For the 3rd straight game in the series, the Sox and Mariners had trouble scoring runs until the later frames. Both pitching staffs were backed by outstanding defense tonight, highlighted by Cody Ross’ leaping catch against the wall in the 3rd inning to rob Ichiro of extra bases.
Beckett didn’t allow his first hit until the bottom of the 5th inning, but it was the 6th inning where he ran into trouble. Ichiro singled and stole second with one out, and Beckett allowed his 2nd walk of the night to Casper Wells. Kyle Seager then singled to left, loading the bases for John Jaso, who delivered a double that hit off the base of the wall in right, plating 2 runs. Beckett deserves credit for settling down and getting the last two out of the inning, keeping the Sox in the game.
The Sox retaliated in the 7th with some seeing eye singles from Gonzalez, Middlebrooks, and Cody Ross. Kalish then grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Gonzalez and the tying run came across the plate on a passed ball.
Bobby Valentine might have been preserving Beckett, or thought he had been wearing down; either way, he did not come out for the 7th inning despite a pitch count of 85.
The Sox had a chance to go ahead in the top of the 9th after a single to left by Ross and a bloop single by Kalish, but Aviles struck out and Nava flied out to left.
The bullpen continued to dominate in late innings, as Padilla left with one out and one on in the 9th, and Aceves recorded the next 5 outs on only 14 pitches. However, in the bottom of the 11th Dustin Ackley singled to right and Miguel Olivo blooped a single on the edge of the grass in right, advancing Ackley to 3rd. Figgins then lined out to Ross in right, but Saltalamacchia could not handle the one-bounce throw and Ackley was safe with the winning run.
Game Notes: The Sox were only 1-12 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 on base. Beckett ended up going 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. Gonzalez collected 3 hits, extending his hit streak to 11 games and is now batting .424 over the past 8 games. The Mariners walked off with the win for the 2nd time in the series.Joel Trunfio 7/01/2012 02:05:00 AM Tweet