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Schwarber, Vazquez power Red Sox past Mariners in 10

The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Kyle Schwarber and Christian Vazquez drove in two runs apiece in the 10th inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9-4 on Wednesday to keep pace in the AL wild-card race.

Designated runner Jack Lopez scored on Tom Murphy’s passed ball to start the scoring in the six-run 10th to break open a 3-3 game. J.D. Martinez, Schwarber and Vazquez added run-scoring hits as Boston beat the Mariners for the second day in a row.

All three games in the series between playoff contenders were decided in the eighth inning or later.

“It was playoff baseball,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “It feels that way. It’s fun, to be honest with you.”

The Red Sox, Toronto and the New York Yankees enter today in a virtual tie for the two AL wild-card spots. Seattle is four games behind the AL East trio.

Boston gets today off before returning home for eight games against Baltimore, the Mets and Yankees.

“Not too many people thought that the last homestand of the season was going to mean something,” Cora said. “Now it means a lot.”

Alex Verdugo singled against Eric Swanson (0-3) to lead off the 10th, moving Lopez to third. Swanson threw a chest-high fastball on his first pitch to Hunter Renfroe, but the ball skipped off the top of Murphy’s glove to the backstop to make it 4-3.

One out later, Martinez made it 5-3 with an RBI single.

Adam Ottavino (7-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the Red Sox to finish the eighth and ninth innings, earning his second victory in two days. He struck out two.

The score was tied 3-all after three innings.

Boston’s Bobby Dalbec reached third in the eighth after a walk, a stolen base and Jose Iglesias’ single against reliever Casey Sadler. But Paul Sewald entered with two outs and retired pinch-hitter Verdugo on a popup, preserving Sadler’s AL-leading 19 2/3-inning scoreless streak.

And Jarred Kelenic nearly ended it in Seattle’s favor in the ninth with a liner to right field that bounced a foot wide.

“In a game like that, you need a few breaks,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “You need a bounce or a ball to go fair instead of just barely foul.”

“It doesn’t look bright right now, but we aren’t eliminated and we’ll still compete,” he said.

Renfroe homered in the first and Kevin Plawecki and Iglesias drove in a pair of runs in the second for a quick 3-0 lead against Mariners starter Marco Gonzales.

Gonzales retired 12 of 13 batters after the second inning, striking out seven and not allowing a hit over that stretch.

Seattle rallied in the third. Hits by Kelenic and Murphy, a throwing error by Renfroe from right field and Kyle Seager’s two-run double tied it.

Ottavino said the Sox are excited to go home after splitting a road trip with Seattle and the Chicago White Sox.

“I think that gave us momentum,” Ottavino said. “We’re going to have three series at home, a place we expect to win.”

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