Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 2-1 win over the Mariners
SEATTLE -- Three things we learned from last night's 2-1 Red Sox win over the Mariners:
1) Perhaps there's such a thing as momentum after all.
When the Red Sox rallied for five-runs in the ninth Sunday afternoon, it was undoubtedly the most dramatic win of the year. And maybe the most important, too, since the Sox were three outs away from starting their 11-game West Coast trip 1-3.
Dustin Pedroia's three-run homer changed all of that. Whether it was going to carryover, however, was unknown. Sometimes wins like those are mere aberrations.
But Monday hinted otherwise. For the second straight game, the Red Sox won a game in their final at-bat. That's not insignificant, especially since, at the end of the last homestand, it was roundly noted that the Sox had had few late-inning comeback wins.
First Aaron Hill homered in the eighth to answer the run the Mariners had pushed across in the bottom of the seventh. Then came the tie-breaking homer from Mookie Betts in the ninth.
"I think anytime you can come back and win a game like that in the ninth,'' said Betts, "it definitely (means) having a little momentum going into the next game.''
2) Robbie Ross Jr. isn't afraid of baserunners.
Ross inherited two baserunners in the seventh, then plunked the first hitter he faced to load them up.
But then Ross settled in and fanned the next two hitters, leaving the bases loaded and the Red Sox trailing by just one run.
Ross has now stranded 21 of 26 runners this year, including the last dozen in a row.
That's an important ability for someone who is often coming into the game in the middle innings, frequently with some bases occupied.
The lefty doesn't get rattled -- even after he initially worsened the situation by putting one more runner on himself.
"I hit (Kyle Seager) with a curveball,'' Ross recounted, "and I was like, 'OK, I just have to bear down and try to get a double play. Then all of a sudden, I struck one guy (Franklin Gutierrez) out. Then I needed get an out. Then, all of a sudden I struck (Chris Ianetta) out, too.
"I was like, OK, whatever.''
3) Dave Dombrowski is willing to take chances.
It's not exactly textbook management to call up a 22-year-old from Double A and have him become the semi-regular left fielder in the middle of a pennant race.
But that's what the Sox and Dombrowski are doing with the promotion of Andrew Benintendi from Portland.
Dombrowski took a thorough approach. He canvassed the organization's player development staff, had two scouts watching Benintendi over the weekend in Portland and, after processing all the information, decided to take the chance.
Is it possible Benintendi is being rushed to the big leagues? Sure.
He wouldn't be the first player to fail upon his arrival from the minors.
But the Sox have done their homework on his makeup and believe he can handle this mentally -- regardless of how he performs.
It's not unlike the chance the Sox took on another young player back in August of 2013 when they summoned Xander Bogaerts from the minor leagues and worked him into some playing time down the stretch.
That experience helped Bogaerts, even as he regressed the following year when the Sox yanked him back-and-forth between short and third base.
Ultimately, Bogaerts developed into a special player.
Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam