for this game

Varitek homers, Lester sharp as Red Sox snap road skid

Jul 22, 2008 - 6:27 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Jason Varitek hit a two-run homer and Jon Lester tossed 7 1/3 strong innings as the Boston Red Sox snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Varitek's homer off starter Jarrod Washburn (4-9) in the fifth was all the offense Boston needed to end its three-game overall slide and record its 11th shutout.

Rookie Jed Lowrie, filling in at shortstop for the injured Julio Lugo, hit a bases-loaded single in the eighth to make it 4-0.

Lester (8-3), left in the eighth after being hit on the right ankle by a line drive off the bat of Willie Bloomquist. He gave up eight hits, struck out six and did not walk a batter.

"He was terrific," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He was throwing quality pitches and he was locating. To see him come out with good command was terrific."

Jonathan Papelbon relieved Lester with one out and the bases loaded and got Raul Ibanez to ground into an inning-ending double play. Papelbon worked the ninth for his 29th save and the 101st of his career.

Lester, a native of Tacoma, Washington, allowed three hits through the first six before Ibanez opened the seventh with a sharp single to left. Jose Lopez was safe on an infield hit with one out, but Lester fanned Miguel Cairo and got pinch hitter Jose Vidro to fly out.

"It's nice to come back home and pitch decently," Lester said. "The past couple of times have been rough, but it's nice to get a good one."

Lester said he felt OK after Bloomquist's liner went off his foot.

"It didn't get me too bad," he said. "It just kind of threw me for a loop, but it shouldn't be an issue."

The win was Lester's first in three career starts against the Mariners - all at Safeco Field, where his ERA was 8.10 coming into the game.

Washburn, who gave up two runs on seven hits but threw 111 pitches, left after walking Kevin Youkilis to put runners at first and second with two outs in the sixth. Reliever Mark Lowe walked Coco Crisp to load the bases, but got Varitek on a swinging third strike to end the inning.

"I'm never happy with losing, said the 33-year-old lefthander, who has been mentioned in potential trade rumors. "But I'm throwing the ball real well right now. I have been for about two months. I didn't throw well enough to win tonight, but still threw the ball pretty well."

Washburn has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts.

Aided by a pair of double plays, Washburn, who missed his last start with the flu and was working on eight days' rest, held the Red Sox in check through the first four innings.

But in the fifth he issued a one-out walk to Crisp, and Varitek, who had not homered since June 11, sent a 3-2 offering into the left field seats for his eighth and a 2-0 Boston lead.

Varitek was struggling through a 9-for-79 slump in his previous 26 games, homering once in 41 contests before the blast.

"Wash did a real good job," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "Varitek got him on a 3-2 pitch, but Wash has given us a chance to win a ballgame just about every time out there and he did it again tonight."

"It's always good," Varitek laughed when asked if his homer was good for him as well as the team. "Any time you hit a two-run homer, it's good."

Dustin Pedroia singled to extend his road hitting streak to 22 games, second longest in Red Sox history. Nomar Garciaparra holds the club record with 24 consecutive games in 1998.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 4 11 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JON LESTER, JONATHAN PAPELBON (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    SEA - JARROD WASHBURN, MARK LOWE (6TH), CESAR JIMENEZ
    (8TH), MIGUEL BATISTA (9TH) AND JEFF CLEMENT

    HOM

    Jul 22 1:07 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JED LOWRIE SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS AND COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J LOWRIE ON FIRST, J VARITEK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.263, 1-FOR-3, SAC)

    Red Sox 4, Mariners 0  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 22 12:37 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (8) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JARROD WASHBURN SCORED COCO CRISP.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, SEATTLE 0
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LOWRIE (.273, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 2, Mariners 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 21 11:15 PM
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