Game over: Mariners 4, Red Sox 2
The Sox went in order. They did not put a runner on base in the final four innings.
Splitting a road series is usually a decent accomplishment. But after taking the first two games of the series, splitting four games with a bad team like Seattle is just awful.
The Sox are now eight games out of first and five out in the wild card. If they weren’t before, they’re officially in a lot of trouble right now.
Back later with a report from the clubhouse.
Top of the 9th: Mariners 4, Red Sox 2
Suzuki grounded to first and Youkilis got a double play by throwing out Saunders at the plate. Ramon Ramirez then struck out Figgins looking. But the damage has been done.
David Aardsma in to try and close out the Sox.
Bottom of the 8th: Mariners 4, Red Sox 2
Disaster strikes. Bard allowed a lead-off single by Lopez. Francona then called in Okajima.
Smoak, who was 0 for the series, had a single. Kotchman then bunted and Okajima seemed to have no idea what to do, By the time he threw to first, it was too late and the bases were loaded.
Saunders followed with a two-run single to right field. Seattle then used a squeeze bunt for the second straight day as Johnson got it down to score Kotchman. The befuddled Sox defense could not make a play.
Wilson has followed with a single to load the bases. Okajima has allowed four straight hits and remains in the game.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
The Sox went in order again. Seddon struck out Drew and Ortiz before Brandon League fanned Youkilis to win a 12-pitch battle.
Seattle pitched has set down the last 10 batters in a row.
Bard stays in with Okajima warming up.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Bard took care of business in the seventh, working around a two-out single by that pesky Figgins by striking out Gutierrez looking.
Trade alert: Haren to the Angels
The Diamonbacks have sent RHP Dan Haren to the Angels for LHP Joe Saunders, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Rafael Rodriguez and player to be named. So Saunders won’t be facing the Sox on Wednesday.
Haren last pitched on Wednesday, so the Sox will probably see him in the Angels series. They ripped him back on June 17. Haren’s line that day was: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (by Ortiz).
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
The Sox went in order again. They haven’t done much with the bats in the last three days, scoring five runs in 25 innings. Bard onto pitch.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Dice-K finished strong. Kotchman, the lead-off hitter, took a half-swing at a 2-2 fastball and poked it down the line in left. He was gunned down at second by Jeremy Hermida. Dice-K then retiired the next two hitters, Saunders and Johnson, on two pitches. Saunders flied to left and Johnson to center.
Matsuzaka’s line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. It was far from efficient but it was effective. Bard warming up now.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
The Sox went in order against Seattle reliever Chris Seddon. Matsuzaka back out for the sixth having thrown 102 pitches. Scott Atchison is warming up. Good move. Dice-K may be batter to batter now.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Dice-K walked Figgins to start the inning but got Gutierrez to ground into a force play. Lopez then popped to center before Smoak grounded to second. Matsuzaka has thrown 102 pitches through six innings. There’s milling around in the Red Sox bullpen but nobody up yet.
If he can get through six innings, that would set up the bullpen pretty well.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
The Sox got something with two outs as Drew singled to center and Ortiz reached on a broken-bat infield single to the left side of the infield against the shift. Youkilis worked the count to 3-1 and popped up to the second baseman.
Dice-K back out there to face the 2-3-4 hitters having thrown 86 pitches. He could use a quick inning here.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Matsuzaka needed 20 pitches to do it, but he retired the side in order. After Johnson struck out and Wison flied to left, Ichiro grounded to third on the 10th pitch of the al-bat. Ichiro is 0 for 3 today and 4 for 19 against Dice-K in the big leagues.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Like I said, Fister isn’t that good.
Drew started the inning with a single to right field. Ortiz then walked. Youkilis doubled into the left-field corner, scoring Drew and sending Ortiz to third. Beltre followed with an RBI single to center.
First and third, no outs. But the Sox could not add to their lead. Hermida shattered his bat and lined softly to second. Cameron was called out on strikes. Hall then ripped a ball destined for left field but shortstop Jack Wilson made a great catch to end the inning and save at least one run.
Top of the 4th: Mariners 1, Red Sox 0
The tightrope wobbled a bit in that inning as the Mariners scored a run. It started with one out as Figgins doubled to left. Gutierrez then drew a walk on five pitches. With the runners in motion, Lopez lined a single into left. Figgins scored and Gutierrez went to third.
Smoak (0 for 15 in the series) popped to shallow center and the runner held. Kotchman walked to load the bases before Saunders flied to left.
Dice-K has thrown 66 pitches in three innings but has stranded six runners. Now can the Sox get him some runs? Doug Fister isn’t his good.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
Dusty Brown — a catcher! — had a single with two outs. But Scutaro popped to short to end the inning.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
Dice-K worked out of another jam. Kotchman singled to left field with one out before Saunders walked on five pitches. Johnson then hit a ball to third, enabling Beltre to step on the bag for the second out. But his throw to first was not in time for a double play. But Matsuzaka came back and struck out Wilson to end the inning.
Matsuzaka has allowed three runs in his last 14.2 innings.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
Youkilis singled to center but Beltre grounded into a double play before Hermida popped to center. The Sox have scored one run in their last 13 innings and three in their last 20.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
Dice-K worked himself out a jam nicely. Figgins drew a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and stole third with Gutierrez up. But Matsuzaka struck out Gutierrez to end a 10-pitch at-bat then got Lopez to pop up the first pitch into foul territory and Youkilis snagged it to end the inning.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
The Sox went down in order in the first inning. Scutaro fouled out to the third baseman, Drew grounded to second and Ortiz struck out on three pitches.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Mariners 0
We’re a few minutes from getting underway here at Safeco Field on a beautiful sunny day in Seattle. The Sox need a win to take the series and keep pace with the Yankees and Rays, who are winning at the moment.
Enjoy the game and, please, feel free to leave your comments.