Josh Beckett went 6 2/3 strong innings and the Sox bats came through again as the Red Sox defeated the Mariners 9-2 for their second straight win. The win was Beckett’s 14th and tied him for the MLB lead with John Lackey, C.C. Sabathia and Carlos Zambrano. It also gave them their first series win in Seattle since the 1999 season.
The Red Sox wasted no time getting on the Safeco scoreboard as M’s starter Miguel Batista struggled with his command. Coco Crisp started out the inning with a double and went to third on a Kevin Youkilis fly out. Batista then walked David Ortiz. With Manny Ramirez at the plate, Big Papi went to second on a passed ball by Jaime Burke. Coco couldn’t advance home as ball didn’t get that far from the plate. Manny hit a fly ball to center that bounced off of the glove of centerfielder Adam Jones that scored Coco and advanced Big Papi to third. Manny was credited with a sacrifice fly and a RBI while Jones was given an error. The M’s then decided to intentionally walk J.D. Drew to face Mike Lowell. The move paid off as Batista got Lowell to pop out for the second out of the inning. Batista then walked Jason Varitek to bring in a run and make it 2-0. Batista got out of the jam as he got Alex Cora to fly out.
Beckett cruised through the first three innings. Of the 9 outs, he recorded 7 via the strikeout.
The Sox got another run in the 5th inning. Big Papi led off the inning with a fly ball out. Manny followed him with homerun to left center to make the lead 3-0 Red Sox. Batista then got Drew to strikeout. After a Lowell single, Batista got Varitek to foul out ending the inning.
The Mariners finally got on the scoreboard in the 6th inning. Ben Broussard led off the inning with a single off of Beckett and went to second on an Adrian Beltre single. Raul Ibanez moved Broussard over to third with a deep fly out to Drew in right. Beckett then got Jones to strikeout but Burke brought in Broussard with a single cutting the lead to 3-1. Beckett got out of the inning by getting Yuniesky Betancourt to ground out.
The Sox got two runs in the 7th off of Mark Lowe who had come in for Batista. Youk led off with a fly out and then Big Papi worked a walk. With Manny at the plate, Big Papi stole second. The stolen base was his second of the season. The two stolen bases also represents a career high. Manny ended up striking out and then M’s manager John McLaren went to his bullpen for a lefty, Eric O’Flaherty, to face Drew. Drew rudely greeted O’Flaherty by hitting a triple off him scoring Big Papi. This was the only batter O’Flaherty faced as the M’s went to their bullpen again for Sean Green to face Lowell. Lowell greeted Green with an infield single that scored Drew giving the Sox a 5-1 lead. Green got Varitek to strikeout to end the inning. Varitek would end up being the only Sox player without a hit on the day.
After Beckett got the first two outs of the 7th inning, he gave up a single to Jose Guillen and then was taken out of the game after 107 pitches. Terry Francona summoned Hideki Okajima and he did his job as he got the pinch-hitter Jose Lopez to fly out. Beckett went 6 2/3 innings, giving up 8 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and he struck out 9.
The Sox didn’t think five runs was enough as they tacked on three more in the 8th. Cora, who had been mired in a 2 for 22 slump, led off with a double off of Green. He went to third as Lugo reached on an infield single. Coco brought in Cora with a sacrifice fly and with some heads up baserunning, Lugo went to second. Youklis brought in Lugo with a double to deep right that narrowly missed being a homerun. Big Papi brought in Youk for the third run of the inning and 8-1 lead with a single. Manny followed Big Papi with a single of his own and was pinch run for by Wily Mo PeÃ±a. The single also chased Green from the game as Brendan Morrow was summoned from the bullpen. Morrow did his job as he only allowed a walk to Lowell while getting Drew and Varitek out.
Boston added another run in the 9th as Dustin Pedroia had a pinch-hit double scoring Coco. Kyle Synder would mop up in the 9th for the Sox and gave up his first run in a long time. The final score was 9-2.
The Red Sox now head to Anaheim to take on the first place Angels. Curt Schilling will make his first start in 7 weeks for the Sox and be opposed by Jered Weaver.
If you are wondering who Schilling will replace on the roster, it is Javier Lopez. He was sent down to Pawtucket after the game, mainly because he has options left. Brandon Moss will also be joining the team as Eric Hinske will be placed on the bereavement list, to care for his pregnant wife.