Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Michael Saunders homered in the sixth inning after Eric Patterson's missed catch ruined a perfect game bid for Boston starter Jon Lester, and the Mariners went on to take a 5-1 victory over the Red Sox.
Lester (11-5) dominated the Mariners, striking out nine through the first five perfect innings. He showed no signs of slowing down after striking out Josh Bard to begin the sixth, but the game quickly went downhill.
Jack Wilson lofted a ball to shallow center field and Patterson ran to get under it, but the ball bounced off the top of his glove and fell to the ground. Saunders followed by ripping a home run to right.
Lester went on to take the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits and one walk in 7 2/3 innings. He also struck out a career-high 13.
"That's as good of stuff as we've seen all year," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "The outcome's a shame. He pitched better than the line score will show."
Saunders finished with two hits for the Mariners, who had lost the first two in this four-game series. Friday's loss was marred by a skirmish in the team's dugout in the fifth inning, as tempers flared after second baseman Chone Figgins was pulled from the game after an apparent lack of effort.
However, Figgins was back in the lineup Saturday and hit an RBI double.
While Lester was dominant early on, Mariners starter David Pauley was effective in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and allowed five hits, one of which was a fourth-inning home run by David Ortiz.
Chris Seddon (1-0) recorded the final out of the sixth and took the win after Saunders' home run put Seattle on top for good.
The Mariners added three more runs in the eighth, which Milton Bradley began with his first triple of the season. Two batters later, Wilson reached out to bunt a high-and-away pitch, and Bradley raced home on the sacrifice to make it a 3-1 game.
Saunders then reached on an infield single that was deflected by Lester, who then walked Ichiro Suzuki. Figgins' double to right plated Saunders and chased Lester. Manny Delcarmen entered and walked Franklin Gutierrez before hitting Jose Lopez with a pitch, forcing in the Mariners' final run.
The runs provided insurance for the Mariners bullpen, although it did not need them, holding the Red Sox hitless over the final 3 1/3 innings. Garrett Olson pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his first career save.
"The story from the pitching side is really the bullpen -- three and a third scoreless and hitless, just a team effort all around to keep that club to one run," said Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu.
The Red Sox had won three straight over the Mariners...Lester has lost his last two starts...Ortiz's homer was his 19th of the season...Saunders was the only player with multiple hits Saturday...Seddon's victory was the first of his major league career.