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Elias Hit Hard And Early

Boston Globe

BOSTON — Had Roenis Elias pitched well against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night, odds were good that he was headed back to Triple A Pawtucket anyway.

Elias made it an easy decision, though, getting hit hard and often in an 8-4 loss before a crowd of 35,896 at Fenway Park.

Seattle's Franklin Gutierrez drove in a career-high runs with two home runs and a double, all against Elias. The lefthander allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings.

The Sox are 5-9 this month, with losses in four of their last five games.

Unless the Sox can find answers for the back end of their rotation, the only thing worthwhile about this season will be watching David Ortiz put together the finest retirement season ever.

Ortiz was 1 for 3 with a two-run homer, the 17th of the season and No. 520 of his career. That tied Ortiz with Hall of Famers Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams for 19th place all-time.

Ortiz is hitting .344 with an astonishing 1.147 OPS. He leads the majors in doubles (29), slugging percentage (.723), on-base percentage (.424), and is second with 59 RBI.

The Sox had 11 hits, four for extra bases. But a 7-0 deficit was too much to overcome.

Thursday, Elias said he was looking forward to facing his old teammates. The 27-year-old appeared in 51 games over two seasons for the Mariners before being traded to the Red Sox in December.

"It's going to be a good experience, an interesting one," he said.

After three pitches, it was a painful experience. Ketel Marte lined the first pitch of the game off the wall in left field for a single. Gutierrez then homered to center field.

Gutierrez led off the third inning with a home run to left field. It was the third time in his career that he has hit two home runs in a game, the second time in a year at Fenway Park. Gutierrez connected twice off Henry Owens last Aug. 16.

Elias walked Kyle Seager to start the fourth inning. He got two outs before Nori Aoki and Marte singled to load the bases. Gutierrez followed with a drive to right field that chased Mookie Betts back to the warning track.

The ball landed on the warning, just a few feet from a third home run. Three runs scored. When Robinson Cano singled to center, Gutierrez scored.

The inning only ended because Jackie Bradley Jr. threw Cano out at second base.

Counting an April relief appearance, Elias has allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in five and two-thirds innings this season.

Heath Hembree helped out the bullpen by going three innings. The only run he allowed came in the seventh inning when Cano homered.

Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma had faced the Red Sox four previous times and allowed 17 earned runs on 30 hits over 15 innings. By that standard, he pitched well Friday.

Iwakuma (6-5) gave up four runs on nine hits over seven innings.

Ortiz's home run came in the fourth running, a two-run shot to center field.

The two runs batted in gave Ortiz 59 for the season and 1,700 for his career. That moved him past Jim Thome for 25th all-time two behind Reggie Jackson.

Travis Shaw singled in the seventh inning and went to third when Sandy Leon doubles. Betts and Dustin Pedroia each had sacrifice flies to drive in two more runs.

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