By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) – Josh Beckett pitched seven strong innings, Jacoby
Ellsbury hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh and the
Boston Red Sox beat Seattle 3-1 on Saturday night, sending the
Mariners to their club record-tying 14th consecutive loss.
Terry Francona earned his 1,000th win as a major league manager,
the 57th to reach that milestone, and the eighth still active.
Boston moved a season-high three games ahead of the New York
Yankees for the lead in the AL East.
Meanwhile, the Mariners tied the 1992 team’s mark after loading
the bases in the eighth against Daniel Bard, but the reliever got
out of the jam. He has now held teams scoreless in 24 straight
innings over 23 outings, the longest active shutout streak in the
Beckett (9-3) allowed seven hits and one walk and struck out
seven. The only run he allowed came on a homer in the seventh by
Mike Carp, his second in two nights since being recalled from
Triple-A Tacoma last Monday.
Blake Beavan (1-2) retired the first two batters in the bottom
of the seventh then allowed three straight hits, including the
single by Ellsbury, who scored on a wild pitch by reliever Aaron
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 24
Dustin Ackley began the eighth with a single and took second on
a walk to Justin Smoak. Adam Kennedy then bunted, and Bard fielded
it and threw to third baseman Kevin Youkilis, whose foot was off
the base. Then Bard retired Carp on a shallow fly to left, Jack
Cust on a strikeout and Franklin Gutierrez on a groundout.
Both teams had five hits through six innings. The Mariners had
left four runners in scoring position through six innings before
Cust was stranded at second after a two-out double in the
second. Smoak also was left at second in the fourth after grounding
into a forceout and advancing on a wild pitch by Beckett. And
Seattle stranded runners at second and third in the sixth after the
first two batters, Ichiro Suzuki and Brendan Ryan, singled.
The Red Sox got a one-out double in the first from Dustin
Pedroia, but the next two batters struck out. The hit extended
Pedroia’s career-best hitting streak to 20 games.
Boston nearly scored in the second when David Ortiz led off with
a double and took third on a single by Carl Crawford. Josh Reddick
popped out to second base before Jason Varitek hit a flyball to
medium center field. Gutierrez made the catch, then threw home on a
fly to double up Ortiz, who had tagged.
The Red Sox got another runner to third in the third. Ellsbury
started the inning with a single and kept going to second when the
ball got by left fielder Carp for his second error in two days.
Ellsbury took third on a groundout, but was stranded when Adrian
Gonzalez flied out.
Gonzalez got a one-out double in the sixth, but was tagged out
when Youkilis grounded to third.
Notes: Pedroia has reached base in 32 consecutive games, the
longest active streak in the majors… Carp had been optioned to
Triple-A Tacoma on July 3 when Beavan was called up. … Former Red
Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, who retired after last season, threw
out the ceremonial first pitch. … Beckett has allowed more than
three runs just twice in his 19 starts this season. … Beavan has
allowed a total of nine runs in his four starts.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)