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Mariners 5, Red Sox 3: Boston Drops First Series Since June Behind Messy Third Inning

For the first time since falling to the Phillies at the end of June, the Boston Red Sox have lost a series, this time at the hands of the Mariners who sealed their series win with a 5-3 victory Sunday.

With both pitchers getting off to a strong start in the first two innings, it was Tim Wakefield who faltered first, allowing a leadoff walk to Casper Wells in the third. Wells didn't stay there long, quickly stealing second and advancing to third when Saltalamacchia's throw made its way into center field, leaving Jack Wilson free to single him in.

The troubles didn't stop there. After another base hit put runners at first and second, a ground ball to Adrian Gonzalez had the potential to provide two outs at once. But, as the throw came late back to first, the umpire at second decided that Jed Lowrie had not been close enough to the base to garner the neighborhood call that had been a staple of double plays for years. With the bases loaded as a result, a sacrifice fly and a single left the Mariners up 3-0.

Boston would fight back for a run of their own in the fourth on Jed Lowrie's sacrifice fly, but Wakefield quickly gave it back in the fifth when the Mariners led off the frame with three straight singles. One inning later, and it was a home run from Casper Wells making it 5-1.

The only life the Boston offense could really manage came in the top of the eighth. With Dustin Pedroia picking up a one-out single, Kevin Youkilis stepped to the plate with two outs and the 5-1 lead still in tact. Getting ahead 1-2, Jeff Gray attempted to put the Sox' third baseman away with a slider. It ended up catching too much of the plate, and Youkilis got all of it, hooking the ball well into the stands in left field. The Sox would pick up no more baserunners, however, leaving them 5-3 losers.