BOSTON — Nothing seems to come easy in the Fens.
Even with a career game Friday night from Franklin Gutierrez, the Mariners had to hold on for an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox had two runners aboard in the ninth inning with the heart of their lineup coming up when Steve Cishek, who grew up in nearly Falmouth, retired Dustin Pedroia on a sharp grounder to short for the final out.
So the Mariners survived.
Gutierrez hit two homers and drove in a career-high six runs. He also had two homers in his last visit to the Fens. No other Mariners, not even Ken Griffey Jr., has ever had more than one multi-homer game at Fenway.
"It was a good day today," Gutierrez said. "What can I say?"
His bat sure spoke loudly.
"When he can mash the left-handed pitchers like that," manager Scott Servais said, "we’re really a different lineup. He’s got big power."
Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5) wobbled at times but provided the Mariners’ bullpen with some much needed rest by pitching through the seventh inning, He gave up four runs and nine hits.
"From my perspective," Iwakuma admitted, "this is a very tough ballpark to pitch in. You really feel you’re on the road. The atmosphere is different. The fans get on you. It’s not an easy place to pitch."
Just-promoted David Rollins and Cishek combined to get the final six outs. Cishek got his 16th save. Rollins was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma after the game to clear space for right-hander Adrian Sampson.
After placing Wade Miley on the disabled list prior to the game, the Mariners need a starter for Saturday’s game. That will be Sampson, who will be added officially to the roster prior to the game.
The Mariners started strong against ex-teammate Roenis Elias, whom Boston recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Pawtucket. Elias (0-1) matched a career high by giving up seven runs before exiting after four innings.
Ketel Marte hit Elias’ first pitch off the Green Monster for a Fenway single. Two pitches later, Gutierrez drove a change-up over the 17-foot wall in center field for a two-run homer.
Gutierrez’s second homer came in a first-pitch fastball while leading off the third inning. It cleared the Monster for a 3-0 lead.
The Mariners loaded the bases for Gutierrez in the fourth inning on a walk and two singles — and he just missed a grand slam of a fly to deep right. The result was a three-run double.
"I hit it really good," he said. "To be honest, I really thought it had a chance (to get out). It was really close."
Robinson Cano followed with an RBI single that boosted the lead to 7-0. He tried for a double and was initially called safe. A replay challenge overturned the call, but Gutierrez had crossed the plate before the tag.
Iwakuma and the Mariners then threatened to let the Red Sox immediately back into the game. Xander Bogaerts led off the Boston fourth with a single, and David Ortiz followed with a homer to center.
Marte boxed Hanley Ramirez’s grounder and then bounced the throw into the Boston dugout for a two-base error. Ramirez moved to third on Travis Shaw’s two-out single, but Iwakuma stranded both runners.
Iwakuma had an easy fifth inning but started the sixth by walking Ortiz, who sent to second on Ramirez’s bloop single. But Leonys Martin ran down Bradley’s deep fly, and Chris Young hit into a double play.
Cano led off the seventh with a notable homer that extended the lead to 8-2. It was No. 247 as a second baseman, which moved him past Joe Gordon for the most in history among American League players.
The Red Sox struck back in their seventh. Shaw led off a single and went to third on Leon’s double into the left-center gap. Betts’ sacrifice fly cut the margin to 8-3 and moved Leon to third.
Pedroia’s sacrifice fly scored Leon, but that was it.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Third baseman Kyle Seager started an inning-ending double play when he fielded Chris Young’s sharp hopper with runners at first and third in the sixth inning.
Second baseman Robinson Cano made a terrific turn-and-throw after recording the force and just beat Young at first base.
Cano then led off the seventh inning with a homer.
PLUS: Robinson Cano acknowledged his pride in passing Joe Gordon and becoming the American League’s all-time leader in home runs by a second baseman. "I’m not going to lie," Cano said. "I’ve read about him. He one of the best second baseman to play the game ever. He’s a guy, if you play second base, you dream to be like him."…Franklin Gutierrez is just the fifth visiting player since Fenway Park opened in 1912 to hit multiple homers in successive games. He said: "I guess I see the ball pretty good here."…Hisashi Iwakuma won for the first time in five career starts against Boston.
MINUS: Shortstop Ketel Marte committed his 10th error, and it came on a fairly routine grounder in the fourth inning…Dae-Ho Lee, Chris Iannetta and Leonys Martin were each hitless in four at-bats.
STAT PACK: Franklin Gutierrez’s two homers marked his third career multi-homer game. His last one was also at Fenway, less than a year ago on Aug. 16 in a 10-8 victory in 12 innings.
The other one was June 18, 2009 in a 4-3 loss at San Diego.
Gutierrez is the first Mariner to have more than one multi-homer game at Fenway. Alex Rodriguez (1998), Edgar Martinez (1994), Gorman Thomas (1985) and Bill Stein (1977) each did it once.
Ken Griffey Jr. is the only other Mariners with more than one multi-homer game against the Red Sox, but his two two-homer games came at the Kingdome (1993 and 1997).
QUOTABLE: Franklin Gutierrez on hitting two homers and a double in three at-bats against former teammate Roenis Elias: "His pitches were over the plate. When (they) leave pitches over the plate, you can do whatever you want with those pitches. That’s what happened."
SHORT HOPS: Franklin Gutierrez’s previous career high for RBIs was four on three occasions: Aug. 16, 2015 at Boston; July 21, 2015 at Detroit; and May 27, 2008 vs. the Chicago White Sox while playing for Cleveland…Gutierrez’s two homers marked the 10th multi-homer of the season by a Mariners player…the Red Sox were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position…the Mariners are 9-5 against the Red Sox since the start of the 2014 season, including 5-2 at Fenway Park.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners