Red Sox run down Mariners
Lackey the beneficiary as he wins 6th straight
SEATTLE - First Kevin Youkilis, then Marco Scutaro dropped out of the Red Sox lineup before last night’s game against the Mariners, both felled by stiff backs.
Manager Terry Francona plugged in Jed Lowrie and Mike Aviles into the lineup. The replacements each drove in a run as the Sox rallied to a 6-4 win.
David Ortiz homered and drove in two runs as the Sox won for the fifth time in their last six games and took a two-game lead on the Yankees in the division.
Lowrie had a solo home run and Aviles had a sacrifice fly.
“I get a kick out of when we use our whole team,’’ Francona said. “I think that was good for [the clubhouse]. I think it breeds confidence. That’s good for the whole ball club.’’
John Lackey (11-8) improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts despite giving up four runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. Franklin Morales, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon combined on three innings of scoreless relief.
Papelbon picked up his 27th save. He has converted 22 in a row, extending the longest streak of his career, and has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings.
The Sox are 5-2 against the Mariners and 15-5 against the AL West this season.
Lackey came into the game with the numbers in his favor. He had a career earned run average of 3.53 in 29 starts against the Mariners, had held them to two earned runs in 13 innings this season and was 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA at Safeco Field in his last five starts.
So much for history. By the time the fourth inning was over, Lackey had allowed four runs on nine hits. But he retired seven of the last eight batters he faced.
“The first couple of innings were tough, long innings, gave up some hits. Then he really pitched well,’’ Francona said.
For Lackey, it was satisfying to grind out another win.
“They put some pressure on me to make enough pitches to get out of those first couple of jams,’’ he said. “Then the boys came through with some runs.’’
The Sox battered Seattle starter Blake Beavan for six runs on 11 hits, five of them for extra bases. It was the first time in seven starts the rookie righthander allowed more than three runs.
Ortiz had a solo homer in the second inning and Aviles had a sacrifice fly. Lowrie homered to right field in the fifth inning, his sixth of the season and first since coming off the disabled list.
The Sox took the lead in the sixth inning when Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled and scored on a long home run to right field by Josh Reddick, who had been in a 1-for-14 mini-slump. The ball struck the window of the Hit It Here Café above the bleachers in right field.
“Fortunately for me he made a mistake and I didn’t miss it,’’ Reddick said. “I think that was about all that I’ve got on a 185-pound frame. We’ll stick that being all I’ve got.’’
The lead grew in the seventh when Adrian Gonzalez doubled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Dustin Pedroia and scored on a single by Ortiz. That drove Beavan out of the game.
The bunt by Pedroia was the first by a Red Sox cleanup hitter since Ellis Burks in 1990.
Lackey allowed a leadoff single by Dustin Ackley in the seventh and was replaced by Morales. Carp, a lefty, had a single to right before a bunt by Kyle Seager moved the runners over.
Morales struck out Adam Kennedy. Bard then came in and struck out Miguel Olivo on four pitches.