Betancourt, Bedard help Mariners edge Red SoxMay 29, 2008 - 6:50 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- The Seattle Mariners gave up a lot of promising young talent, including much-heralded outfielder Adam Jones and reliever George Sherrill, to get starter Erik Bedard from Baltimore over the winter. On Wednesday night, he showed why.
Bedard held the Boston Red Sox to just two hits while walking three and striking out eight in seven innings as the Mariners blanked the world champions, 1-0, on the strength of Yuniesky Betancourt's home run.
Bedard (4-3), who won 13 games and was third in the American League with 221 strikeouts last year, had lost three of his previous four decisions, including a 4 1/3-inning outing against the Yankees last Friday in which he allowed nine runs.
"We've seen him (Bedard) over the years and we know what he's all about," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "It takes time sometimes to get used to a new team, new teammates, a new city. But he's pretty good, I'll tell you."
Bedard's catcher, Jamie Burke, said the 29-year-old lefthander was on top of his game.
"He was sharp on both sides of the plate," Burke said. "He was able to mix his curveball in a lot and we were able to mix in some changeups. Obviously, it was a great game."
Relievers Brendan Morrow and J.J. Putz held the Red Sox scoreless over the final two innings. Putz earned his sixth save and sent the Red Sox to their 11th loss in their last 14 meetings with the Mariners at Safeco Field.
With one out in the ninth, Putz walked Manny Ramirez on four pitches but got Mike Lowell to fly out. Putz then walked Sean Casey on four pitches before getting Coco Crisp to ground out and end the game.
Betancourt belted knuckleballer Tim Wakefield's 1-1 pitch into the left field bullpen for his third homer with one out in the third to account for the only run.
"It's a little difficult (to hit a knuckler) since the ball is all over the place and you are just trying make solid contact and hit it up the middle, that's all you can do," Betancourt said.
Wakefield, whose record dropped to 3-4, went the distance for his first complete game since a 3-0 loss to Seattle on April 15, 2006, allowing five hits, striking out six and not issuing a walk. He is 0-3 lifetime at Safeco Field and is winless against the Mariners in his last 18 appearances.
"He left one ball up all night and it left the ballpark," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Otherwise Wake was spectacular. His pitches were there and he was throwing strikes all night long."
Bedard held the Red Sox in check until the fourth inning, when singles by Ramirez and Lowell put runners at first and second with one out. But Casey grounded to second and Jose Lopez started a nice double play with a backhanded flip to Betancourt.
Both starters were coming off poor outings their last time out. Wakefield, who is 0-3 since his last win on May 8, was rocked for eight runs in his last start in Oakland. Bedard was tagged for nine runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Yankees last Friday.
But the victory gave Bedard a 3-1 record with a 1.34 earned run average at Safeco Field in his five starts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 x 1 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD AND KEVIN CASH, JASON VARITEK (8TH)
SEA - ERIK BEDARD, BRANDON MORROW (8TH), J.J. PUTZ
(9TH) AND JAMIE BURKE
HOME RUNS: BOS - NONE
SEA - YUNIE
May 29 12:21 AM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT (3) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
IN THE 3RD OFF TIM WAKEFIELD.
CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, SEATTLE 1
DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.294, 0-FOR-1)
Red Sox 0, Mariners 1 Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 28 10:52 PM
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