Boston Red Sox at Seattle
When: 10:10 PM ET, Friday, March 29, 2019
Where: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, Washington
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
SEATTLE – The defending world champion Boston Red Sox were obliterated in their season opener but will try to bounce back Friday, when they visit the Seattle Mariners for the second contest of their four-game series. Seattle belted five homers among eight extra-base hits while rolling to a 12-4 win on Thursday.
Tim Beckham homered twice while Edwin Encarnacion, Ryon Healy and Domingo Santana also went deep as Seattle improved to 3-0, including two wins against Oakland in Japan. Santana recorded four RBIs on Thursday to raise his season total to nine – the most through the first three games in franchise history. Boston ace Chris Sale served up three of the blasts and was pounded for seven runs over three innings in his first outing since signing a five-year, $145 million dollar contract. Reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts recorded three hits while Andrew Benintendi drove in two runs.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), ROOT Northwest (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Nathan Eovaldi (2018: 6-7, 3.81 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 1.93)
Eovaldi enjoyed a superb postseason in 2018 and cashed it into a four-year, $68 million contract, prompting expectations to rise accordingly. “I personally don’t feel a lot of pressure,” Eovaldi told reporters. “I’ve been pitching a long time. It’s just trying to keep everything simple and go out there and compete.” Eovaldi is just 44-53 with one season with a double-digit victory total since reaching the majors in 2011, with that being when he went 14-3 in 2015 for the New York Yankees.
Kikuchi gave up two runs (one earned) and four hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Athletics in his major-league debut in Tokyo on March 21. The 27-year-old was a three-time All-Star for the Seibu Lions in Japan before jumping to the Mariners on a three-year, $43 million deal, with the club holding a four-year, $66 million option it can activate after the 2021 campaign. Kikuchi went 14-4 with 153 strikeouts in 163 2/3 innings in his final season in Japan.
1. Four of Santana’s five hits have gone for extra bases (two homers, two doubles).
2. Boston DH-OF Steve Pearce (calf) is expected to get at-bats at extending spring training on Friday, but MGR Alex Cora remains uncertain about when he will be ready to join the club.
3. The two-homer performance on Thursday was the fourth of Beckham’s career.