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The Red Sox fell right back into the habit of losing Wednesday night, falling to the Seattle Mariners 4-1.
After the offensive "outburst" that was Tuesday's four-run performance, the Sox got right back to producing nothing up against Kevin Millwood. While baserunners were not infrequent, clutch hits were all but inexistent.
Ryan Lavarnway would set the trend in the second. With two men on and one out, Lavarnway grounded into an inning-ending double play, wasting the opportunity. In the fourth, the Sox would actually manage to load the bases, but again it was Lavarnway unable to bring anything in, stranding all three men with another ground ball.
Meanwhile, Aaron Cook had been living dangerously in his own right. Loud contact marked the first inning, though it was broken up by just the one hit. He would survive two more baserunners in the second, and another two in the third before the Mariners finally broke through in the fourth. Loading the bases with no outs, Dustin Ackley came to the plate for the Mariners with the big opportunity, and singled on a ground ball up-the-middle to put Seattle up 2-0.
The Red Sox would get on the board in the sixth, as Cody Ross doubled home Dustin Pedroia with a fly ball that landed just fair in the right field corner. From there, however, it was right back to ineptitude, with the Sox stranding a baserunner a piece as they went scoreless in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to give the Mariners the series win.
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After pulling off the victory on Tuesday, the Red Sox are out for the fabled winning streak Wednesday night in Seattle. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down In Safeco.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 8th -- The Mariners work around a one-out single from Jacoby Ellsbury. They've got just three outs to go before they put the Red Sox right back into the loss column.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 1, End 7th -- Andrew Miller replaces Aaron Cook, strikes out two, walks one, and gets a Jesus Montero fly ball to end the inning.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- Stephen Pryor enters the game for Kevin Millwood and allows a one-out walk to Mike Aviles, but Charlie Furbush follows him, strikes out Mauro Gomez (pinch hitting for Ryan Kalish who was pinch hitting for Pedro Ciriaco), and gets a fly ball from Scott Podsednik to put any possible rally to an end.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- James Loney makes a strong play to give Cook another 1-2-3 frame in the sixth. After a pair of pop-ups earned Cook his first two outs, the first baseman goes diving into foul territory to grab a ground ball off the bat of Dustin Ackley, and makes the throw to first to just barely catch the Seattle second baseman by a step.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- And the Red Sox finally get on the board thanks to just about who you'd expect. Dustin Pedroia reaches base to start the inning, working a 7-pitch walk off of Millwood. One out later, and Cody Ross manages to drop a ball just fair into the right field corner for an RBI double, cutting the Mariners' lead to one.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 0, End 5th -- Cook responds with a quick 1-2-3 inning of his own, but with the offense going the way it is, he's already given up all he needs to for the loss tonight.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 0, Mid 5th -- Millwood is having a very on-off night, getting through another 1-2-3 frame in the fifth, again on just the 10 pitches.
