BOSTON (AP) — Adrian Sampson was cruising along in his major league debut. Seven batters later, he was out of the game in the fifth inning and on his way to a loss.
Sampson allowed solo homers by Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., and the Seattle Mariners lost 6-2 to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
“They were pretty picky at the beginning of the game, kind of seeing what I got, where I’m pitching them,” Sampson said. “Once I started throwing more strikes, they kind of realized I got to throw it over the plate somewhere, so they got a little more aggressive and my misses were just a little off.”
Sampson gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
“This is a special place to start a professional career,” he said.
Adam Lind homered for the Mariners, and Seth Smith went 3 for 3 with a double and two singles.
Seattle manager Scott Servais was happy with Sampson’s performance.
“He hung in there. He probably wasn’t as sharp as he normally is but it’s his major league debut, there’s going to be a lot of butterflies,” he said. “But I thought he hung in there, gave us a chance and we were kind of in the game there.”
Bogaerts, who entered the day leading the American League in batting, also had a single while raising his average to .352. Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts each had two hits and an RBI for the Red Sox.
Boston had lost four of five and was just 5-9 in June.
Rick Porcello (8-2) improved to 6-0 at home this year. He allowed two runs and eight hits, struck out six and walked none in six innings.
Sampson (0-1) was off to a great start against the majors’ highest scoring team before Bradley’s two-out drive in the fourth reached the second row of seats above the Green Monster, trimming Seattle’s lead to 2-1.
In the next inning, Boston got three straight singles on five pitches, tying it on Betts’ single. Vazquez scored the go-ahead run on a double-play grounder before Bogaerts’ homer barely cleared the Monster.
Vazquez’s RBI double made it 5-2 in the sixth.
Lind homered into the center-field bleachers leading off the second.
The Mariners loaded the bases on singles by the first three batters of the game, but got only one run when Nelson Cruz bounced into a double play before Kyle Seager flied out.
Smith improved to 9 for 16 in his career against Porcello. It was his 12th multihit game of the season.
Sampson was officially called up from Triple-A Tacoma before the game. Left-hander David Rollins was sent down after he was with the Mariners for one game.
NOTING THE RED SOX
The Red Sox promoted infielder Deven Marrero and outfielder Ryan LaMarre from the minors. Outfielder Rusney Castillo and Friday’s starter and losing pitcher Roenis Elias were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Manager John Farrell said right-hander Clay Buchholz will return to the rotation and pitch Tuesday. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was pushed to Wednesday. It gives Rodriguez an extra bullpen session to work on his delivery and overcome what some believe is tipping his pitches.
Sampson was the sixth Washington-born pitcher to start for the Mariners.
He was born in Redmond, which is about 15 miles from Seattle.
The righty was acquired from Pittsburgh just before last year’s non-wavier trading deadline.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (3-6, 3.69 ERA) is set for the series finale Sunday after leaving his previous start on Tuesday with a foot injury.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (7-4, 4.52 ERA) looks to snap a personal three-game losing streak.
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