THAT’S A WRAP (FINAL: 8-4 Sox)
Hideki Okajima closes the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Sox hang on and avoid the sweep.
NO MORE DAMAGE (End 8, 4:25, 8-4 Sox)
Despite issuing a leadoff walk to Nick Green, Sean White faced the minimum (J.D. Drew fly out, Dustin Pedroia double play ball), holding Seattle’s deficit to four runs as they go into the final frame.
EASY EIGHTH (Mid 8, 4:19, 8-4 Sox)
Justin Masterson retired the Mariners in order (Langerhans: swinging; Johjima: groundout to second; Woodward: swinging).
SOX RUSH AHEAD (END 7, 4:12, 8-4 SOX)
Seattle’s bullpen quickly self-destructed, giving up five runs on three hits, three walks and a passed ball and allowing the Sox to surge to a comfortable three-run lead. David Ortiz singled through the shift to bring in the tying run, then two batters later Jacoby Ellsbury walked with the bases loaded to put the Sox up 5-4.Mar Kotsay drove in two more with a single to right and Ellsbury came around when a Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima let a pitch get through him and to the backstop.
LESTER DONE AFTER 7 (Mid 7, 4-3 Mariners)
Jon Lester looked to be mowing through the seventh inning, then he got to Ken Griffey Jr. Junior worked Lester for 11 pitches, ultimately drawing a walk. The at-bat ran Lester’s pitch count to 121 altogether(81 strikes), and Griffey was Lester’s last batter. Lester left to an ovation, giving way to Justin Masterson who got Frankling Gutierrez swinging to end the inning.
ELLSBURY BLASTS OFF (End 6, 3:26, 4-3 Mariners)
Jacoby Ellsbury smacked his fifth home run of the season, shooting a 1-1 pitch to the bullpen area in right field making it a one-run game. The blast got Mariners pitcher Miguel Batista up in in the bullpen.
THREE UP, THREE DOWN (Mid 6, 3:20, 4-2 Mariners)
Jon Lester got a groundout from Chris Woodward, a pop up from Ronny Cedeno and another groundball out from Ichiro (thanks to a nice pick by Dustin Pedroia at second) to get through the sixth quickly and quietly.
SOX LEAVE TWO (End 5, 3:15, 4-2 Mariners)
The Sox had runners on second and third with on out but couldn’t capitalize. J.D. Drew walked, and Dustin Pedroia doubled deep to the left field corner, but Kevin Youkilis’ fly ball to center wasn’t deep enough to plate Drew, and David Ortiz struck out to end the inning.
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE (MID 5, 3:01, 4-2 Mariners)
The M’s added another run on a sequence that’ll likely land on the Not Top Plays. Jon Lester let Jose Lopez get a free pass. Then, With the single that started Seattle’s three-run burst to his credit, Ken Griffey Jr. stepped to the plate again (Mike Sweeney who left the game with back spasms) and drew another walk, making it first and second for Lester. Then, Franklin Guiterrez poked a ball to the left side, sounding like it was struck well, but looking like it was thrown by a toddler. Lester couldn’t see it, it dropped in right behind him, with Mark Kotsay charging in late. With the bases loaded Lopez would come to the plate thanks to a Ryan Langerhans sacrifice fly, giving the Mariners a little room to breath.
M’s HOLD STEADY (End 4, 2:43, 3-2 Mariners)
Jason Bay lead the inning off with a walk, but Brandon Morrow was able to get through Jacoby Ellsbury, Mark Kotsay and Jason Varitek with no trouble, preserving the Mariner’s 3-2 lead.
MARINERS CASH IN (Mid 4, 2:38, 3-2 Mariners)
Ronny Cedeno gave the Ms the lead with one swing, looping a ball the other way for a three-run triple that put Seattle up 3-2. At the top of the inning, Ken Griffey Jr. took over DH duties for Mike Sweeney and quickly gave the Ms some pop, denting the Monster for a long single. Franklin Gutierrez followed up with a single to left. At that point all six of the Ms hits were base knocks. Jon Lester blew a 97-mph fastball by Ryan Langerhans. Kenji Johjima sent a ball to Kevin Youkilis at third that looked to possibly start a double play, but Dustin Pedroia dropped it at second. From there, Lester was facing a bases loaded jam. When he got Chris Woodward to strike out swinging, it looked like he’d work his way out of it, but Cedeno dropped a ball into the corner near Pesky’s pole, clearing the bases. At one point it looked like he was going to try to make a run at the plate, but he thought wiser.
1-2-3 (End 3, 2:20, 2-0 Sox)
The Sox made it easy for Morrow in the third, with Dustin Pedroia flying out to right, Kevin Youkilis having his gapper snared in left and David Ortiz popping high and lazy to second.
DEFENSE MAKES NICE TURN (Mid 3, 2:16, Sox 2-0)
Ichiro skipped a single up the right side to lead things off. But Mark Kotsay made sure Jon Lester wouldn’t have to deal with any kind of jam, taking a Russell Branyan ground ball and starting a 3-6-1 double play. Lester got Jose Lopez waving at a curveball for his fourth strikeout of the afternoon as the Sox hold onto a 2-0 lead.
MORROW STEADIES IN SECOND (End 2, 2:03, Sox 2-0)
After giving up a pair of solo homers in the first Brandon Morrow settled down a little, getting Mark Kotsay to ground out, Nick Green to line out and J.D. Drew to strike out (with Jason Varitek grooving a single to center).
SWINGING AND MISSING (Mid 2, 1:53, 2-0 Sox)
Jon Lester struck out the side. Franklin Gutierrez: swinging. Chris Woodward: check-swinging. Ronny Cedeno: swinging. The Mariners looked to threaten with back to back singles from Ryan Langerhans and Kenji Johjima but couldn’t.
AN ALL-STAR’S STROKE (End 1, 1:43 p.m. 2-0 Sox)
Newly-minted all-star Dustin Pedroia got every stitch off Brandon Morrow’s 1-0 fastball, sending it scorching over the Monster for the game’s first run. Two batters later, David Ortiz took a 1-1 pitch deep over the bullpen in right giving the Sox a 2-0 lead early.
QUIET EARLY (Mid 1, 1:36 p.m., 0-0)
After Ichiro grounded out to short, Russell Branyan stroked a 0-2 curveball through the infield for a single, but the Mariners couldn’t turn it into anything. Jose Lopez popped to third. And Mike Sweeney bounced another ball to Nick Green at short for a 6-4 putout. No runs, one hit, no errors, none left.