Boston’s losing skid that left a mark from Los Angeles to Seattle ended there as the Sox halted a seven-game losing streak with a hard earned 4-3 win over the last place Seattle Mariners, a team that despite its place in the AL West, still has four more wins than do the Red Sox. The win pulled Boston back from the precipice of losing all nine games on their current road swing and toward an unthinkable four sweeps in the last three weeks.
On the mound Tuesday was Seattle’s 23-year-old Blake Beavan (9-8, 4.95 ERA) who faced off against Boston’s Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01 ERA). Beavan had a sharp outing through five innings. Lester initially had an outing maddeningly typical of many of his 2012 starts.
After he gave up a run in the first inning, the Mariners added to a 1-0 lead by cracking back-to-back homers off Lester. Franklin Gutierrez got all of a fat fastball that was belt high and over the middle of the plate for a solo homer, his third of the year. Kyle Seager liked what he saw and did the same thing on the very next pitch. A team who is 11th in the league in homers smacked two authoritative ones off Lester to get the Sox in yet another early inning hole.
Beavan held Boston in check until the sixth inning when Boston’s bats finally showed some life and the Sox showed some much-needed fight. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury singled back-to-back to lead off the inning, setting the stage for a Cody Ross three-run homer to tie the game. Cody Ross; sign this guy. After both James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out, Ryan Lavarnway hit a monster shot to put the Sox up 4-3.
Lester settled down (6 complete, 9 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 4 Ks), blanking Seattle in his last three innings. After 111 pitches, Lester was lifted. He would need help if he was going to get the win.
Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, Vincente Padilla and Andrew Bailey combined to allow three hits and no runs in the last three frames to ice the victory. With the win, Lester improved to 9-11 and lowered his ERA to 4.99.
AL East Footnotes:
Yes, it’s all Sox fans have to cheer about but the Orioles won and the Yankees lost last night to Tampa Bay to allow the Os to catch the Bombers for the AL East division lead. By winning Tampa Bay pulled to within 1.5 games of both the Yankees and Orioles. What looked like a sure thing 10-game New York lead a month ago has evaporated. The Yankees have never in franchise history lost a division race with a six game lead or more. There may indeed be a first time for everything. Hehehe…
With the Yanks banged up and a ton of games down the stretch, primarily on the road against AL East opponents, this race is sure to stay juicy. Boston can indeed play a spoiler role and have something to say about both the division and wild card winners since they’re playing all three teams down the stretch – the Rays and Orioles twice – in the last three weeks of the season.
Sung by the New York Yankees:
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you
- It’s My Party, Lesley Gore