for this game

Red Sox take rubber game from Mariners

Jun 8, 2008 - 10:17 PM By Tony Lee PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- With rookie Justin Masterson and J.D. Drew filling holes, the Boston Red Sox have yet to miss a beat.

Masterson won his third straight start with six strong innings and Drew continued to produce in the third spot in the lineup with a homer and two RBI as Boston earned a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the rubber match of a three-game set at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Injuries to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz have pushed the 23-year-old Masterson (3-0) into a featured role after he opened the season at Class AA Portland. Meanwhile, designated hitter David Ortiz's wrist injury moved Drew into the pivotal spot in front of Manny Ramirez in the Red Sox lineup.

Both players have responded in a big way.

In perhaps the cleanest of his four major league starts, Masterson yielded one run on an RBI groundout by Yuniesky Betancourt in the top of the second inning and three hits overall. He fanned a career-high five against three walks and retired 13 of the last 15 men he faced on a day that saw temperatures in Boston approach triple digits.

"I love the heat," Masterson said." I don't think it can really get too hot for me to have too much fun out there. The heat seemed to be OK."

Masterson, a second-round pick in 2006, is the first pitcher in team history to go unbeaten in his first four starts, all at Fenway Park.

"I imagine every time he picks up the ball the organization's got their chest out a little, as they should," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "This isn't a fluke. I mean he might go out next time and get beat, but he knows how to pitch."

Craig Hansen and Hideki Okajima bridged the gap to Jonathan Papelbon, who set down the side in order in the ninth for his 18th save. The Mariners managed just one hit after the second inning, a single by No. 9 hitter Willie Bloomquist with one out in the fifth.

Boston, which has won 15 of its last 16 at home, knotted the score at 1-1 in the third when Drew was hit by an Erik Bedard offering with the bases loaded.

The contest remained tied until Drew greeted reliever Sean Green (1-2) with a drive into the bleachers in center field to lead off the sixth. It was Drew's eighth homer of the year and his fourth in eight games.

Drew is 9-for-17 (.529) with two home runs and six RBI in his last five games, all from the three-hole. He is 14-for-27 (.519) in June.

"The timing has been just about perfect," Francona said of Drew's hot streak. "He's seeing the ball really well. What you don't want is guys trying to do too much (when there are injuries) - just try to keep a balanced batting order, and we still have that."

Bedard allowed just two hits and a run but needed 99 pitches to get through five innings. Dustin Pedroia had plenty to do with that, seeing a total of 19 offerings in a pair of at-bats in the third and fifth innings that helped drain the Mariners' lefthander.

"I think (the heat) had an effect and also Pedroia, being out in the sun and throwing all those pitches to Pedroia," Seattle catcher Jamie Burke said. "I think (Bedard) could've went a little longer, but with this heat and stuff like that, it's just too hard-pressed to adjust to something like that."

After getting pounded for 19 earned runs in his first 17 1/3 innings at Fenway Park, Bedard has yielded just three in the last 11.

Losers of 15 of its last 17 road games, Seattle did put together the game's first rally. However, Masterson and Drew closed the door on that one.

After back-to-back walks to open the second, Drew - who has combined stellar defense with his booming bat - made a leaping catch on the warning track of a drive by Richie Sexson that would have gone for extra bases and at least one run.

Masterson then induced Betancourt's RBI grounder and was out of the inning one batter later.

"J.D. tracked that ball down, it's a whole new inning if he doesn't catch that thing," Francona said.

"As always, defense was sitting behind me doing real good things, especially J.D. Drew out in right field," Masterson said. "Great catch on Richie Sexson."

The Red Sox loaded the bases in the third on a single by Coco Crisp and walks to rookie Brandon Moss and Pedroia. Bedard then got ahead of Drew, 1-2, but came in too far on the next pitch and clipped him on the hand, forcing in the tying run.

Bedard, who tossed seven shutout innings in a win over Boston on May 28, then went to a 3-2 count on Ramirez before striking him out to end a 40-pitch frame.

"The third inning was a big part of the game," Seattle manager John McLaren said. "They really made him work hard in the third inning...The third inning might have been the ballgame."

Masterson is expected to stay in the starting rotation and get the ball to open a series at Cincinnati on Friday.

Seattle, meanwhile, limps to Toronto losers of eight of its last nine and sporting the worst record in baseball.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
    BOSTON 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 x 2 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - ERIK BEDARD, SEAN GREEN (6TH), ARTHUR RHODES (8TH), J.J. PUTZ
    (8TH) AND JAMIE BURKE
    BOS - JUSTIN MASTERSON, CRAIG HANSEN (7TH), HIDEKI
    OKAJIMA (8TH), JONATHA

    Jun 8 4:24 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 8 4:18 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY J.D. DREW (8) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF SEAN GREEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1, BOSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.300, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 8 3:32 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 8 3:32 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 8 3:06 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    J.D. DREW HIT BY ERIK BEDARD PITCH WITH BASES LOADED SCORED
    COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DREW ON FIRST, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, B MOSS
    ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.301, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 8 2:41 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED ADRIAN
    BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y BETANCOURT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J BURKE (.211, 1 HR, 3 RBI)

    Mariners 1, Red Sox 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 8 2:01 PM