After watching their bullpen blow the game for a second straight night, the Boston Red Sox returned the favor scoring five runs in the 7th inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-4 in front of 37,691 on a gorgeous day for baseball at Fenway Park.
The win for the Red Sox prevented the Mariners from their first ever sweep at Fenway Park. The Red Sox improve to 49-32 and maintain their one game lead in the AL East over the Yankees. The Mariners fall to 42-39.
Trailing 4-3 going into the 7th, the Red Sox rallied for five runs off of the Mariners bullpen.
Miguel Batista took over for starter Brandon Morrow and retired Nick Green on a fly ball to start the inning. He walked J.D. Drew and allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia before getting Kevin Youkilis to fly out for the second out.
David Ortiz came up with a clutch single to score Drew and tie the game at 4. Mark Lowe came in and walked Jason Bay to load the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury then worked a walk to force in the eventual winning run. Mark Kotsay added some insurance runs as his two-run single pushed the lead to 7-4.
Sean White came into the game and threw a ball in the dirt that got past Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima for a passed ball allowing Ellsbury to score from third to make it 8-4.
Jon Lester started this one for the Red Sox and threw the ball well until the 4th when he got into some trouble. He was also the victim of a Pedroia that kept the inning alive. Overall, Lester went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 4 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 9.
The Sox bullpen was strong behind Lester as Justin Masterson went 1 1/3 innings, striking out 3 of the 4 batters he faced. Hideki Okajima followed with an 11-pitch effort in the 9th.
Brandon Morrow gave the Mariners a strong effort this afternoon as well. He allowed two early runs and then settled down. He gave up a 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.
Pedroia had a big afternoon with 3 hits, including a solo home run in the 1st. David Ortiz continues to see his average rise as he added another 2 hits, including a solo home run, and had 2 RBIs as well. Jacoby Ellsbury’s one hit of the afternoon was a solo blast while Kotsay’s only hit of the day was the 2-run single. Bay and Jason Varitek had the other hits.
Good to see the bullpen throw the ball well today and not let their struggles affect them on the mound.
The Red Sox will now host another team from the AL West as the Oakland A’s come to town for three games. John Smoltz will make his Fenway Park debut in a Red Sox uniform and will be faced by rookie Brett Anderson.