouncer scored Xander Bogaerts after he singled and advanced to third on David Ortiz’s single.
Mariners: Servais said RHP Felix Hernandez (strained right calf, DL since June 1) “will start throwing or playing catch Tuesday or Wednesday. The inflammation has calmed down.” Servais also said that LHP Wade Miley, who went on the DL Friday with a left shoulder impingement, will be ready when available to come off.
Red Sox: Farrell said utility player Brock Holt (concussion) was going to be reevaluated Sunday after having “three good days” of field work and “hopefully he’s turning that long and rounded corner to get on a rehab assignment.”
A male fan sitting in a club seat in the middle level dropped a foul ball by Bogaerts and then caught one on the next pitch.
Ortiz was intentionally walked with nobody on in the seventh and stole second one pitch later, with the crowd roaring as he slid in without a throw.
“It’s funny. Just to see a 40-yaer-old guy steal a base is always fun to watch,” Betts said.
Mariners: RHP Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.06 ERA) is set to start Monday when they open a four-game series against Detroit’s struggling RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-7, 4.79).
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright (8-4, AL-best 2.22 ERA) looks to continue his solid season Monday against the Chicago White Sox and RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.74) in the first of four games at Fenway Park.
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