The wheels started coming off for the Mariners in a long bottom of the seventh in which Boston scored three runs to go up 3-1. Blake Beavan, who pitched so well at times tonight, notched two quick outs, then yielded a single to Jason Varitek.
Then came the oddest play of the night. Marco Scutaro hit a flair to right field that took a hop in front of the waist-high retaining wall in fair territory. Ichiro wisely backed off of it, waiting for any strange caroms. But he never had a chance as a Boston fan reached over and snagged the ball — limiting the play to a ground rule double and forcing Varitek to stop at third.
The fan was ejected and the M’s seemed to have caught the break of the night.
But it was not to be as Jacoby Ellsbury lined a single to center to score two runs and put Boston on top. David Pauley replaced Beavan at that point and yielded a another single that sent Ellsbury to third.
Aaron Laffey then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the third run to score.
The M’s need a rally here.
6:10 p.m.: Mike Carp snapped the scoring deadlock in the top of the seventh, swatting a 91 mph fastball over the wall in center — clearing the Boston bullpen in one of the deeper parts of the ballpark. That gives Seattle a 1-0 lead. Can the M’s hold on and end this streak? Carp is having one heck of a game. He’s had some adventures in the field, but did make that saving catch up against the side wall.
5:59 p.m.: The Mariners caught a huge break in the top of the sixth after singles by Ichiro and Brendan Ryan to lead things off. Dustin Ackley hit a tailor-made double-play ball at Dustin Pedroia, but he hesitated — his angle was bad and he’d be throwing into Ryan’s back at second base — and opted for only one out at first.
So, runners at the corners and only one out with cleanup hitter Justin Smoak up.
But Smoak went down swinging. Adam Kennedy popped out from there.
I asked Eric Wedge pre-game why he was putting the struggling Smoak back in the cleanup position. Was he seeing anything he liked from him?
Wedge’s answer was essentially that he had no other choice. He wanted to rest Miguel Olivo — his usual cleanup guy — and feels Kennedy is better suited for the No. 3 or No. 5 spot.
Blake Beavan is pitching one heck of a game tonight and we’re still scoreless because of it.
5:01 p.m.: Four innings done and we’re still scoreless here after a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth from Blake Beavan. That was his first easy inning so far.
Prior to that, it took a nice catch in left field by Mike Carp — up against the side wall — to get Beavan out of the third. Carp had committed an error that send Jacoby Ellsbury to second after a one-out single that frame.
Carp had a shot at giving the M’s the lead in the fourth, but grounded out with a runner on third.
5:01 p.m.: Huge escape job by Blake Beavan in the second inning after a David Ortiz double off the Green Monster in left and a single to right by Carl Crawford put runners at the corners with none out.
Dustin Ackley raced into shallow left center to haul in a popup by Josh Reddick for the first out. Then, on a fly ball to medium center by Jason Varitek, the Red Sox sent Ortiz from third.
Not a good decision, even with Franklin Gutierrez’s sometimes iffy arm. The play was routine, with a decent throw and a good job by Josh Bard of holding on to the ball and applying the tag with a big mass of body chugging his way.
Still scoreless. Get the feeling this game is kind of dragging?
4:31 p.m.: Blake Beavan is now the last pitcher standing between the Mariners and a 14-game losing streak that would equal their all-time worst from 1992. The offense has scored some runs of late. Albeit, more late than most would like.
The pitching has to step it up tonight.
Beavan gave up a one-out double to left by Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the first. That’s a 20-game hitting streak for Pedroia.
But Beavan rallied for huge strikeouts on Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis to keep things scoreless after one.