BOSTON, MA - JULY 24: Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox knocks in a run with a double against Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on July 24, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Red Sox 12, Mariners 8: Pair Of Five-Run Innings Help Sox Sweep Mariners

The Mariners were swept out of Fenway Park as Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford each snagged three hits, Dustin Pedroia extended his streak, and Tim Wakefield reached one milestone and took the penultimate step towards another.

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Red Sox 12, Mariners 8: Pair Of Five-Run Innings Help Sox Sweep Mariners

The Red Sox swept the Mariners out of Fenway park, scoring seven runs off of Michael Pineda and twelve overall and providing Tim Wakefield with win no. 199 in the process.

After Wakefield gave up two runs in the first inning on a Miguel Olivo homer, the Red Sox went to work in the bottom of the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury lead things off with a double that skipped fair over the first base bag, and then scored on the first of Adrian Gonzalez' three hits on the day. Three pitches later, and Kevin Youkilis gave the Sox the lead with a two-run shot of his own.

The empty bases didn't end up helping Pineda recover any. David Ortiz and Carl Crawford hit a couple of balls off the wall, and Jarrod Satlamacchia drove them both in to make it a 5-2 lead for Boston.

From there, things quieted down until the fifth, when the Mariners brought in another run to pull within two. The Sox, not ones for a proportional response, returned fire with five more runs in the bottom of the inning. Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz each reached base to start the inning; Ortiz made it to first with an infield single when nobody covered third on his weak chopper. With Michael Pineda pulled from the game before Ortiz' at bat, Carl Crawford came up against left Aaron Laffet and smacked a sharp ground ball down the third base line and into left for a two-RBI single. Josh Reddick put a stop to his slump by going opposite field and off the wall for an RBI double, and then both corner outfielders scored when Jarrod Saltalamacchia again capped the five-run frame with an RBI double to right. 

The top of the sixth saw Wakefield record strikeout number 2,000 with the Red Sox, and Dustin Pedroia led off the bottom of the inning with a double to extend his hit streak to 21 games. He would score on Gonzalez' third single to put the Sox up 11-3.

The lead was cut in half by the Mariners as Wakefield fell apart in a hurry in the seventh, giving up a grand slam to Brendan Ryan. But Alfredo Aceves was his usual solid self, and the two teams traded just one more run a piece, leaving the Red Sox 12-8 winners, and the Mariners the owners of a new franchise record for futility with 15 straight losses.


Red Sox Vs. Mariners: Five-Run Innings Leave Sox In Driver's Seat, Lead 11-3 After Six

The Sox have a commanding 11-3 lead over the Seattle Mariners after six innings Sunday thanks largely to a pair of five-run innings.

It was deja vu in the fifth inning for Boston fans. The Mariners scored a pair and the Red Sox put a five-spot up on the board in the first, then after three scoreless innings for both teams, it happened all over again. The Mariners scored in the top of the fifth when Brendan Ryan doubled home Franklin Gutierrez after the Seattle center fielder walked with one out (it would have been two runs, had Wakefield not actually managed to pull off a bluff-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff of Ichiro). And then, sure enough, the Sox provided a disproportionate response.

The retaliation began with one out, as Adrian Gonzalez picked up his second hit of the game, singling to center off of Brendan Ryan's glove. Kevin Youkilis walked, and the bases were loaded when David Ortiz managed to reach first safely on an infield single when Aaron Laffey, on in relief, found third base uncovered as he stumbled towards the baseline to field the weak chopper. Carl Crawford's single down the line plated the first two runs of the frame, and Josh Reddick brought another home with an RBI double off the wall. The attack was capped off just the same as it was in the first, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting a line drive to right to score the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.

The Sox would not wait for Seattle to score again to put up their eleventh run of the game, however. Dustin Pedroia led off the sixth with a double off a wall (making it 21 straight games with a hit for the second baseman) and came around to score on yet another single from Adrian Gonzalez.


Red Sox Vs. Mariners: First Inning Fireworks Leave Sox Up 5-2

The Red Sox lead the Mariners 5-2 after three innings thanks to a wild first inning.

Tim Wakefield got off to a tough start, hitting the second batter he faced before serving up a flat knuckleball to Miguel Olivo, who promptly dropped it into the Monster seats for a 2-run homer. Wake would give up a wall-ball double to Justin Smoak before Josh Reddick helped him escape the inning by gunning down Smoak at home, who tried to score on a single from Mike Carp.

The Mariners' lead lasted for all of four batters. Up against probable Rookie of the Year Michael Pineda, the Sox sent nine men to the plate in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, and scored on Adrian Gonzalez' single to put the first run on the board for the Sox, who quickly took the lead on Kevin Youkilis' two-run shot over the Monster. The clean slate after the homer didn't help Pineda any, as David Oritz and Carl Crawford both planted balls off the wall, setting up Jarrod Saltalamacchia for a two-RBI base hit into right field which put the Sox up 5-2.

Since then, both offenses have slowed down noticeably, with Wakefield and Pineda each facing just seven batters over the next two innings. The Sox do have a very full bullpen, with both Kyle Weiland and Alfredo Aceves ready to go should Tim Wakefield run into major trouble again.


Red Sox Vs. Mariners Lineups: Jarrod Saltlamacchia Behind The Plate For Tim Wakefield

The Red Sox will aim for a sweep of the Seattle Mariners with Jarrod Satlalamacchia behind the plate to catch Tim Wakefield, who takes the mound Sunday afternoon looking for win number 199. 

Though he picked up a key base hit Saturday, the other half of the Sox' catching duo has slowed down in recent days--Varitek has hit just .185/.241/.333 since July began--but Saltalamacchia has continued to provide a solid power bat at the bottom of the lineup. While he's not been as impressive as he was in June, Salty's three homers in the month have been enough to make up for his high strikeout totals. The Sox would certainly love to see a few more hits or walks, but beggars can't be choosers, and the Red Sox were certainly beggars when it came to catching this year.

