James Pazos’ performance in magical 13-inning win could signal a positive shift for him

Coming into Tuesday’s appearance, Mariners reliever Pazos had allowed runs in six of his previous seven appearances and had a 16.20 ERA over that span.

So much could’ve been written on the Mariners’ 6-5 win in 13 innings over the Red Sox on Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

It was a game filled with so many different interesting story lines and angles.

For example, the Houdini escape act that left-handed reliever James Pazos pulled in top of the 11th inning was certainly critical in the win.

Brought in with the game tied at 4-4, Pazos found immediate trouble when Robinson Cano allowed Jackie Bradley to reach first on a fielding error to start the inning. The Red Sox tried to sacrifice bunt Bradley Jr. to second. Instead of taking the free out, Pazos walked Xander Bogaerts on four straight pitches. The go-ahead run scoring seemed inevitable.

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“Honestly, all I was thinking was ‘just try and get a ground ball,’ ” Pazos said. “The way things have been going for me and I’ve been struggling a little bit lately, I just wanted to get ahead in the count and get a ground ball.”

Pazos dug in. He got pinch-hitter Chris Young to fly out to shallow right for the first out. He probably should’ve had an inning-ending double play on Sandy Leon’s ground ball to short after a 10-pitch at-bat. But Jean Segura bobbled the ball slightly and only got the force out at second. But Pazos didn’t panic. He struck out touted Red Sox prospect Rafael Devers on three pitches.

“I don’t know if I started to loosen up or it was that I didn’t want to lose the game for us,” he said. “The ball started to go where I wanted it to and the slider was there. It’s been tough to get the fastball by people lately.”

Coming into Tuesday’s appearance, Pazos had allowed runs in six of his previous seven appearances and had a 16.20 ERA over that span.


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