FINAL: Red Sox 5, Mariners 3
Why thank you, Josh Beckett. You finally put forth a pretty good performance.
It wasn't the best start this season by a Sox starter, but it was Beckett's best since Opening Day. He went seven full innings, surrendered four hits, three runs (two earned), walked three and struck out five while throwing 120 pitches. It was just what the Sox and their bullpen needed to grab a victory.
The offense was supplied by trifecta of J names: Jason Bay hit a two-run home run in the first inning, Jason Varitek did the same in the second inning and Jeff Bailey got off the schnide by hitting a solo shot in the 5th. The power was back -- at least for one night.
The bullpen picked up right where Beckett left off. With the tight score, Hideki Okajima worked the first two outs of the 8th and Ramon Ramirez finished it off by getting a groundball to end the inning. Jonathan Papelbon earned his AL-leading 10th save in a one-hit 9th inning.
See, this was the game that should have happened with Jon Lester on the mound the other night. Unlike Lester, Beckett held the lead and let the bullpen finish the job. We can't blame Lester completely for that loss, but in many ways these two games were very similar -- but one had a much better finish to it.