Surrounding Saltalamacchia will be the typical Red Sox linuep it seems we can expect to see for much of the rest of the season.

Boston Red Sox (61-37)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Josh Reddick, RF
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS

The Mariners will have Miguel Olivo back in the starting lineup against Wakefield, while Chone Figgins gets the start at third.

Seattle Mariners (43-57)

  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Brendan Ryan, SS
  3. Dustin Ackley, 2B
  4. Miguel Olivo, C
  5. Justin Smoak, 1B
  6. Mike Carp, LF
  7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
  8. Jack Cust, DH
  9. Chone Figgins, 3B


Pitching Matchup: Tim Wakefield (5-3, 4.80 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (8-6, 3.24 ERA)

The last time Tim Wakefield tried to pull within a win of 200, he went through one of the implosions that Sox fans so dread when he takes the mound. His ERA was preserved some by the sequence of things as an error extended the inning in question, though had it not, Wake would likely have just found himself in greater trouble in the next frame. In fact, aside from a strong May, Wakefield has been having a tough year.

One of the reasons for this might be his decreased use of the "fast"ball. By using his four-seamer only rarely, Wakefield managed to turn a 73-MPH heater into one of the more effective pitches of its type. This year, he's using it even less, relying on the Knuckleball almost exclusively. His fastball is certainly not going to carry him, but a few more sprinkled in could keep hitters a bit more off-balance.

Michael Pineda is just about as far from Tim Wakefield as it's possible to get. His four-seamer sits in the Mid-90s and, coupled with a strong slider he throws about a third of the time, has been enough to allow the 22-year-old to dominate opposing hitters. Things have been a little difficult for Pineda of late, however, as starts in Toronto and Los Angeles have lead to 12 earned runs in fewer innings, and boosted his ERA from 2.65 at the beginning of the month to 3.24 entering Sunday's game. The Sox will just have to hope he doesn't use their deficiencies against the Slider to get himself back into form.


Red Sox 3, Mariners 1: Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury Lead Sox Past M's

Josh Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury continued their streak of excellent play, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners, giving the M's their franchise record-tying 14th straight loss on Saturday at Fenway Park.

Beckett tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing seven hits and striking out seven, while Ellsbury went 2-for-4 with a two-run single in the seventh inning to put Boston on top by one run.

Mike Carp was responsible for the Mariners' lone run, hitting a solo home run to deep right center in the seventh inning. Dustin Ackley (3-for-5) had the best day at the plate for Seattle, collecting a third of the M's nine hits.

After Ellsbury's two-run single in the seventh, he scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to give Boston its third and final score of the game. In addition to Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia was also 2-for-4.

Daniel Bard picked up his 24th hold after tossing a clean eighth inning, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out one. Jonathan Papelbon allowed one hit and had a strikeout en route to his 23rd save of the season.

Blake Beavan was chased from the game after six and two thirds innings after giving up three earned on nine hits and striking out four. Ex-Red Sox pitcher David Pauley entered the game, gave up one hit and was pulled without recording a single out. Aaron Laffey pitched one and a third innings, surrendering only a walk.

The win marked Terry Francona's 1,000th victory as a manager, 715 of which have come at the helm of the Red Sox.

For more Boston Red Sox coverage, visit our team page and blog, Over The Monster.


Red Sox Vs. Mariners: Boston Goes For Series Win With Josh Beckett On Mound

The temperatures have cooled slightly, but the Boston Red Sox hope that it doesn't effect their bats, which have been hot of late. 

Jacoby Ellsbury has three home runs in his last two games and five in his last seven, while behind him, Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games. 

With Josh Beckett (8-3, 2.12 ERA) on the mound, Boston will look to continue its success, having won 15 of their last 18 games. Beckett will square off against Blake Beaven (1-1, 2.70). 

The Boston lineup is as follows:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Marco Scutaro, SS

Seattle will counter with

Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brendan Ryan, SS
Dustin Ackley, 2B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
Mike Carp, LF
Jack Cust, DH
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Josh Bard, C

The Mariners have lost 13 straight games, and a loss tonight would tie a team record for futility. 


Red Sox Vs. Mariners: Boston Takes It To King Felix In 7-4 Win

Josh Reddick began his tenure as starting right fielder unceremoniously, but the Red Sox got seven strong innings from John Lackey and another big night from their top two batters to become the second major league team to win 60 games in 2011. 

Jacoby Ellsbury went deep in the fourth inning to provide Lackey with a 2-1 lead, and while the Mariners battled back in the eighth inning against Fernando Morales, it was enough to get the beleaguered Red Sox starter his eighth win of the season, bringing him to a remarkable .500 on the year, despite his 6.28 ERA.

The game remained close until the seventh inning, when Boston went to work, manufacturing five runs on five hits, chasing Felix Hernandez from the game and ensuring Lackey the win. 

Morales came in to start the eighth and allowed three runs after recording two outs, but Daniel Bard came in to relieve Morales, retiring the side for his 23rd hold of the year. 

The hold also increased Bard's team-record to 23 scoreless innings, and he gave way to Jonathan Papelbon, who recorded his 22nd save. 

Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs, while Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 19 games and his reached-base safely streak to 31, going 3-for-3 with two runs and a walk. He's now batting .299, a far cry from the .235 he was batting following Boston's 9-2 loss to Minnesota on May 6th. 

Pedroia has improved his average by 37 points during the on-base streak, and  by 23 points during the hitting streak. 

The Mariners have now lost 13 games in a row. It was Hernandez' first loss at Fenway Park. 

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