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Updates: Red Sox at Mariners

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  May 17, 2009 01:04 AM

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SOX SNAP SKID (1:04, END 9, 5-3 SOX)
Papelbon almost made it look easy in the ninth. Johjima grounded to Velazquez. Betancourt popped to first. Chavez lined a single through the left side, then took second on defensive indifference. Ichiro came to the plate, and the crowd bellowed "I-Chi-Ro!" Papelbon went to 0-2 on Ichiro, then threw a ball. Ichiro chopped the next pitch to Pedroia, ending the game.

The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing as Josh Beckett regained his ace's form. Jason Bay, Jason Varitek, and Jeff Bailey hit home rusn to provide the offense, and Beckett allowed two earned runs on five hits in seven innings, his best outing since Opening Day.

PAPELBON TIME (12:57, MID 9, 5-3 SOX)
The Red Sox couldnt' add to their lead, and now Jonathan Papelbon is trying to go 10 for 10 in save chances. Due up are Johjima, Betancourt, and Chavez.

Two days ago, Ramirez got eight outs with 16 pitches. Tonight, he needed one pitch for one out. Lowell gave him some help. Balentien smoked a ball to the left side. Lowell dove to his left and made the stop, hopped to his feet, and fired across the diamond to nail Balentien, preserving the Sox' two-run lead as the game moves to the ninth.

OKIE OUT, RAMIREZ ON (12:42, BOT 8, 5-3 SOX)
Okajima got two quick outs, but he surrendered a double down the leftfield line by Branyan. Ramon Ramirez has replaced him to face Balentien.

OKIE ON (12:35, BOT 8, 5-3 SOX)
Hideki Okajima has replaced Beckett, and he already induced a pop up from Griffey Jr. to lead offf the eighth. Beckett's final line: seven innings, four hits, three runs (two earned), three walks, five strike outs, one hit batter, one home run. He threw 120 pitches, 81 for strikes.

Beckett got Lopez to ground to Lowell to end the inning. Beckett has thrown around 120 pitches and allowed two earned runs in what is probably his best start since Opening Day.

At the beginning of the inning, Gil Velazquez came out to play shortstop, not Lugo. No word on if Lugo is hurt of if it's merely a defensive replacement. After Beckett retired Betancourt and Chavez to lead off the inning. Ichiro reached on an infield single.

Beckett has come out for the seventh with more than 100 pitchers under his belt, and that's significant because he has not recorded an out in the seventh inning since Opening Day. Against reliever Miguel Bautista in the top of the inning, the Red Sox had a one-out rally with a walk by Varitek and a single by Ellsbury. Pedroia rolled into a double play to end the threat.

CATCHING UP (11:54, MID 6, 5-3 SOX)
Apologies for the dearth of updates. Internet issues. Two key moments have kept the Red Sox ahead two runs. In the top of the fifth, Jeff Bailey led off with a home run. In the bottom of the fourth, the Mariners scored a run when Adrian Beltre reached on an error by Lugo and Branyan followed with a triple to left. With a man on third and no outs, the Sox brought the infield in. Lugo made a diving stop to rob Balentien, and Pedroia fielded a bouncer by Johjima. Betancourt walked, and Chavez lined to right to strand Branyan at third.

The Mariners are off to a good start. Yuniesky Betancourt launched a two-run home run to left on a 1-2 fastball Beckett left up in the zone. Russell Branyan had grounded to first, which was followed by a single by Wladimir Balentien and a bunt attempt to Lowell by Kenji Johjima. After Betancourt's homer, Endy Chavez grounded down the first base line, and Bailey made a great diving stop and flipped to Beckett to end the inning.

TEK SUPPORT (10:34, MID 2, 4-0 SOX)
Another inning, another two-run home run. Rocco Baldelli flied to left. Julio Lugo walked. Jason Varitek, batting righthanded, launched a home run just over the leftfield fence, into the Red Sox bullpen, for his fifth homer of the year. Jeff Bailey flied to right and Ellsbury grounded to first to end the inning. So the Red Sox have another four-run lead after two innings against an inexperienced pitcher. Can they keep it this time?

BECKETT ROLLS (10:26, END 1, 2-0 SOX)
The Red Sox, having lost three straight, need Josh Beckett to be the stopper tonight. He started strong in the first with help of some stellar defense. Ellsbury made a sliding catch on an Ichiro liner to center. Jose Lopez grounded up the middle, where Pedroia dove to smother the ball and make the out. Ken Griffey Jr. walked, and Adrian Beltre struck out looking at a 95-mph fastball on the outside corner.

WELCOME HOME (10:19, BOT 1, 2-0 SOX)
After Jacoby Ellsbury struck out swinging at the third pitch he saw and Dustin Pedroia popped to second, it seemed Seattle starter Garrett Olson was cruising. But then J.D. Drew walked, and with Jason Bay -- playing in the city where he lives in the offseason -- coming up next, you could sense that might turn into something. On the first pitch Bay saw, he blasted a home run to left. Mike Lowell grounded to third, but Bay’s 11th homer of the year gave the Sox a quick lead. Now, let’s see if they can hold it – they’ve blown two early, four-run leads two of their past three games.

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