(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox need to get some momentum going on this current road trip and hope that an upcoming four-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field will do the trick.
Boston will visit the Emerald City tonight for the opener of this series and is coming off a 6-4 loss at Oakland in yesterday's finale of a three-game set from the Coliseum. Clay Buchholz was shaky in his first start since a stint on the disabled list and allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in four innings. Buchholz fell to 10-5 this season with the loss.
"Little rough," Buchholz said on the team's site. "I was up in the zone and when I tried to get down in the zone it ended up bouncing in front of home plate. The umpire had a low strike zone, too. The balls that I thought were good pitches to hit but still strikes -- he didn't call them. I got behind in the count and it was just a little bit off."
Adrian Beltre finished 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI while Jed Lowrie knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who have lost 10 of 14 games and are seven games off the pace in the American League East Division. Lowrie was activated from the 60-day disabled list before the contest.
Boston will also visit the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on its 10-day, 10- game road trip out West. It will send John Lackey to the Safeco Field mound tonight, and he is 9-5 with a 4.65 ERA in 19 starts in his first season with the BoSox. Lackey is 0-2 in his last three starts and did not record a decision in Saturday's 3-2 win over Texas, but he tossed seven innings of two- run ball.
Lackey, who was reached for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings at Toronto the start before, looks to even his road record Thursday night. He is 2-3 in eight starts away from Fenway Park and 12-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 25 career starts against the Mariners. The righty last faced Seattle on September 10, 2009 and threw a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts.
Seattle salvaged the finale of a three-game series versus the Chicago White Sox with last night's 2-1 win in 11 innings. After the Pale Hose took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 11th inning on an Omar Vizquel RBI single, Franklin Gutierrez led the M's to victory in the home half with a two-run single.
Jack Wilson and Chone Figgins both scored on the hit for the Mariners, who are just 4-14 this month. Gutierrez ended with a game-best three hits and both Figgins and Ryan Langerhans contributed a pair of hits in the win.
Brandon League earned the win despite giving up a run in two innings, while starter Felix Hernandez did his best with eight shutout frames and eight strikeouts. "King Felix" also held the White Sox to just two hits.
"Felix did everything he could and everything we asked of him," said Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu.
In injury news for Wakamatsu's club, first baseman Russell Branyan has been hampered by back spasms and is listed as day-to-day. Branyan owns 13 homers and 34 RBI this season and has missed back-to-back games.
The Mariners, who are last in the AL West standings at 18 games off the pace, will send Ryan Rowland-Smith to the mound Thursday. Rowland-Smith is battling through a rough season, as evidenced by his 1-9 mark and 6.18 earned run average through 20 games (17 starts).
Rowland-Smith previously took the mound in Saturday's 7-6 road loss to the Angels and surrendered six runs -- five earned -- in 3 1/3 innings. The left-hander hasn't fared that well at home either, having gone 1-4 in 10 games, seven of which have been starts.
He will make his first career start against the Red Sox tonight and is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in seven relief appearances versus Boston.
The Red Sox and Mariners are meeting for the first time since Seattle won four of six matchups a year ago. Boston, however, is 7-4 in the past 11 contests in this series.