Boston Red Sox's Jason Bay is congratulated by teammates in the dugout following his 2-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning during a baseball game Saturday, May 16, 2009, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Boston Red Sox got a strong outing from Josh Beckett and he got some support from the bats of Jason Bay, Jason Varitek and Jeff Bailey in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The outing from Beckett was his longest since his Opening Day start against the Tampa Bay Rays and it was also the first time a Red Sox starter had gone 7 innings since Jon Lester did it back on May 4th. This time out, he was able to limit his mistakes to one bad pitch, a 2-run home run to Yuniesky Betancourt.

It was nice to see the quality outing from him though. Hopefully he’s able to build from this and return to the form that we all know he has. Also, let’s hope that his start builds so momentum for the other starters going forward as right now as the Red Sox starting pitchers are statistically the worst in the American League.

Bay has been everything the Red Sox had hoped for when they picked him up at the trading deadline last season. He’s continuing to put together a career season in his walk year and will most likely be paid a king’s ransom during the offseason.

We know that Theo Epstein and Bay’s representatives put off the talks for a contract extension this past offseason and we do know that the Red Sox under Theo do not like to talk contract extensions during the season. Well it might be time to put that to bed at least for Bay before the price to re-sign him becomes too high.

Ultimately though, it’s in the hands of Bay who’ll have to decide if he wants to stay in Boston for whatever price the Red Sox put on him. I couldn’t see why he wouldn’t. He’s fit in nicely with the team given the lofty expectations of some because of the steroid user he had to replace. And that’s not to mention the love he gets from Red Sox Nation.

In case you were wondering, Bay is hitting .305 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. He has an OBP of .444, a slugging percentage of .648 and a OPS of 1.092. The 11 home runs is good for a tie for third in the American League and the 40 RBIs is good for second in the AL. He’s been walked 31 times and that’s also good for second in the AL.

One last thing, if you’re interested in bidding on the pink cleats of David Ortiz or Josh Beckett from the Mother’s Day game, head over to The auction ends today. Beckett’s cleats right now are at $160 and Big Papi’s are at $280.

Sox sail by Seattle [Boston Globe]

Josh Beckett, Red Sox get it done [Boston Herald]

Varitek, Bailey and Bay homer in 5-3 Red Sox victory [Providence Journal]

A more effective Beckett alleviates No. 1 problem [Boston Globe]

Daisuke Matsuzaka’s return draws near [Boston Herald]

Beckett throws 119 pitches to help rest overtaxed bullpen [Providence Journal]

Lefthander upset after loss [Boston Globe]

Red Sox ace regaining command [Boston Herald]

Youkilis to play in Pawtucket Monday and Tuesday [Providence Journal]

Ellsbury fast becoming better leadoff batter [Boston Globe]

Lester vows to turn his season around [Providence Journal]

Five Things We Learned While Watching Beckett Assume a Huge Workload [Alex Speier –]

Papi’s power struggle [Boston Globe]

Bailey showing off for the ‘home’ crowd []

Lugo’s injury [Extra Bases]

Even the Moose Knows It’s Gone [Surviving Grady]

For more slices of Boston Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Providence Journal websites.

And if the enemy papers are more your thing, you can check out the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Tacoma News Tribune websites.