Red Sox’ joyride on West Coast trip continues with late-night victory over the Mariners - The Boston Globe

Red Sox’ joyride on West Coast trip continues with late-night victory over the Mariners – The Boston Globe

Before Friday, the Sox hadn’t won seven games on a West Coast swing since an 8-3 jaunt to Seattle, Anaheim, and Oakland in 1995.

Home runs by J.D. Martinez and Bobby Dalbec provided enough offense. Relievers John Schreiber, Jake Diekman, Hansel Robles, Matt Strahm, and Tanner Houck held the Mariners to one run over the final 4 2/3 innings.

Diekman (2-0) was the winner with Houck getting his first save of the season.

Houck’s save was a thriller. He drilled leadoff hitter Ty France in the back with a two-strike fastball. The righthander came back to strike out Julio Rodriguez before J.P. Crawford dropped a soft single into left field.

Eugenio Suarez struck out on a passed ball that advanced the runners to second and third. But Adam Frazier lined the next pitch to Trevor Story to end it.

“Put myself in that trouble. Next time maybe make it a little smoother,” Houck said. “Trust the defense behind me and go out there and make pitches when I have to.”

Houck has been a starter since high school. Before Friday, his only save was a three-inning appearance against the Yankees last season.

“It gets your blood boiling just a little bit more knowing you have the opportunity to put the game away,” Houck said. “I’ll do whatever I need to do to help us win.”

The Sox have been preparing Houck for a late-inning role over the last few weeks, using him more frequently while cutting down on the length of his outings.

“We kept pushing for this,” manager Alex Cora said. “I just feel like where we’re at pitching-staff wise, losing him for three or four days [after a long relief outing] puts us in a bad spot.”

The Sox will be careful with Houck. If he goes two days in a row, he’ll get two days off. But it’s clear Cora likes this plan.

“We’re going to maximize his talent and give him high-leverage situations,” he said.

The first five innings took two hours and 12 minutes to complete. It was not because of an abundance of excitement.

Seattle starter Marco Gonzales threw 44 pitches in the first inning but allowed only one run. That came when Xander Bogaerts doubled down the line in right field, and Rafael Devers scored standing up from first base.

Gonzales walked Story and Franchy Cordero to load the bases with two outs, but Christian Vazquez struck to end an eight-pitch at-bat.

The Sox made it 2-0 in the third inning when Martinez led off with a homer to left center. It was his first since May 17 and ended a drought of 77 at-bats.

“Everybody was laughing about it in the dugout,” said Martinez, who referred to himself as a “slap hitter” before the game.

Rich Hill was working on a shutout through four innings, having allowed three hits while striking out five.

With the Sox leading, 2-0, Luis Torrens led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to the gap in right. Jesse Winker drilled a slider into the stands in right field for his fourth home run.

Opponents are 7 of 16 (.438) with three extra-base hits and two walks facing Hill for the third time.

“It was an incredible team win for us,” Hill said.

Schreiber replaced Hill and loaded the bases with one out. But he struck out Eugenio Suarez with a slider and got Frazier on a popup.

The Sox got the lead back with two runs in the seventh inning against Andrés Muñoz.

Dalbec, a Seattle native, led off with a homer to left field. It was his second homer in three career games at T-Mobile Park.

Rob Refsnyder, recalled earlier in the day from Triple A Worcester, was hit in the back by a pitch. He went to third on a single by Devers and scored when Martinez grounded into a double play.

Seattle got within a run in the eighth inning when Strahm allowed three consecutive singles with two outs before getting Winker on a fly ball to left.

The Sox are 5-0 against the Mariners this season, outscoring them by 16 runs.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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