Seattle had only two hits off Miller and held a 1-0 lead. Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was nice enough to send Franklin out for the sixth. After David Ortiz popped up, Manny Ramirez hit his ninth home run of the season to tie the game. After Trot Nixon singled, Franklin was gone.Franklin 23 23 18 22 16 - 102
Miller 19 20 23 21 6 - 89
Miller came out for the sixth and had similar problems. He quickly retired Randy Winn and Adrian Beltre on ground balls, then surrendered back-to-back solo home runs to Richie Sexson and Raul Ibanez, giving Seattle a 3-2 lead. After Bret Boone singled, Miller was relieved and Mike Myers, Matt Mantei, Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke allowed only two stray singles the rest of the way.
Shigetoshi Hasegawa got out of the Boston sixth, but allowed a leadoff single to Bill Mueller in the top of seventh. Ron Villone took over and Mark Bellhorn doubled Mueller home. Johnny Damon (whose 18-game hitting streak came to an end) grounded out, but Edgar Renteria singled to right (Dale Sveum held Bellhorn at third!) and Ortiz was hit by a pitch.
With the bases loaded, JJ Putz came in to pitch. He got Manny Ramirez to chase a high fastball (97 mph) for strike three and the second out, but Nixon belted an 0-1 fastball to deep right center for a grand slam. Hargrove might have been better off leaving the lefty Villone in to face Ramirez and Nixon, although he had allowed a double, single and an HBP in the span of four batters.
Putz throws in the high 90s, but Trot likes fastballs. "[Putz] has a very live arm and I had a good hunch he was going to attack the zone with his fastball. The first pitch was a strike and I had a good feeling that he was going to come back with another fastball and he did."
Re Damon's hitting streak: He hit a hot shot that hit Beltre's glove at third in the fifth that was scored an error. I would have ruled it a hit, but the call could have gone either way. However, in the sixth, Boone was given credit for a single on a grounder to Renteria's right that was hit much slower than Damon's and was an easier chance. Renteria should have been given an error -- or Damon should have gotten a hit for his line drive. ... Just another reason why fielding percentage is meaningless.
The Yankees walloped Oakland 15-6, scoring all their runs in the first five innings. Baltimore beat the White Sox, so the Red Sox remain one game behind in the East. The third-place Blue Jays slipped to 4½ GB and the Yankees are 5½.
Wakefield / Meche at 4 pm