BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park:
1) So much for Roenis Elias.
Elias was chosen for the vacant fifth spot partly on the basis of how well he pitched in Pawtucket, but mostly because he represented a good matchup with the dangerous left-handed bats in the Mariners lineup.
But no one took into account the right-handed hitters. Franklin Gutierrez alone has a two-run homer, a solo homer and a bases-loaded double, producing six runs in his first three plate appearances.
Elias had a quick 1-2-3 inning in the second, but other than that, looked rattled and never settled down.
He was returned to Pawtucket minutes after the game and Clay Buchholz will return to the rotation on Wednesday.
2) There were some signs of life from the bats.
The Red Sox banged out three doubles and a homer, and, as was the case Thursday night in the series finale with Baltimore, the Sox had a handful of hard-hit balls that were turned into outs.
Hanley Ramirez continued to hit the ball hard, as did Travis Shaw, further evidence that each is rebounding from slumps.
But too often, the Red Sox couldn't capitalize. They stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings and finished the game just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
3) David Ortiz's assualt on the record books continues.
For the second straight night, Ortiz smacked a long homer. In the fourth inning, Ortiz hammered a pitch just to the left of the flagpole in center field.
It was career homer No. 521 for Ortiz, pulling him into a tie with three Hall of Famers: Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams.
Ortiz is tied for 19th place all-time. It's likely that he can catch -- and surpass -- two more Hall of Famers in front of him: Jimmie Foxx at 534 and Mickey Mantle at 536. It will take 16 homers for Ortiz to eclipse Mantle, which, at his current pace, seems eminetly doable with 96 games remaining.
It would seem that the next man on the all-time list -- Mike Schmidt, at 548 -- is too far for Ortiz to catch.
But the fact that Ortiz has as many homers as Williams is a remarkable thing, no?