SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners are playing with intensity again, just in time to hurt Boston's playoff chances.
Boston, which has lost 10 of its last 13 games, wasted an opportunity to gain ground on the AL East-leading Yankees, who lost to Los Angeles 12-7. Boston remains 5½ games behind New York with 33 games left and trails Minnesota by 5½ games in the wild-card race after the Twins beat the White Sox 8-7 in 11 innings.
"It hurts. You're up in the eighth. You feel like that's a game for us to win," Mike Lowell said. "It feels like one of these runs where no lead is ever safe. We have to score more than two or three runs a game."
The Mariners, just off a franchise-worst 0-11 road trip, have won four of five on the homestand. They shut out the Red Sox 6-0 Friday night.
Gil Meche allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for Seattle, which has beaten the Red Sox in four straight games for the first time since 2001.
"We got a great game out of Gil and everyone had a big game tonight," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We have been playing with an intensity we did not have on the last road trip, but an intensity that we had before the road trip."
Lowell had a two-out bloop single in the eighth to score David Ortiz from second base and give Boston a 3-2 lead. On the play, Manny Ramirez was thrown out trying to take third despite the ball coming out of Adrian Beltre's glove. Ramirez, who had missed the previous two games with a sore knee, didn't slide because of the concern over the knee.
"He (umpire Ron Kulpa) said that he held onto the ball long enough," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I didn't agree with him but I was more concerned to make sure David was scoring because it was getting close."
Beltre led off the bottom half with his 16th home run on a 0-2 pitch from reliever Mike Timlin (5-4). Raul Ibanez followed with a single to left and moved to third on Richie Sexson's single to right. Broussard, who came to Seattle in a July 26 trade with Cleveland, flied out to center and Ibanez scored without a throw.
"I think I pitched exceptionally well, if you look at the replays," Timlin said. "All the pitches were off the plate, Ibanez's pitch was probably four or five inches off the plate. Sexson was down and away. The pitch to Broussard was a sinker down and away, he gets under it and hits a sac fly."
Coco Crisp homered and David Wells allowed eight hits and two runs in seven innings for Boston.
"He has been tremendous. It's a shame we didn't have more offense to show for it because he pitched a whale of a game," Francona said. "He has been pitching very well. He has done it for a long time."
J.J. Putz (3-1) struck out three in 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.
Meche, who missed his last scheduled start for Seattle because of right forearm tendinitis, was overpowering early. He struck out five of the first seven batters he faced. But with two outs in the third, Crisp, who had just four hits in his previous 34 at-bats (.118), hit a 1-2 fastball into the right-field seats for his seventh homer.
Beltre hit a one-out double off Wells in the fourth and scored on Ibanez's sharp single to center. Beltre's double was the first hit allowed by Wells.
Mark Loretta put the Red Sox in front 2-1 in the fifth with an RBI single but Yuniesky Betancourt tied it with his seventh home run off Wells with one out in the seventh.
|Seattle closer J.J. Putz strikes out the side in the ninth, protecting the M's one-run advantage. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Coco Crisp, CF||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.266|
|Mark Loretta, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.306|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.286|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.326|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||0||3||1||0||0||0||.289|
|Eric Hinske, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.256|
|Javy Lopez, C||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.259|
|Alex Cora, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.272|
|Gabe Kapler, RF||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.224|
|2B - David Ortiz (25, Sherrill), Mike Lowell (38, Meche)|
|HR - Coco Crisp (7, Meche)|
|RBI - Coco Crisp (28), Mark Loretta (51), Mike Lowell (61)|
|2-OUT RBI - Coco Crisp (13), Mark Loretta (33), Mike Lowell (22)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Lowell-Loretta-Hinske, Loretta-Cora-Hinske|
|E - Eric Hinske (1, )|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Mike Timlin (BS,6; L,5-4)||1||3||2||2||0||0||1||4.11|
|Pitches-Strikes - David Wells 97-67, Mike Timlin 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Wells 14-2|
|Batters Faced - David Wells 29, Mike Timlin 6|
|Ichiro Suzuki, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.319|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.268|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||1||3||1||0||1||0||.281|
|Richie Sexson, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.234|
|Eduardo Perez, DH||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.263|
|a- Ben Broussard, PH-DH||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.298|
|Kenji Johjima, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.291|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||.299|
|T.J. Bohn, RF||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.143|
|a-hit a sacrifice fly for Perez in the 8th|
|2B - Adrian Beltre (34, Wells)|
|3B - Yuniesky Betancourt (5, Wells)|
|HR - Adrian Beltre (16, Timlin), Yuniesky Betancourt (7, Wells)|
|SF - Ben Broussard (4)|
|RBI - Adrian Beltre (60), Raul Ibanez (98), Ben Broussard (57), Yuniesky Betancourt (41)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Raul Ibanez 1|
|J.J. Putz (W,3-1)||1.1||1||0||0||0||3||0||2.25|
|IBB - Ramirez by George Sherrill|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 107-74, Rafael Soriano 6-5, George Sherrill 7-3, J.J. Putz 21-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 9-5, Rafael Soriano 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Gil Meche 27, Rafael Soriano 2, George Sherrill 2, J.J. Putz 4|
|Attendance - 44779|
|Game Time - 2:51|
|Temperature - 80|
|Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Ron Kulpa|