By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had himself a night.
Well, an inning at the very least, in a 2-1 win over the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Deadlocked at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Bogaerts found himself in a heated battle with the Mariners' Felix Hernandez.
In a 2-2 count, and with two Bogaerts strikeouts already coming on fastballs, Hernandez again challenged Bogaerts. But after fighting off some of the one-time Seattle ace's electric off-speed pitches, No. 2 would not be fooled on a fastball for a third time, and instead drove King Felix's pitch to the deepest part of the field for a solo shot.
The 404-foot shot re-established the Boston lead after it was lost in the bottom half of the fifth inning, and gave Bogaerts his 10th home run of the season, matching his regular-season total from last season in over 300 fewer at-bats. With the home run, Bogaerts also became the fifth Sox slugger to find himself with double-digit homers this season, joining J.D. Martinez (22), Mookie Betts (18), Andrew Benintendi (12), as well as Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland (each with 10).
But Bogaerts somehow saved his best work for the bottom of the sixth inning.
In potential trouble with the speedy Dee Gordon on first and no outs to begin to the sixth inning, a quick-moving grounder up the middle from Seattle's Jean Segura sent Bogaerts moving. Making it look almost effortless, Bogaerts was able to slide backwards to tag second base and then make the throw to Moreland at first base to beat Segura.
Turning two mid-slide?
— MLB (@MLB) June 15, 2018
But Bogaerts' efforts would have been for naught without some downright fantastic pitching from David Price.
In seven strong innings, Price delivered with seven strikeouts and just one run allowed on five hits against. Price had tremendous command throughout the night, refused to break on several lengthy at bats from M's bats, and also hit a season-high 96 MPH with one of his fastballs in the effort. He delivered that season-high heater late in his outing, no less.
And when things got somewhat dicey with back-to-back walks from Craig Kimbrel to begin the home half of the ninth, it was Bogaerts that put the finishing touches on a victory with a game-ending double play started from one knee.
The Red Sox will look to make it five in a row when Rick Porcello gets the call on Friday night.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.