SEATTLE -- Felix Doubront allowed just one run on five hits while striking out six batters over seven strong frames and David Ortiz set a new all-time mark for hits by a designated hitter in the Red Sox's 11-4 romp over the Mariners on Wednesday night at Safeco Field.
After a couple hiccups early in the season, Doubront (6-3, 3.91 ERA) has given up only three or more earned runs twice in his past 11 starts.
"He continues on a very strong roll," manager John Farrell said. "I think over the last 11 starts, I know it's been quality outings for him, but really over the last three or four the overall command continues to remain consistent, continues to be sharp."
With the win, the American League East-leading Red Sox (56-37) improved to 2-1 in the four-game series.
Ortiz led off the second inning with a double to pass Harold Baines and take sole possession of the most hits by a designated hitter with 1,689. After Mike Napoli drew a walk, Daniel Nava was plunked to load the bases. A pair of sacrifice flies by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jose Iglesias scored Ortiz and Napoli to give Boston an early 2-0 lead.
"Those runs make me more comfortable to throw the changeup right there, [in a] fastball count," Doubront said. "Just go ahead and throw the changeup and keep them off-balance. Inning by inning, I was feeling really good."
Even while pitching well of late, Doubront has struggled in the early innings. That wasn't a problem for him on Wednesday, as he struck out three of the first four batters he faced.
"Those inconsistencies in the first or second inning are becoming less visible," Farrell said. "I think it just speaks to the overall work and the routine and the preparation that he's going through that allows him to have that feel once the game begins."
Ortiz drove in two more for the Red Sox in the third inning with a thundering home run, scoring Dustin Pedroia from first. It was the slugger's eighth hit in his first nine plate appearances of the series.
"I'm the kind of guy, I just take what they give me," Ortiz said. "If they don't give me anything to hit, what should I do? Walk to first base? I hang with it until I get my pitch. That's what I've been doing all season."
Jacoby Ellsbury played well after taking two games off with a left wrist injury. He hit a leadoff single in the first and hit a double in the fourth inning, scoring on Shane Victorino's single to give the Red Sox a commanding 5-0 lead. Ellsbury finished 3-for-4 at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest active streak in the Majors.
Boston nearly batted around in the sixth, adding four runs. Only a fielder's choice by Brock Holt broke up a parade of singles by Saltalamacchia, Iglesias, Ellsbury and Victorino. Ortiz added a sacrifice fly for good measure.
Making his big league debut in relief of Doubront, Brandon Workman allowed three runs in the eighth inning. The right-hander would settle down, as he notched four strikeouts.
"That's not the way I saw it going in my head, but I made some pitches up over the plate and they hit them hard," Workman said. "I sharpened up a little in my second inning and it was better."
The Red Sox tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth, as Nava scored on a wild pitch from Tom Wilhelmsen and former Mariner Mike Carp plated Saltalamacchia on a single.
Jacob Thorpe is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.