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Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the sixth inning.
Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the sixth inning.Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

SEATTLE — The Red Sox are two teams, one trustworthy and another tattered.

There are the pitchers, a unit led by Cy Young Award favorite Chris Sale and doomsday closer Craig Kimbrel. The bullpen could use another reliable arm, but it’s a talented group you can easily imagine doing well in the postseason.

Then there are the hitters, who are lost in the woods of the pennant race.

The Sox were easy outs again Monday night, managing only four hits in a 4-0 loss against the Seattle Mariners before a crowd of 29,262 at Safeco Field.

“We’ve got to continue to stick together and ride out a tough period that we’re going through right now,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.


The Sox have a 3.34 earned run average in the last 17 games but have lost 11 times because the offense is averaging 3.1 runs in that stretch. Their lead on the Yankees in the American League East is down to two games with the teams tied in the loss column.

Eduardo Rodriguez gave up three runs in the second inning and that represents an inescapable hole for the Sox offense at this point.

“We haven’t found a way to put it together offensively. Tonight was more a credit to their guys,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “They were tough and made pitches all night long.”

For the second game in a row, the Red Sox did not collect their first hit until the fifth inning. On Sunday, it was Parker Bridwell of the Angels who shut them down. On Monday, James Paxton did the same.

The first 13 Sox batters went in order until Jackie Bradley Jr. (2 for 3) singled to center field. Paxton then struck out Chris Young and Deven Marrero.

There was somewhat of a threat in the sixth inning when Brock Holt reached on an error with one out and Mookie Betts singled sharply to left field.


Paxton struck out Andrew Benintendi swinging at a cutter that was down and away from him. Pedroia then struck out swinging on a hard cutter that was down and in on him.

There was another chance in the seventh inning when Hanley Ramirez led off with a single and took third on a single by Bradley. This time Young struck out and Marrero grounded into a double play.

“We’re not built around the home run; we recognize that,” Farrell said. “We know this has to be quality at-bats up and down the lineup. That has shown itself to be the case in some innings but in others it’s not.”

Paxton (10-3) allowed four singles and struck out 10 without a walk. He is 5-0 with a 1.62 earned run average this month and has a 2.86 ERA in 19 starts going back to last season. He has faced the Sox three times in his career and given up one run over 23 innings.

A hot pitcher against a cold offense was a mismatch. The Sox have scored two runs in their last 25 innings.

“We have to find a way to get it done,” Pedroia said. “You can catch a cold streak but you can catch a hot streak just as fast. You have to stay positive and keep working. Just find a way.”

Rodriguez allowed three runs on three hits in what was an ugly second inning.


Kyle Seager led off with a home run to center field. Ben Gamel then grounded a ball down the first-base line that Ramirez made a futile dive at. The ball kept rolling, bounced around, and Gamel had a triple.

When Guillermo Heredia grounded to first, Gamel was running on contract. Ramirez’s throw was high and Gamel scored.

With two outs, Jean Segura doubled to the gap in right field and Heredia scored from first.

“I missed my pitches,” Rodriguez said. “I missed my spots and you saw what happened in the game.”

Seattle scored again in the fourth inning when Gamel singled, Rodriguez hit Segura with a pitch, and Danny Valencia doubled.

Rodriguez (4-3) has allowed seven runs on 12 hits over 10⅔ innings since coming off the disabled list on July 17.

Drew Pomeranz faces Felix Hernandez on Tuesday in what is expected to be the debut of rookie third baseman Rafael Devers. No worries, young man, just give your new team a lift against King Felix.

Box score: Mariners 4, Red Sox 0

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.