SEATTLE --Many believe Ichiro Suzuki is so good, he can hit home runs whenever he wants or needs to. Like, say, when his team is down by one, has a runner on and has lost nine of its last 10 games.
"No, I'm not Sadaharu Oh. I can't have the ability to do that," the eight-time All-Star said with a smile Friday night.
That was after he hit two home runs, the second a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth inning that capped his Seattle Mariners' four-run rally in a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox, who were playing without a benched David Ortiz.
Looking like Oh, Japan's all-time home run king with 868, Suzuki hit a solo shot for Seattle's first run in the fifth. Then he sent a 3-1 fastball from Jon Lester into the first row of seats in right field for his fourth two-homer game and first since July 30, 2005.
"Who knows? It kind of proves that in the universe, mysterious things happen," he said through an interpreter.
Suzuki, an incomparable leadoff hitter and owner of the modern major-league record with eight consecutive 200-hit seasons, had a two-homer game while Ortiz, a five-time All-Star, hasn't hit even one homer in 158 plate appearances all season.
"It shows that, really, two mysterious things happened in the universe today," Suzuki said, looking up with a wry grin while fanning himself at his locker.
Ortiz was benched indefinitely a day after he went 0-for-7 and stranded 12 runners in an extra-inning loss at the Los Angeles Angels. Ortiz has gone 144 at-bats since his last home run on Sept. 22.
Though available as a pinch hitter, Boston manager Terry Francona kept Big Papi in the dugout, one at-bat shy of matching the longest homer dry spell in his career. Before the game, Francona said, "If staying away from his bat helps, good."
Chris Jakubauskas (2-4), a 29-year-old former shoe salesman, gave up seven hits for his first career win as a starter -- on his sixth try.
David Aardsma, discarded by Boston in a trade after last season, allowed a two-out single in the ninth to J.D. Drew, who had three hits replacing Ortiz as Boston's No. 3 hitter. But Jason Bay flied out to the wall in left and Aardsma pumped his fist over his fourth save in four chances. Aardsma is taking over for demoted closer Brandon Morrow.
"Sitting down in the bullpen in the fourth inning my heart was just racing," a still excited Aardsma said. "It was Boston! Going out there against them, all the guys I know, adds a little bit."
Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, tripled and beat out an infield chop for a single in his first three at-bats as the Red Sox built a 4-0 lead. Yet they lost their third straight on their final West Coast swing of the season.
Rocco Baldelli struck out three times while replacing Ortiz as the designated hitter.
Lester (2-4) took a 4-1 lead into the sixth and Yuniesky Betancourt hit a potential inning-ending double-play one-hopper back to him. But Lester double-pumped and never threw to second base. He settled for the out at first.
Franklin Gutierrez followed with a two-run single to make it 4-3, Seattle's first hit in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Then came Suzuki's third home run of the season, and second in as many innings.
Lester allowed eight hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings, six days after he allowed a career-high eight runs to Tampa Bay.
"I bust my rear to go out every five days and perform, and I'm not performing right now," Lester said.
- Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, on the DL since April 15 with a strained shoulder, allowed three hits and two earned runs in five innings while striking out nine for Triple-A Pawtucket.
- Boston RHP John Smoltz, on the DL following shoulder surgery, threw to about 10 batters in two innings of an extended spring training game in Florida on his 42nd birthday. Smoltz is scheduled to throw three innings in another extended spring game Wednesday.
- Seattle will start LHP Garrett Olson on Saturday in place of LHP Erik Bedard. Manager Don Wakamatsu said Bedard, scratched because of a hamstring strain, should be able to take his next turn next week against the Angels.