Mariners fall 5-1 to Red Sox, split opening series

Mar 31, 2024, 4:13 PM | Updated: 5:21 pm

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford Boston Red Sox...

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford loses his footing trying to make a throw on March 31, 2024. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

(AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Enmanuel Valdez hit a three-run homer, Garrett Whitlock pitched five effective innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Sunday.

Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners 1: Box score

Valdez, a fill-in second baseman for the injured Vaughn Grissom, hit a drive to right in the fourth after starting the season 0 for 8.

“It was a huge momentum shift,” Whitlock said. “I mean, he lit us up in the dugout and that was just a ginormous swing.”

Tyler O’Neill connected for a solo shot in the second against Seattle’s Bryce Miller (0-1), who was charged with four runs and six hits in five innings.

Whitlock (1-0) helped Boston to a split of the four-game series after it dropped two straight one-run games. The big right-hander allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked none.

Whitlock relied mostly on his fastball after catcher Reese McGuire saw Seattle struggling at the plate and suggested a change in strategy.

“I feel like that’s something I need to continue to learn how to do,” Whitlock said. “And obviously that’s big on Reese to do. He the one that saw it and he’s the one that made the adjustments.”

Whitlock’s outing capped a strong series by Red Sox starters. They gave up five runs (four earned) in 22 innings with 27 strikeouts against five walks.

“Like I’ve been saying all along: I do believe we’re going to pitch,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.

“It just kind of shows you what’s possible. You know that your rotation is very talented. We’ve been talking about these guys for a while, since we got here.”

Seattle got its only run when Mitch Haniger doubled and scored on Josh Rojas’ two-out single in the second.

Justin Slaten pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings for his first career save in his second major league appearance.

Coming off a strong rookie campaign, Miller struck out six and walked two.

The Mariners finished with four hits.

“Offensively, we just haven’t gotten it going yet,” manager Scott Servais said. “Again, it’s four games into the season. We need to be more consistent there in what we’re doing, and we will be.”


The Mariners signed right-hander Michael Mariot to a minor league deal and assigned the pitcher to Triple-A Tacoma. Mariot is 2-0 with a 5.85 ERA and two saves in 45 career major league appearances.


Boston Red Sox: Rafael Devers (shoulder) returned to the lineup after missing two games with a shoulder injury. The third baseman is a “full go,” Cora said. He went 1 for 5 with a single in the first and a strikeout.

Cora was coy about the status of closer Kenley Jansen, who woke up Friday with a sore back after earning a season-opening save in Boston’s 6-4 win over Seattle on Thursday. But Jansen warmed up in the ninth in case Slaten struggled, indicating treatment with a chiropractor was successful.


Boston Red Sox: RHP Tanner Houck makes his season debut Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Oakland.

Seattle Mariners: RHP Emerson Hancock makes his fourth major league start Monday in the first game of a three-game home series against Cleveland.

More Seattle Mariners coverage

Watch Julio Rodríguez deliver first career walk-off in Mariners win
Andrés Muñoz already dominant for Mariners and has new weapon
George Kirby shines, J.P. Crawford homers in Mariners’ first win of 2024
What’s the next step for Seattle Mariners’ Kirby?
Is the Seattle Mariners’ defense going to be a big concern this year?

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 82° | Low 58°
No game today.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Andres Munoz Royals 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz named All-Star replacement

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz was selected as a replacement to the American League roster for the MLB All-Star Game.

56 minutes ago

Seattle Mariners Bryan Woo...

Brent Stecker

Mariners Roster Move: Bryan Woo back, reliever optioned

The Seattle Mariners have activated starting pitcher Bryan Woo from the 15-day injured list in time to start Friday night in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

2 hours ago

general baseball T-Mobile Park Mariners...

The Associated Press

Mariners, Red Sox minor leaguers suspended for positive drug tests

Seattle Mariners right-hander Yeury Tatiz was suspended for 80 games and Boston Red Sox right-hander Charlie Zink for 56 games following positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs.

2 hours ago

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz...

Zac Hereth

Sadler: How Mariners get best from bullpen arms

Ex-Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Sadler explains why the communication and preparation from the organization is so effective in the bullpen.

3 hours ago

Seattle Mariners trade deadline targets Nathaniel Lowe...

Brent Stecker

Mariners Trade Targets: 3 bats from within the AL West

Trades in the division are tougher to pull off, but not impossible, and the Seattle Mariners could target players from the bottom-three teams in the AL West.

5 hours ago

Seattle Mariners MLB Draft...

Cameron Van Til

Mariners MLB Draft Preview: Who they could take in first round

MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis discusses some potential first-round draft targets for the Seattle Mariners, including an ambidextrous pitcher.

9 hours ago

Mariners fall 5-1 to Red Sox, split opening series