BOSTON -- Cla Meredith cruised through the Red Sox minor-league system in less than a year, stopping at Triple-A for just three days before being promoted to Boston.
Then he found out all about Fenway Park.
Making his major-league debut, Meredith gave up Richie Sexson's wind-blown grand slam, and the Seattle Mariners beat Boston 6-4 in Sunday's second game to split their doubleheader and end a seven-game losing streak.
"I saw that drifting and drifting and drifting. I knew then it wasn't going to be a good outcome," said Meredith, who described himself as "pumped up but not nervous" about being thrust into a tie game. "I wouldn't have wanted it to be any different."
The 21-year-old Meredith, whose first name is pronounced like "clay," had not allowed a homer in 42 professional appearances.
But he walked the bases loaded after coming in with one out and one on in the seventh. Sexson's looping fly looked harmless, but right fielder Trot Nixon kept drifting over to the wall as the ball got caught in a strong wind coming from left.
It went over the short wall behind the Pesky Pole, about 325 feet from the plate, to break the tie and make it 6-2.
"It was a weird day," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "The ballpark played so big -- except right there."
Kevin Millar wasn't so lucky in the early game: His long drive with the bases loaded was knocked down by the wind, but it hit the Green Monster for a three-run double and Boston won 6-3 for its fifth consecutive victory.
Millar has yet to homer this year, and the wind also might have cost Doug Mirabelli and David Ortiz a couple of home runs apiece. Ortiz barely cleared the Green Monster in the second game to make it 2-1, then he doubled into the wind in the sixth to tie it.
"You can't mess around with Mother Nature," Ortiz said, noting that it was Mother's Day. "When Mother Nature says you aren't going anywhere, you aren't going anywhere."
Ryan Franklin (2-4) snapped his four-game losing streak, allowing two runs, six hits and an intentional walk while striking out two in the late game. Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
John Halama (1-1) gave up one run and three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Meredith gave up three runs, two hits and two walks while getting just one out.
Wade Miller came off the disabled list to make his Boston debut in the second game. He allowed two runs and three hits in five innings while striking out six in his first game in the majors since he pitched for Houston last June.
Wiki Gonzalez, making his first major-league appearance in almost two years, was 3-for-4 for the Mariners in the late game.
Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez, who left the first game after being hit by a pitch in the first inning, pinch hit in the seventh inning and walked to load the bases. Ortiz doubled in two runs but J.J. Putz induced Millar to pop up to end the inning.
Shortstop Edgar Renteria, nursing a sore finger, took both games off. ... Miller was the eighth starter used by the Red Sox -- the most in the majors. ... Boston CF Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 14 games with first-inning hits in both games. ... Former Red Sox SS Orlando Cabrera received his World Series ring before the Angels' game against Detroit. ... When the Mariners held a 2-0 lead after three, it was the first time in 50 innings they held a lead at the end of an inning.
|Players of the Game|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.331|
|Randy Winn, LF||4||1||0||1||1||0||3||.303|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||1||2||1||1||1||0||.242|
|Richie Sexson, 1B||5||1||1||4||0||2||1||.224|
|Raul Ibanez, DH||5||0||2||0||0||1||0||.268|
|Bret Boone, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.239|
|Jeremy Reed, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.243|
|Wiki Gonzalez, C||4||1||3||0||0||0||0||.750|
|Willie Bloomquist, SS||3||1||0||0||1||0||3||.154|
|2B - Adrian Beltre (6, W. Miller), Raul Ibanez 2 (6, Halama, Meredith), Wiki Gonzalez 2 (2, W. Miller, Embree)|
|HR - Richie Sexson (8, Meredith)|
|RBI - Randy Winn (5), Adrian Beltre (18), Richie Sexson 4 (26)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre (6), Richie Sexson 4 (13)|
|SB - Willie Bloomquist (1, 2nd base off W. Miller/Varitek)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Ryan Franklin (W,2-4)||6||6||2||2||1||2||1||4.50|
|J.J. Putz (H,5)||1.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.96|
|Eddie Guardado (S,9)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.77|
|IBB - Varitek by Ryan Franklin|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Franklin 95-61, Ron Villone 23-12, J.J. Putz 16-11, Eddie Guardado 14-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Franklin 6-10, J.J. Putz 2-1, Eddie Guardado 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Ryan Franklin 25, Ron Villone 6, J.J. Putz 4, Eddie Guardado 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Johnny Damon, CF||5||0||2||0||0||0||1||.369|
|Trot Nixon, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.296|
|a- Manny Ramirez, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.250|
|Kevin Youkilis, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||5||.391|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||3||3||0||0||1||.281|
|Kevin Millar, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.248|
|Jason Varitek, C||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.333|
|Jay Payton, LF-RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.208|
|Bill Mueller, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.241|
|Mark Bellhorn, SS||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.233|
|a-walked for Nixon in the 7th|
|2B - Johnny Damon (10, Franklin), Kevin Youkilis (2, Franklin), David Ortiz 2 (12, Franklin, Villone), Bill Mueller (6, Villone), Mark Bellhorn (10, Villone)|
|HR - David Ortiz (9, Franklin)|
|RBI - David Ortiz 3 (23), Mark Bellhorn (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz (7)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Mark Bellhorn (2, wild throw)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|John Halama (L,1-1)||1.2||3||1||1||1||0||0||4.70|
|IBB - Boone by John Halama, Suzuki by Alan Embree|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade Miller 91-58, John Halama 26-13, Cla Meredith 17-7, Alan Embree 25-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Miller 8-2, John Halama 3-1, Alan Embree 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Wade Miller 20, John Halama 8, Cla Meredith 5, Alan Embree 8|
|Attendance - 34671|
|Game Time - 3:04|
|Temperature - 48|
|Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Ed Hickox|