Mariners 2, Red Sox 0, End 4th -- And Aaron Cook is the first to blink in this "just barely good enough" battle. A pair of singles and a walk serve to load the bases before a single out is recorded, and while Cook is able to pick up the first out on an easy pop-up to Dustin Pedroia, he can't quite get the second one. Dustin Ackley slashes a sinker back to the mound and into center field, bringing two runs in to score before Cook can get the easier ground balls he needs.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, Mid 4th -- Millwood, like Cook, is living dangerously and getting away with it. A two-out rally with hits from Ross and Loney combined with a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia gives Ryan Lavarnway another chance to deliver. Once again, however, he falls short, grounding out to third to keep the Sox off the board.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, End 3rd -- In what is perhaps the most unexpected Aaron Cook inning of all time, the no-true-outcomes pitcher strikes out the first two batters he faces, walks the next two, and then strikes out Jesus Montero to keep the Mariners off the board. He's living dangerously, but at least for now he's living.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, Mid 3rd -- Millwood's third inning looks a lot like his second, from the 10 pitches it takes to the remarkably short duration. The best news is that the Sox will have Dustin Pedroia leading off the fourth as a result of the 1-2-3 frame.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, End 2nd -- A pair of hits against Cook is once again not the best of signs for future success, but he manages to keep the Mariners off the board all-the-same. If he can keep spreading the damage out, he can survive.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, Mid 2nd -- The Sox manage to put up a decent threat in the second inning. A ground ball from Cody Ross gets through into right field for a leadoff single, giving the Sox their first baserunner of the game. One out later, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia makes it two with a walk. Unfortunately, the man who won last night's game in Ryan Lavarnway isn't up to the task of getting the Sox ahead again, instead grounding into a double play to wipe out the momentum.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, End 1st -- Aaron Cook is out of the inning without any harm done, but it's not a frame that speaks to future success. The Mariners tattoo a pair of balls with two outs, but only the one goes for a hit. Cook is high in the zone tonight, and that generally means disaster is just around the bend.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, Mid 1st -- Blink and you missed it. Kevin Millwood works efficiently through the first three batters of the Boston lineup, requiring just nine pitches and under three minutes to get the job done against Scott Podsednik, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury. 54 minute game incoming? Something tells me not.
The Red Sox will stand pat as they send Aaron Cook to the mound against Kevin Millwood in search of a second straight win after seven straight losses. First pitch is at 10:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
While four runs isn't that impressive a tally for most teams, for the Red Sox it's a small miracle after being shut down time and again on the West Coast. With that being the case, they'll keep the same lineup on the field for Wednesday night's game as they had on Tuesday. The only difference being a switch of Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in the second and third spots.
Boston Red Sox (63-74)
Seattle Mariners (66-71)
The Boston Red Sox snapped their seven-game losing streak on Tuesday night -- during which they'd been outscored by an astonishing 58-16 -- with their victory over the Seattle Mariners, 4-3. Now they'll look to embark on a winning streak as they close out their series with the Mariners on Wednesday night.
Aaron Cook will take the mound for Boston, his first start since going just over two innings in last Friday's 20-2 shellacking at the hands of the Oakland A's. The loss dropped his record to just 3-8 on the season and raised his ERA to 5.35. The right-hander hasn't recorded a victory since late June.
Time/date: 10:10 p.m. ET, Wednesday
Radio: WEEI 93.7 FM and 850 AM
Read more on the Red Sox at Over the Monster and SB Nation Boston. For perspective on the Mariners, check out Lookout Landing. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.
The Red Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak thanks to big homers from Cody Ross and Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth, knocking off the Mariners 4-3 in Seattle.
In the early innings, it seemed like business as usual for the Red Sox. After wasting a leadoff single in the first, the Sox turned the ball over to Jon Lester, who gave up a leadoff single of his own, and then had the runner score when the Mariners put together a pair of two-out singles.
Though Lester would get through a scoreless second, things would really get ugly in the third, when bad fastballs to Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager resulted in back-to-back solo shots to lead off the frame. Just like that, and the deficit had grown to 3-0.
Meanwhile, Blake Beavan had held the Red Sox completely in check through five. The Sox had wasted doubles from James Loney and Jose Iglesias--the first hit the latter has managed in the majors this season--with their spotty lineup continuing to show its holes. All that would change, however, in the sixth.
It started with the one player who has been hitting consistently all along: Dustin Pedroia. Singling to right, Pedroia gave the Sox a much-needed leadoff baserunner, and then moved to second when Jacoby Ellsbury followed in kind. With two on, Cody Ross got a curveball over the outside part of the plate that stayed up just enough. He reached out, made good contact, and rounded the bases, tying the game with a three-run shot.
The Sox were not done in the sixth, however. With two down, Ryan Lavarnway stepped to the plate and got a high fastball. Finally displaying his power swing, Lavarnway hooked it to deep left field, and out of the park, giving the Sox the 4-3 lead.
The Mariners would not go down quietly, threatening against the bullpen, and even picking up a two-out triple against Andrew Bailey. A 2-2 cutter would jam Kyle Seager, however, getting him to fly out to right field to finally, finally give the Red Sox their win, 4-3.
