SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 30: Chone Figgins #9 of the Seattle Mariners is mobbed by teammates after hitting the game winning sacrifice fly in the eleventh inning to defeat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 at Safeco Field on June 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The West Coast does not treat the Red Sox well.
The first seven innings had been an even enough battle between the two teams. Though Josh Beckett, author of four straight no-hit innings to start the game, was giving up more solid contact than one would consider ideal, it was Erasmo Ramirez who was out of the game first, apparently injuring himself in making a play in the third.
Still, Beckett managed to pitch into the sixth scoreless, as did Ramirez' replacement. It was only once the game reached the sixth that Beckett lost something. After letting two runners reach base with one out, Beckett ran into some tough luck as a pop fly fell fair past a lost Aviles in left field, loading the bases.
Unfortunately, the hero from night one was more than ready for a big situation in game three, doubling to the right field wall to push two across.
The Sox would strike back immediately in the seventh, also loading the bases and then pushing across a pair of runs on a groundout and passed ball.
From there, the game returned to its roots, with plenty of outs and no runs. The Sox would waste opportunity after opportunity in the late going, including two leadoff baserunners in the tenth. Ultimately, they would simply give the Mariners too many chances. With a pair of singles putting runners on the corners with one out, a line drive from Chone Figgins to Cody Ross proved enough to bring in the winning run, with the already-close throw home again ending in a disconnect at the plate.
The good news is that the Orioles and Rays also lost today. The bad news is that this seems like one of the games the Sox should have won but didn't--something that hasn't really happened to the team of late. They won't be leaving Safeco with yet another series win, but hopefully they can avoid a straight defeat.