Mariners - 100 000 030 - 4 11 1 Red Sox - 101 000 50x - 7 13 0Boston broke through with five runs in the seventh off Felix Hernandez (6.1-11-6-4-2, 117) and reliever Jeff Gray. Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single and Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz followed with run-scoring hits.
John Lackey (7-8-1-0-4, 101) shook off a shaky first inning and cruised through the next six innings, allowing only five Mariners to reach safely; none of them passed second base. (In the first, Ichiro Suzuki singled on Lackey's first pitch, stole second on his second pitch, and stole third on his third pitch. Fuck the heck, indeed. Lackey allowed two additional hits in the inning and stranded runners at first and third.)
Dustin Pedroia was 3-for-3 (he walked and scored in the seventh), extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Jacoby Ellsbury (home run, single, 2 runs) and Youkilis (single, double, 2 RBI) each had two hits. Every starter had at least one hit. The seventh-inning explosion was especially welcome as the Red Sox had hit into four double plays in the first six innings, three of which had ended innings (2nd, 3rd, 5th).
Boston's lead was cut to 7-4 after Franklin Morales gave up a three-run home run to Mike Carp, but Daniel Bard put out the fire by getting the third out in the eighth with a man on second. Jonathan Papelbon needed only seven pitches to get three outs in the ninth.
Felix Hernandez / John Lackey
The Mariners have lost 12 straight games; at the same time, the first-place Rangers won 11 in a row, so Seattle dropped nine games in the standings (3.5 GB to 12.5 GB) in 11 days (I ignored the ASB in counting.). Seattle has scored only 27 runs in those 12 games*, batting .208, with a .532 OPS.
* - In the first nine games of the losing streak, the Mariners scored 11 runs (0, 1, 3, 3, 2, 0, 0, 1, 1), batting .179 and slugging .210.
For the season, they are averaging 3.2 runs per game with a batting line of .223/.288/.329, a pathetic showing that would be below average for much of the Deadball Era. ... So, no excuses tonight, Lackey.
Pawtucket catcher Ryan Lavarnway has been destroying AAA pitching. Over a 10-game stretch (July 7-19), Lavarnway batted .526 (20-for-38) with five doubles and six home runs (1.713 OPS)! In 34 games since being promoted to Pawtucket on June 13, Lavarnway is hitting .377. He will likely be called up in September.
July 22, 1939: In the top of the seventh inning, Boston Bees catcher Al Lopez drops his second pop-up of the day; it's also Boston's seventh error. A fan named Ferdinand Brabant, 38, yells at Lopez, who promptly challenges him to a fight. Brabant comes out of the stands and runs towards Lopez, but is stopped by some other players before he can get a punch in. According to Brabant's account, he goes back to his seat and is not arrested until the game is over!
AL East: Athletics/Yankees at 7 PM and Rays/Royals at 8 PM.