Mariners - 000 002 000 - 2 4 0 Red Sox - 002 000 001 - 3 8 2Carl Crawford's hard ground ball single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the ninth scored Jed Lowrie, who was given a triple when his one-out line drive to right field was lost in the sun by Ichiro Suzuki and caromed off Ichiro's right thigh*.
* After the ball hit Ichiro's leg, my first thought, instantly, was, "Why the %#@& couldn't that have happened to Pinella?" ... Old wounds run deep. I wonder what was going through Jerry Remy's head at that moment.
The ball is just below his belt.Ichiro:
The moment that ball hit the sky, I couldn't pick up anything, it just disappeared. It's close to impossible to catch that ball. The decisions were look to the side so the ball could get deeper into myself and maybe hit me, or run back and let it fall down for a single. But ... late in a tight ballgame, you want to make that effort. You don't want to let that ball fall in and make it look like you aren't trying.Lowrie:
When I hit it, I knew I got it good. He plays a really deep right field, the wind was blowing straight in and I saw him and thought he was camped right under it, which he was. But then the sun. ...Jamey Wright:
I could tell he didn't see it. He actually came a lot closer than I thought he would. I thought it was going to sail right by him. I had a chance to get out of it with the ground ball, but I threw a cutter to Crawford that got a little too much of the plate. I was trying to get a shoe or glove or something on it, but he hit it too hard.The win denied Seattle a three-game sweep - and it was the first run the Mariners' bullpen had allowed in 15 innings. The victory raised the Red Sox's record to 12-15 and though it will not lift them out of the East cellar, it was a gratifying victory on an afternoon when Hernandez (7-6-2-1-10, 111) was tough - retiring 14 of his final 15 batters - and Bobby Jenks turned in yet another putrid performance.
Crawford's teammates, as hopeful as the 37,079 fans in the stands that the "$142 million left fielder™" could come through in the ninth, were crowded together on the top step of the dugout. When his hit skipped by reliever Jamey Wright and had a clear path into center field, the bench erupted and emptied. David Ortiz reached first base only a step or two after Crawford touched it!
Everything I hit, it seems like it's an out. To see it get through, it was like a big weight was off my shoulders. ... It's a new month.David Ortiz:
Me and Gonzo, we had a race. I heard Gonzo say, "Man if he gets a hit right here, I'm going to hug him so hard." And then next thing you know, it's like, "OK, that's a good idea," and bam.Adrian Gonzalez:
[We] just keep telling him that we believe in him. I wouldn't want anybody else in left field. He's the man. ... I keep telling him that the greatest thing for where you're in right now is that you're probably going to hit .330, .340 for the rest of the year. Good things will happen.Boston left the bases loaded in the first inning (Felix threw 27 pitches). When Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia both singled to begin the third and Adrian Gonzalez struck out, one worried a bit that the Red Sox's RATS woes (0-for-their-last-14) would continue. But Ortiz came through, knocking a 1-2 pitch halfway up the Wall in left, and both runners scored.
Wakefield (5.2-3-1-1-3, 76) made his first start of the year, in place of a sick Clay Buchholz, and pitched as well as Terry Francona could have asked for. He retired the first five Mariners, escaped a second-and-third, two-out jam in the second, and stranded Jack Cust at second in the fifth after Cust led off with a double.
Wakefield struck out Ichiro to start the sixth and retired Chone Figgins on a pop-up to first. Ryan Langerhans singled and Tito decided to go to the pen. In retrospect, Francona should have let Wakefield (if he was able) have another batter or two. But at the time, considering that Wakefield had had only one outing longer than two innings this year and thrown more than 27 pitches only once, pulling him at 5.2 innings and 76 pitches was an understandable decision. (Wakefield: "I was shocked I got into the sixth inning, to be honest with you.")
Jenks - who has shaved the rat's nest on his chin! - allowed a clean single to left to Miguel Olivo. Then he walked the next three batters, loading the bases and then forcing in two runs to tie the game; he also tossed a wild pitch for good measure.
(The Mariners now have a nine bases-loaded walks this season, including five by Jack Cust. The team record is six, set by John Olerud in 2003.)
The rest of the pen was lights out. Matt Albers retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth (on only 20 pitches) and Jonathan Papelbon needed only seven pitches to get the side in order in the ninth, including a strikeout.
Felix Hernandez / Tim Wakefield
Clay Buchholz went home on Friday with a stomach ailment, so Wakefield gets the spot start against K. Felix. It's Wake's first start of the season. Of his seven appearances in April, the longest one was 3.1 innings. He has a 5.56 ERA.
Buchholz will pitch on Monday against the Angles. Jon Lester will be moved ahead of Josh Beckett and start on Tuesday.
AL East: Blue Jays/Yankees at 1 PM; Angels/Rays at 1:30 PM; and Orioles/White Sox at 2 PM.