The sight of it was strange, if only because no one had ever seen it before.
David Ross generally doesn’t get mad.
He definitely doesn’t get flip-your-lid, restrained-by-two-people, ejected-in-the-eighth-inning mad.
“Ross is usually calm, cool, and collected,” said Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson.
Part of Ross’s charm in the Sox’ clubhouse is that he’s the kind of person that keeps a joke in his back pocket, generally the self-deprecating kind.
He’s the kind of player that gets into a collision at the plate and gives the runner that just crashed into him a pat on the butt once they pick themselves up.
He’s the kind of player that chats up umpires between pitches.
But most of the words he had for first base umpire Vic Carapazza late in the Red Sox’ 7-3 loss to the Mariners on Saturday afternoon were probably only four letters long.
Everything was fine when Ross figured he checked his swing on a 3-and-2 pitch from Yoervis Medina. Ross didn’t even think twice about checking with the umpires. He just tossed his bat and went straight into his jog down the first base line. But Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre appealed to Carapazza, and Carapazza said Ross went around.
When Ross realized it, he exploded.
He let loose his share of choice words. When Sox manager John Farrell realized just how many words Ross had for Carapazza, he came from the dugout to try to settle Ross down.
“[Ross] felt like he didn’t go around, I thought he held up his swing, as did David himself,” Farrell said. “On a questionable call, he started to argue.”
He ended up having to hold Ross back.
“Obviously he’s been around for a while,” Wilson said. “So for a guy of his stature to get fired up like that, he obviously believed it was a bad call.”
Ross tried to push his way around umpires Larry Vanover and Angel Hernandez until every drop of frustration was out of him.
In the end, he ended up with his first career ejection all because of a check swing.
But the call was just another aggravating straw as the Sox dropped their seventh straight game.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Wilson said. “Losing seven games in a row is never fun. We’re here to win, whether we’re in last place or first place, the goal is to win each and every game. To lose seven in a row, it’s frustrating. Nobody wants to be a part of that.”
Saturday’s loss was painfully similar to Friday night’s 5-3 setback as the Sox again let a three-run lead go to waste. This time they didn’t wait until the ninth inning to do it.
After hanging single runs on the board in each of the first three innings, the Sox were undone when starter Brandon Workman unraveled in the fourth inning, giving up seven runs.
Workman came in looking to snap a seven-game losing streak that dated to June, but ended up with the shortest start of his career (3⅓ innings).
Workman gave up back-to-back singles to start the fourth, then Chris Denorfia laced an RBI double into the left-field corner to put the Mariners on the board. Workman struck out Endy Chavez, but didn’t get another out after that.
Chris Taylor singled to right to make it 3-2 and a wild pitch allowed Denorfia to tie the game.
After Taylor stole third, Sucre had a run-scoring single to left and Austin Jackson stroked a single up the middle. With two men on, Dustin Ackley blasted a homer to right field to bust the game open and bring on Wilson to replace Workman.
The Sox’ offense went silent once they fell in a hole, with a fourth-inning single from Dustin Pedroia (3 for 5 with a double), a seventh-inning single from Daniel Nava (1 for 3 with a walk), and an eighth-inning double from Mookie Betts (which preceded the Ross expulsion) standing as their only remaining hits after falling behind.
With the game out of hand, there was some late-inning testiness.
In the sixth inning, Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush dotted Sox slugger David Ortiz in the left arm with a 92-mile-per-hour fastball.
Ortiz, who had reached base at least four times in four straight games before going 0 for 2 with a walk, grimaced but shook it off and took his base. (That ended up being Furbush’s last pitch as he left the game with a left elbow contusion.)
The night before, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez hit Sox rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts in the head with an 88-m.p.h. changeup. Perhaps with that in mind, the Sox retaliated, even though neither of the Mariners’ hit batsmen seemed to be intentional.
When Robinson Cano, the Mariners’ $240 million man, came to the plate in the seventh, Wilson pumped a heater squarely into his hip.
It hardly got a reaction from Cano, who chewed his gum and looked back at Hernandez, the home plate umpire, before taking his base.
Wilson said hitting Cano was an accident, but wasn’t surprised that Hernandez issued warnings to both sides immediately after it.
“That’s just how the game works sometimes,” Wilson said. “Unfortunately, I messed up and hit a guy. Obviously they have to warn guys after that. It wasn’t really a factor going forward.”
Wilson ended up pitching 3⅔ innings of hitless relief, but at that point, with the Mariners having done all of their damage, he was just going about his business.
The Red Sox’ challenge since the trade deadline has been to fight the feeling they are just playing out the string.
“There’s still a lot of fight in this group,” Farrell said. “Certainly, there’s a lot of frustration at the stretch that we’re in right now. But it doesn’t take away from the competitiveness in which we’re going about it.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @julianbenbow.