Seattle ends the Sox 13 home game winning streak behind Richie Sexson’s 3-for-4 night


Seattle ends the Sox 13 home game winning streak behind Richie Sexson’s 3-for-4 night

(June 6, 2008) – It was a night when anything that could go wrong, would go wrong for the Red Sox. They could not re-group from three errors in the game and the Mariners took advantage of that. In the words of Tiger Woods, “[the Sox] just did not have their ‘A game’” in the field during a 6-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Sox starter Bartolo Colon did not help his own cause with two errors in five innings leading to three unearned runs.

After struggling against Colon in Seattle, the Mariners showed no ill effects to their 5-3 loss last Monday. Second baseman Jose Lopez got Seattle started out on the right foot when he lined a one-out single into center. He would come around to score the Mariner’s first run two batters later when third baseman Adrian Beltre hit a chopper back to the mound. Attempting to start the 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning, Colon’s throw was just past the reach of shortstop Julio Lugo, scoring Lopez and making Raul Ibanez – who walked – safe at second. It appeared as if there was a miscommunication between Lugo and Dustin Pedroia about who was going to cover the second base bag and less Colon’s fault for the errant throw. Ibanez would come around to score on Jose Vidro’s ground out back to the mound for Seattle’s second run of the game.

Seattle would score again in the top of the third when Ichiro Suzuki reached base on Mike Lowell’s fifth error of the season. Although the error was charged to Lowell, it was not the third baseman’s fault. The ball dropped out of first baseman, Kevin Youkilis’s glove. Lopez would do some more damage with a base hit into left field, sending Suzuki to second. Facing Ibanez for the second time in the game, Colon tried to keep Suzuki close to the second base bag by throwing over but the ball ended up in center for the second time in three innings. Both Suzuki and Lopez advanced on the Sox’s second error of the inning. Colon’s second error of the game would prove to be costly as Beltre lifted a deep sacrifice fly to Coco Crisp in center to drive in Suzuki from third base.

The Red Sox could not piece anything together against neither Seattle right hander Felix Hernandez nor against the Mariners relievers of Sean Green and Ryan Rowland-Smith. In six innings, Hernandez allowed no Sox player to cross the plate while allowing six scattered base hits, including two to J.D. Drew and Sean Casey. In relief of Hernandez, Green retired all six Boston batters he faced while Rowland-Smith retired Jason Varitek, Brandon Moss and Lugo to end the game, after Casey led off the ninth with a double off the wall.

One of the scattered hits Hernandez allowed was a rocket back up the middle that almost took the young 22-year-old’s head off by number three hitter David Jonathan Drew. Hernandez’s short life flashed before his eyes when he saw the 2-0 fastball whistled past his left ear off the bat of the Sox right fielder.

The Red Sox clearly could not get down too many runs in a game with the Seattle ace on the mound. There are not going to be too many scoring opportunities in the game so when you get the chance to score you take advantage of them because there will not be too many. When the Mariners are threatening to take the lead or pad a lead, you have to quell the threat and not make frivolous errors that could and should have been avoided.

But it did not happen. The Sox really put themselves in a hole after the third inning and started to dig, as Christine Malkiewicz likes to say. The Mariners added five more crooked numbers in the fourth, fifth and the seventh innings against Colon and Sox reliever David Aardsma. In the fourth Richie Sexson recorded his first base hit of the game with a base hit to left. He would be sent to third on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s two-out ground rule double down the first base line. Suzuki would drive in both with his only base hit of the game down the left field line. With two outs Betancourt was off with the pitch and was barely safe at the plate and narrowing escaping Varitek’s tag from Moss in right.

The next inning, Sexson would rive in his first run of the game with another two-out RBI by sending a Colon offering into center field to drive in Ibanez, who led off the inning with a single. Mariners first baseman would get his second RBI of the game in the seventh when he would get his third hit of the game – off Aardsma – with a base hit into center to drive in Beltre. In the top of the seventh, Ibanez led of the inning with a double to left and was followed by a walk to Beltre. Seattle designated hitter Jose Vidro would single to drive in Ibanez from third before being wiped out on a 6-4-3 double play by pinch-hitter Wladmir Balentien before Sexson added the eighth and final Mariner run.

Tim Wakefield gets the nod for tomorrow’s late afternoon match on national television against the Mariners. Seattle will send right hander Miguel Batista to oppose Wakefield in game two of the three game series. Batista is coming off a no-decision against Detroit where he pitched 5.1 innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two and walking one in the Mariners 7-5 loss to the Tigers. On the season, Batista is 3-6 with a 5.90 ERA, 39 strike outs 38 walks and a 1.85 WHIP but against the Red Sox this year, he held the Red Sox to five runs – only four earned – on seven hits in seven innings of work on May 27.

Wakefield is coming off two outstanding performances where he went seven plus innings in both starts but has not been rewarded with the victory. In his last start against the Orioles in Baltimore, Wakefield went a strong seven innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking four. He left the game with an excellent chance of pick up his fourth win of the season but Hideki Okajima came on in the eighth and gave up four earned runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an innings to lose the game for Wakefield. Against the Mariners this year, the Sox knuckleballer went the distance but was not rewarded with the victory due to the lack of production from the Boston bats. In the game the deciding run was a homerun off the bat of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the third inning. Wakefield would hold the Mariners to just the one run on five hits while striking out eight batters.

WIN: Felix Hernandez(4-5)

LOSS: Bartolo Colon (3-1)


Game Notes:

Sox first-year outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not in the starting line up tonight but he was available to pinch-run, according to manager Terry Francona. Earlier in the day the rookie had an MRI on his right wrist that came back negative. He is currently day-to-day with a strained right wrist.

Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis are moving on from their dispute, regarding Youkilis’s anger issues after a poor at-bat, between the fourth and fifth innings of Thursday night’s game against the Rays.

Coco Crisp, Jon Lester and Sean Casey have been suspended for a combined 15 games for their involvement in yesterday’s brawl. Crisp received the most number of games with seven while Lester received a five game suspension – which basically means his next start is pushed back one day – and Casey is suspended for three games. Lester was suspended for throwing at Ray batters after warnings were issued to both benches.

The Sox optioned Chris Carter back down to Pawtucket and re-called Brandon Moss, who is coming of an appendectomy back in April. Moss was in the starting line up on Friday night for the Sox.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Felix Hernandez, SEATTLE ---- 6IP, 6H, 0ER, 1BB, 5K
  1. Richie Sexson, SEATTLE ---- 3-4, 3 Singles, 2 RBIs, Run-Scored
  1. Sean Casey, BOSTON ----- 3-4 2 Singles, Double

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