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Wherein the Red Sox need to start paying us.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, End 8th -- Mike Carp gets Vicente Padilla through a scoreless eighth by grounding into a double play. The Sox have just one inning to go to finally pick up a win.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, Mid 8th -- The Red Sox go down 1-2-3 against the Seattle bullpen. They might just have to hold onto that lead they've got.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, End 7th -- A pair of bloops let the Mariners threaten against Craig Breslow, but Junichi Tazawa comes in to nail down the inning and send the Red Sox to the eighth with their fragile lead intact.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, Mid 7th -- Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury threaten again, but this time it comes with two outs. This time Cody Ross cannot come through, however, striking out on a 100 MPH fastball from Carter Capps to end the inning.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, End 6th -- Lester doesn't exactly provide a shut down sixth, giving up some decent contact, but it results in three straight outs all the same, leaving the Sox ahead when they needed it most.
Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, Mid 6th -- And the Red Sox are...winning? The meat of the lineup comes through with flying color, with Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury starting the inning with hard hits to put two men on for Cody Ross. Beavan delivers a curveball that stays just high enough, and Cody Ross reaches out, makes good contact, and starts into his home run trot. Two outs later, and Ryan Lavarnway gets a fastball over the zone and finally gets his power swing working, leaving the park to left field to actually put Boston ahead.
Mariners 3, Red Sox 0, End 5th -- A single and a walk leave Lester facing a legitimate threat in the fifth, but it ends when he gets back-to-back strikeouts against Justin Smoak and Miguel Olivo for outs numbers two and three.
Mariners 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 5th -- Not only does Jose Iglesias pick up his first hit of the season after an unbearable 0-for run, but he makes it a double to boot. It only gives the Sox the one chance with a RISP, as Scott Podsednik quickly records the third out of the inning on a pop-up.
Mariners 3, Red Sox 0, End 4th -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia leans into the camera well to make a good grab for out number three on a foul ball. It's an inning that could have been worse with a pair of singles, but Trayvon Robinson got himself caught stealing to mitigate the danger.
Mariners 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- James Loney continues to produce in this game, but he's the only one. A two-out single is wasted as the Red Sox stay on zero runs for another inning.
Mariners 3, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Yes, this game is the same as all the rest, it seems. The first and third pitches are bad fastballs to Franklin Guttierez and Kyle Seager respectively. The result: back-to-back solo shots. There is no surviving this team.
Mariners 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- The Red Sox turn the lineup turns over with a pop-up and two ground balls. Exciting!
Mariners 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Lester manages to work around a 1-out walk to Casper Wells by striking out Brendan Ryan and getting Ackley, the man who led off the first with a hit, to fly out to left to end the frame.
Mariners 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- This time the Sox get a leadoff double rather than a single, courtesy of James Loney. It's a difficult position not to score from, but of course they manage. Despite Jarrod Saltalamacchia's ground ball moving Loney along, Ryan Lavarnway hits it to short, where Brendan Ryan can check Lavarnway back to third before recording the second out. Pedro Ciriaco follows up with a fly ball, and the inning is over.
Mariners 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- And, of course, the Mariners off to an early lead. Jose Iglesias can't make the play on a leadoff ground ball in his direction--it's ruled an infield single--and while Lester manages to pick up a strike out and ground ball, he can't keep the next two batters in Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak from producing singles that are more than enough to bring Ackley in to score. More first-inning troubles for a team that just can't seem to catch even the slightest of breaks.
Red Sox 0, Mariners 0, Mid 1st -- A leadoff single from Scott Podsednik provides only false hope for Red Sox fans. While Podsednik is able to steal second base, it only comes after a Dustin Pedroia pop-up and Jacoby Ellsbury fly ball that both go for outs, leaving Cody Ross' ground ball an inning-ender.
