SEATTLE -- The time was ripe for another heroic David Ortiz moment.
The score tied 7-7 in the top of the ninth. The most decorated designated hitter in major league history at the plate.
Ortiz sent the Oliver Perez fastball towering deep into right-center field and the 25,367 fans in attendance rose in unison as Dustin Ackley glided onto the warning track. The ball looked destined for the front row of Safeco Field seats, but the Mariners center fielder settled under it and made an easy catch.
The ball doesn't travel well at the park situated next to Puget Sound -- even in July.
But for five innings of Boston's 8-7, extra-inning win -- capped in the 10th when Daniel Nava bounced the go-ahead RBI single back up the middle -- it was a slugfest.
In another wild, four-plus-hour affair, each lineup supplanted the opposing starting pitcher early and generally carried on as if morning batting practice extended into the breezy late afternoon.
Nothing clicked for Boston's Ryan Dempster on Thursday.
The seasoned veteran, known in the twilight of his career for eating up innings, failed to last four, bowing out after Kendrys Morales sent his 91st pitch bouncing into right field. The one-out RBI single capped an afternoon in which Dempster surrendered seven runs, only four of which were earned, on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
His second inning imploded when Brock Holt bobbled a two-out, routine one-hopper from Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan. Brad Miller laced a double and came around to score with Ryan when Endy Chavez lined a hit back up the middle.
A two-out RBI single from Michael Saunders made it 5-1 Mariners for the second time in the past three games.
But just like in Tuesday's 11-8 win, the Sox offense responded almost immediately. Even as Seattle continued to tack on runs -- one in the third and two in the fourth -- Boston never stopped working into deep counts against Erasmo Ramirez.
In his 2013 debut, the 23-year-old from Nicaragua took 101 pitches to make it through 4 2/3 innings. The score was knotted at 7 by the time reliever Charlie Furbush finally worked out of Boston's four-hit, three-run fifth inning.
Sox third baseman Holt collected a pair of RBI singles -- as did Jose Iglesias. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a home run, extending his hitting streak to 19 games, and singled in a runner in the fourth.
The score stagnated thanks to 5 2/3 innings of shutout pitching from Steven Wright, the knuckleballer who yielded just three hits and struck out three en route to earning the win a day after Boston recalled him from Triple-A Pawtucket.