Red Sox - 000 100 100 - 2 10 0Beckett (5.2-5-1-3-5, 98) was solid in his return, allowing an early run, but working out of a few other jams. Bill Hall broke a 1-1 tie by smacking the first pitch of the top of the seventh out of the park for his 10th home run of the year.
Mariners - 100 000 000 - 1 6 1
Ichiro Suzuki singled, stole second, and scored on Jose Lopez's two-out double in the first. Another single by Ichiro, a walk and a fielder's choice put Mariners at first and third with one out in the third, but Beckett got Lopez on a pop up and Justin Smoak on a grounder to second.
A couple of one-out doubles -- Michael Saunders in the fourth and Josh Wilson (who was pinch-hitting for Chone Figgins (see below)) in the fifth -- amounted to nothing.
The Red Sox got on the board with two outs in the fourth, when Kevin Youkilis singled and scored on Adrian Beltre's double.
In the fifth, Mike Cameron doubled to left, but Saunders was a little slow to get the ball on the warning track and his throw into second was not fielded by anyone. When it rolled past the bag, Cameron took off for third and made it safely. Vargas (7-8-2-3-3, 101) stranded him, though, by getting Hall to pop to short, Kevin Cash to foul out to first, and Marco Scutaro to ground out to third. Figgins may have been pulled after a confrontation in the dugout with Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez about not hustling after Saunders's wild throw.
Boston had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth, but David Ortiz was picked off third base on a perfectly-executed play by catcher Rob Johnson and Lopez. Vargas reloaded the bases, but Cameron (who walked, singled, and doubled in his other PAs) fanned.
Papelbon gave up a two-out double in the bottom of the ninth, then walked Ichiro intentionally, a wise move even though it put the potential winning run on base. Wilson fouled off five pitches before striking out to end the game.
The Yankees beat the Royals 7-1 and the Rays lost a rain-shortened game in Cleveland 3-1. Tampa Bay is now 4 GB in the East. Boston remains 7 GB New York, but is now only 3 GB the Rays for the WC.
Josh Beckett / Jason Vargas
Beckett last pitched for the Red Sox on May 18, against the Yankees. Before the DL stint, Beckett made eight starts and had a 7.29 ERA.Scutaro, SS
Michael Bowden has been optioned to Pawtucket.
Tim Wakefield has moved back to the bullpen. Francona: "I don't think he wanted to hug me." ... Victor Martinez caught Wake's side session yesterday and will catch Buchholz tomorrow. ... Jacoby Ellsbury took on-field batting practice yesterday in Fort Myers and might play in a Gulf Coast League game next week.
Back in Pawtucket, Daniel Nava belted a three-run home run last night. He also walked to begin the bottom of the 10th inning, moved to third on Mike Lowell's single, and scored the winning run on Lars Anderson's single. Lowell was 1-for-5 as the DH.
At 7 PM:
1907 - The Austin Senators (Texas League) steal 23 bases and beat San Antonio 44-0.
1939 - The Dodgers use a "dandelion yellow*" baseball, but lose to St. Louis 12-0. Brooklyn uses the balls in four games, which are thought to be easier for the batter to see against the backdrop of white shirts in the bleachers. (* - see page 23)
1958 - Bob Holbrook, Boston Globe: "[After grounding out in the fourth inning, Ted] Williams jogged part way to first, saw the play was routine and then made an abrupt turn and started back to the dugout. For his lack of fire on this play the Kansas City fans set up a crescendo of boos. Ted bristled and made his dying swan leap, spitting at the fans as he pirouetted through the air." (If only today's players respected the game like they did in the Golden Age.)
2002 - Nomar Garciaparra celebrates his 29th birthday by hitting three homers and driving in eight runs as Boston routs Tampa Bay 22-4 at Fenway. (The Red Sox trailed 4-0 after two innings.)