68-43: Crisp, Manny help Beckett nail 14th win

The Red Sox won today, 9-2, to take two of three from the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Previous to this series, Boston had lost eight games in a row in the spacious confines of the Mariners’ stadium.

Starter Miguel Batista (11-8) knew he would be in for a long day (or a short day, in baseball terms) from the start. The Red Sox loaded the bases in each of the first two innings, but came away with just a 2-0 advantage. In fact, despite five hits and five walks off of Batista, the Sox managed just three runs after six. But Boston finally got to the Seattle bullpen, scoring six runs off of five different relievers. The lineup finished with 13 hits and 8 walks, a great improvement upon the first two games in the series. We did strand 23 runners, but Seattle stranded 21, so it was jsut one of those games.

Maybe he knew it from his first at-bat, when he doubled to lead off the game. Maybe he knew it from his second at-bat, when he doubled again. But Coco Crisp was on his game today in Seattle. Crisp finished 2-4 with a walk in the leadoff role for Boston, and also made a great diving catch on a sinking line drive by Jose Vidro in the 7th inning that may have saved a key run. In a strange happening, he was actually clipped in the fifth inning by the Seattle mascot, the “Mariner Moose”, who was riding an ATV past the Boston dugout. Very sneaky, you Seattle people. Luckily their assassination attempt failed.

Manny Ramirez had a scarifice fly in the 1st, and also homered in the fifth to give Boston the early lead. Later, the rets of the lineup would provide plenty of insurance.

On the other side of the ball, Josh Beckett (14-5) pitched a very solid 6 2/3 innings, fanning nine and allowing just one run. He did have his trouble spots, but worked out of them nicely each and every time. You can tell that he’s maturing as a pitcher because he doesn’t try to just blow everyone away when he’s in a tight spot. That’s partly what got him into home run trouble last season.

Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen and Kyle Snyder kept the M’s scoreless the rest of the way to seal the win.

Eric Hinske, whose wife just delivered a baby but had some complications, will be on temporary leave, and the Red Sox have called up outfielder Brandon Moss to take his place. Moss has been practicing at first for a couple of weeks, so they hope he can fill in adequately for Hinske. It’ll be nice to see Moss get some action. He is the best outfield prospect at AAA Pawtucket, but was always left in the minors in favor of the older, more experienced David Murphy, recently traded to Texas. Moss is having a great season at AAA, hitting .290/.371/.477. He is an athletic player who can play all three outfield positions well.


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