The Red Sox will turn to Jon Lester on the mound as they try to snap a seven game losing streak that has left them at a season-low. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
There's no way to sugarcoat the past week for the Red Sox. The losses have been constant and brutal, one after the other, often lopsided in nature. But, at least against the Mariners, it was not quite as embarrassingly uneven. Clay Buchholz suffered from a ground-ball heavy inning with a couple of defensive errors, but generally pitched well. The Red Sox can only hope that they'll keep heading in the right direction with Jon Lester on the mound.
He will still not have much in the way of offensive backup, but it's about the best that the Sox can put out right about now.
Boston Red Sox (62-74)
Seattle Mariners (66-70)
The 30-year-old Quiroz played part of seven seasons in the majors but has only played a combined six games since 2008. He spent this season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, and played well, hitting .278 with 15 homers and earning a trip to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game, but the Mariners have John Jaso, Miguel Olivo, and young slugger Jesus Montero at the big-league level, making Quiroz superfluous.
He's more useful in Boston: Ryan Lavarnway, who currently backs up Jarrod Saltalamacchia, is only hitting .174. If Quiroz, a career .208 hitter, could translate his decent hitting season to the major league level, he could be helpful as a backup at the very least, and Boston is getting him on the cheap without having to give up any players.
Lester has struggled this season but has pitched well of late, winning three of his last four starts. He takes the mound Tuesday with a record of 8-11 and a 5.01 ERA.
For the Mariners, Beavan is coming off a win against the Minnesota Twins in which he went seven innings, allowing only five hits and two runs. The 23-year-old right-hander enters Tuesday's contest with a 9-8 record and with an ERA of 4.95.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was 2-for-3 with a run in Monday's game. He is in the midst of a 14-game hitting streak, tied for the longest streak of his 2012 season. David Ortiz remains out while he nurses an Achilles injury.
Fourth inning trouble cost the Red Sox a rare early lead, with the Mariners pitching locking down for the final eight to send the Red Sox to a 4-1 loss.
For once, the Red Sox actually managed to take the early lead. After Jason Vargas grabbed two quick outs, Dustin Pedroia hit a long fly ball to center field, resulting in a ground rule double. Cody Ross quickly found right field behind him, and the result was a 1-0 lead.
Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, was impressive through the first three-about as long as any Red Sox starter had lasted in the entire series against the Athletics. In the fourth, however, things started falling apart, and it was in typical September 2011 Red Sox fashion. Ground ball after ground ball got through to start the fourth, and then when Buchholz finally got an out on a fly ball, Ryan Lavarnway gifted the Mariners a run by completely failing to stop a throw from center even when there was originally no attempt to score. Another run came in on a flared single and an error by Jose Iglesias, bobbling a ground ball. By the time it was over, the Mariners had scored four.
Clay Buchholz would settle down from there, even striking out the side in the sixth. He would manage to get through the seventh inning without allowing another earned run. Given the errors, he ended up with just three earned runs along with eight strikeouts and a walk.
Unfortunately, though, holding the Mariners scoreless from there-on-in was not enough without any sort of offensive response from the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia was about the only player capable of even reaching base, and with Jason Vargas handing the ball off after seven to Josh Kinney and Tom Wilhelmsen for two more scoreless innings, the Sox fell for the seventh straight game.
