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Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

It’s safe to say the Boston bats just took a 2.5-game hiatus and have been safely returned to the Red Sox clubhouse.

After back-to-back 11-run games, the Boston Red Sox (56-37) go for their third win in a row against the Seattle Mariners (40-51). David Ortiz became the all-time hits leader for a designated-hitter when he roped a double in his first at-bat for his 1,689th career hit, surpassing Harold Baines for first. For an encore, Big Papi crushed a mammoth two-run home run, one of the Sox 12 hits. In the last two games, Boston has scored 22 runs and pounded out 28 hits. That support has been needed for pitchers like Felix Doubront, who pitched Wednesday, and today’s starter Ryan Dempster.

Dempster is 5-8 with a 4.04 ERA and looks to follow suit of Doubront, who has given the Sox great outings recently. Dempster was unfortunate in his last start, picking up a no-decision after allowing just three runs (two earned) in 6.1 innings against the Angels. The Sox bullpen blew a four-run lead in the ninth with two outs. If Boston gets that kind of performance from Dempster today, the Red Sox should be in great shape.

Here is the starting lineup for the Red Sox (first pitch – 3:40 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Nava, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Gomes, LF
6. Carp, 1B
7. Lavarnway, C
8. Holt, 3B
9. Iglesias, SS

Dempster, P

The Mariners have called up Erasmo Ramirez to start in place of Jeremy Bonderman, who was scratched when he was designated for assignment. Ramirez is 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA for Triple-A Tacoma this season and was considered for a starting rotation job in the spring until an elbow issue forced him out.

Complete 180
Last season, the dreadful Red Sox won a total of 20 series. This season, they have won 18 of 29, with a chance to take No. 19 today.

Ellsbury: Man on Fire
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 18 games, going 3-for-4 Wednesday. Ellsbury is now batting .306 with 31 RBIs, is 36-of-39 in stolen bases, and has an OBP of .368.

Let us know what you think about today’s game by commenting below.

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As always, give me a shout on Twitter: @thebenwhitehead

Ben Whitehead 7/11/2013 01:40:00 PM Edit
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