Mariners hold off Red Sox; Beckett struggles

The Associated Press
Posted Aug. 14, 2011, at 2:23 a.m.

SEATTLE — Felix Hernandez pitched seven innings and survived a shaky sixth to help the Seattle Mariners hold off the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Saturday night.

Hernandez (11-10) was handed a five-run lead in the first inning but gave up four runs in the sixth on a pair of two-run homers by Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.

Jamey Wright worked a scoreless eighth and closer Brandon League the ninth to pick up his 28th save in 32 opportunities.

Hernandez allowed nine hits and four runs to win for the third time in his last four decisions. He walked two and struck out two.

Ichiro Suzuki hit a leadoff home run for the Mariners in the first, and Mike Carp had a two-run single, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.

Franklin Gutierrez matched his career high with his fifth straight multi-hit game. He’s hitting .478 in his last six.

Josh Beckett (9-5), who has not won since July 23, went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out six.

In his previous 22 starts, Beckett — who gave up five runs in the first — had allowed five runs combined. It was the most runs he had allowed in the first since Aug. 17, 2008 when he gave up six to Tampa Bay.

Ellsbury hit his 20th home run, becoming the sixth Red Sox player to have at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases (he has 31) in a season. It’s been accomplished seven times, the last time by Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.

Pedroia hit his 16th.

The victory ended the Mariners’ five-game losing streak against the Red Sox, whose lead in the AL East was trimmed to one game over the New York Yankees.

The Mariners were helped by four double plays, one short of the franchise record.

Suzuki sent Beckett’s first pitch into the right-field seats for his second leadoff homer this season and 34th of his career.

That was the first of four straight hits off Beckett. Gutierrez followed with a single and Dustin Ackley doubled, moving Gutierrez to third.

Carp sent both home with a two-run single to center.

Beckett threw 34 first-inning pitches to eight batters. Over the next three innings, he would throw 34 pitches to nine batters.

The Sox had their chance to score in a messy fourth inning. Ellsbury reached on the swinging bunt down the third-base line, the first hit Hernandez allowed. He advanced to second on an error by Carp during a pickoff attempt.

Carl Crawford bounced a ball over the mound and Hernandez couldn’t field it cleanly, putting runners on first and third.

Adrian Gonzalez bounced to Carp, who made a sliding stop, then turned and flipped to Hernandez covering first. But Ellsbury remained at third, even surprising Hernandez when he came off first expecting to see the first run.

Pedroia then lifted a flyball to medium right field. Suzuki threw a one-hop strike to catcher Josh Bard. Ellsbury slammed his left knee into Bard’s headgear and was initially called safe by home umpire Mark Ripperger.

Ripperger believed Bard had lost control of the ball during the collision but Hernandez and Manager Eric Wedge argued that he maintained control throughout.

Ripperger conferred with the other umpires and changed the call to an out. Red Sox manager Terry Francona argued fiercely and was ejected for the fourth time this season.

Notes: Well-traveled Wily Mo Pena joined the Mariners before the game, taking the spot of 1B Justin Smoak (DL, broken nose) on the roster. Pena played for the Red Sox when they won the World Series in 2007. He said he carries the championship ring everywhere he goes. … J.D. Drew, on the DL since July 20 (left shoulder impingement) is building up his batting practice swings. “We’ll check Monday to see where we’re at,” Francona said. … 3B Kevin Youkilis missed his second straight game with a sore back. … the Mariners announced that they have signed fifth-round draft choice catcher Tyler Marlette from Hagerty (Fla.) High School. … Right-handed knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (6-4) starts Sunday against a team that he has not fooled. He is 5-10 in 29 career appearances against Seattle with a 4.32 ERA. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Charlie Furbush (2-4, 4.46), acquired in a July 30 trade with Detroit. He has faced Boston just once, in relief.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/14/sports/mariners-hold-off-red-sox-beckett-struggles/ printed on October 1, 2014