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The Red Sox will try, try again to break their lengthy losing streak as they take on the Seattle Mariners. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Safeco field.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, End 8th -- Rich Hill looks not-at-all impressive in the eighth, showing some serious rust on the mound by offering up three walks. Luckily for him, however, the hardest contact he gives up comes from Justin Smoak, and it goes right to Jose Iglesias at short, who quickly flips the ball to Dustin Pedroia for a tremendously helpful double play that saves the Sox from any damage.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 8th -- Dustin Pedroia contributes a similar effort as in the sixth inning, walking with two down and stealing second to give Cody Ross a runner in scoring position. The right fielder can't cash in, however, grounding back to the mound to keep the Red Sox stuck on just the one run with three outs to go.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, End 7th -- Not only does Clay Buchholz manage to pitch into the seventh, but he excels as he does so, striking out the side in order.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- Ivan De Jesus makes his Red Sox debut, pinch-hitting for Jose Iglesias with one on and two out in the seventh. It's not one that will go down in history, however, resulting in an easy ground ball that ends the frame.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- Trouble brews for Clay Buchholz with two outs, as Eric Thames draws a 7-pitch walk and Miguel Olivo slaps a single into left. He manages to get Carlos Peguero swinging over the top of a curveball, however, to end the frame with the score still at 4-1.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- With one out in the inning, Dustin Pedroia picks up his second hit of the game and steals second base shortly thereafter. Cody Ross cannot make contact, however, striking out before Mauro Gomez hits a fly ball to end the (limited) threat.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Clay Buchholz has a much easier time of things in the fifth, getting a strikeout to close out a 1-2-3 inning. As per usual for the Red Sox, however, the damage has already been done.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- A leadoff single for Mike Aviles perhaps raises some hopes that the Sox would respond in kind, but Jason Vargas shuts it down from there to preserve the Mariners' newly-won lead.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- The end of the world comes on ground ball singles and errors. In a rally so very typical of September 2011, the Red Sox see hit after hit go against Clay Buchholz to start the inning, with a hit batsman mixed in to give the Mariners two runs and two on.
An out finally comes on a long fly ball, but even that ends up sloppy, with Ryan Lavarnway looking completely bush league in letting the throw from Jacoby Ellsbury get by him with no play at the plate incoming. John Jaso managed to make a late break to score with the ball getting all the way back to Buchholz near the dugout, and moved Justin Smoak to second, from where he would score on a single. The bleeding would not stop there, however, with another single moving the runner to third and Jose Iglesias fumbling with a ground ball as a run scored from third to make it four in the frame.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, Mid 4th -- Vargas responds in kind, having retired seven straight batters now to hold the Sox to just the one run they earned in the first. A pitchers' duel is fast emerging in Safeco.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, End 3rd -- Buchholz is through another 1-2-3 frame without so much as hard contact coming against him, the only fly ball bringing Cody Ross well in to make the grab.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, Mid 3rd -- Dustin Pedroia fails to break up the 1-2-3 inning this time, giving Vargas his first perfect frame of the afternoon.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, End 2nd -- Clay Buchholz is looking good so far against the Mariners. Two strikeouts get him through the first two outs of the second inning, the first on a cutter, the second on a splitter, both dropping out of the zone. Ryan Kalish comes in to field a shallow fly ball to left, and the inning is over.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, Mid 2nd -- Ryan Kalish hits a ground ball too far to Brendan Ryan's right for the shortstop to have any chance of making the play, earning himself an infield single. But like all the hits so far, it comes with two outs, and this time Jose Iglesias behind him is unable to keep the inning going.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, End 1st -- Things go easily for Buchholz in the bottom of the first as well, as the Red Sox finally have a decent beginning behind them. A two-out single from Kyle Seager is the only black mark on a clean first for Buchholz, and since it came with two-outs, it was never really a serious threat.
Red Sox 1, Mariners 0, Mid 1st -- Miracle of miracles, the Sox have an early lead. It comes despite the line drive that Jacoby Ellsbury was unfortunate enough to hit directly to first with one out in the inning. While the Sox were without the benefit of that particular could-have-been single, Dustin Pedroia managed a deep fly ball to center field that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double, and Cody Ross managed to find right field for a base hit to drive the second baseman in.
Jacoby Ellsbury will be back in the lineup Monday afternoon as the Red Sox take on the Mariners in the first game of a three-game set.
After missing the final game against the Athletics with a nagging wrist injury, Jacoby Ellsbury's return actually provides a decent boost to a Red Sox lineup which looks, if not good, then at least not as bad as it has been of late. Mauro Gomez will get the start at first in place of James Loney, with Ryan Lavarnway getting the call behind the plate.
Boston Red Sox (62-73)
Seattle Mariners (65-70)
The Red Sox are in full-on tailspin mode as they head into Seattle for a three-game set against the Mariners.
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