I thought we were clear on this. If you have to use Mike Timlin, use him for one inning only. One. Terry Francona, bouyed by a couple of recent successful multiple inning stints from White Flag, gambled on Friday night ... and lost.
Timlin came into a 4-4 tie game in the sixth. After a Julio Lugo error put a runner on first, Timlin committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, then threw wild to third base on a bunt. A grounder to second brought in the go-ahead run. An intentional walk and a single to right loaded the bases before Timlin escaped further trouble thanks to an unassisted double play from Lugo.
After 19 pitches in the 6th, Timlin was back out on the hill for the seventh. He gave up a single to left, and after getting one out, surrendered a long home run to Kenji Johjima that gave Seattle a 7-4 lead. Francona had doused himself with gasoline and struck a match -- it was no surprise he got burned.
The Red Sox hitters could do nothing in five innings against the Mariners bullpen.
Jon Lester (4.26, 106 ERA+) / Horacio Ramirez (6.52, 65 ERA+)
Lefty Ramirez has allowed 80 hits and 24 walks in only 58 innings this season. Mike Lowell is 9-for-18 against him. Lester makes his 3rd start of the season.
Seattle is 59-47, 3.5 GB the Angels and 1 GB Cleveland for the wild card. ... The Yankees (3 GB for the WC) host the Royals at 7 PM.