Home runs from David Ortiz, Jed Lowrie, and Josh Reddick powered the Red Sox past the Mariners Friday night as the Sox emerged with a 6-4 win in the first game of their short West Coast trip.
Despite returning to familiar territory from his time in the A.L. West, John Lackey suffered one of his worst outings in more than a month. Allowing the first four runners to reach base (albeit three of them on ground balls, including a swinging bunt from Franklin Guttierez), Lackey gave up two runs in the first, and then another in the second just as the Sox had fought back to tie the game.
Lackey would settle in for much of the rest of the game, allowing just one more run to score in the fourth while recording 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth. And while his the bottom line on his outing--four earned runs in six innings--isn't terribly impressive, it was good enough to keep the Sox in the game.
The Sox' offense was not at full strength Friday, lacking both Marco Scutaro and Kevin Youkilis thanks to some back soreness. But despite that, a 10:10 p.m. EST start, and a 2-for-9 mark with runners in scoring position, the lineup was up to the task of solving Blake Beavan, who had shut down the Sox in Fenway park just a few weeks back. They did so primarily through the long ball.
The barrage started in the top of the second, when David Ortiz put a picture-perfect swing on a fastball from Beavan and knocked it over the wall in dead center to put the Sox on the board. Boston would score again in the inning, but in rather more frightening fashion. After Carl Crawford lined a single into right, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a sharp ground ball to first, where an unusual hop sent the ball hard into Justin Smoak's face. The Seattle first baseman would have to leave the game with a fractured nose. Shortly thereafter, Mike Aviles hit a sacrifice fly to bring Crawford home from third.
Perhaps the best sign of the night for any individual player came in the fifth, when the Sox struck again. Pushed into action against a right-handed pitcher thanks to Scutaro's back, Jed Lowrie stepped up to bat from the left side, and clobbered an inside fastball. The power was the sort the Sox had only come to expect of Jed from the right side, as the ball landed a good dozen rows back in right field.
Josh Reddick, however, was not about to be outdone by a shortstop. With the Sox still trailing 4-3 in the sixth and one man on base, Reddick one-upped Lowrie by planting a home run of his own off the top of the scoreboard right above where Lowrie's shot had landed. An added RBI single from Dustin Pedroia helped give the Sox some insurance in the seventh, but they would not need it. Daniel Bard recorded three of his four outs via nasty strikeouts, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a strong if imperfect ninth to close out the win.