Final, 5-0 Red Sox: Aceves gets the Mariners in order to close out the victory. He doesn’t get the save, but he lowers his ERA from 6.14 to 5.74.
The Sox have now won five in a row and sit just two games under .500.
End 8th, 5-0 Red Sox: The Mariners have made some awful defensive plays this afternoon, but it’s hard to fault Mike Carp for failing to catch a fly ball down the left field line off the bat of Mike Aviles. The ball was right on the line, leaving little room for Carp to make the catch. He went into the slide but missed the ball, allowing Saltalamacchia to trot home from second.
Alfredo Aceves enters a non-save situation to pick up the final three outs of the game.
Middle 8th, 4-0 Red Sox: Rich Hill picks up where Beckett left off, getting the Mariners to go down in order in the eighth. Hill’s breaking ball looked crisp and led to a weak flyout and groundout to begin the inning.
End 7th, 4-0 Red Sox: Steve Delabar walked Ortiz but had an otherwise clean inning, striking out Gonzalez and Middlebrooks to end the inning.
Rich Hill enters the game for the Red Sox.
Middle 7th, 4-0 Red Sox: Beckett’s just making it look easy out there, only allowing a single to right field by Michael Saunders in that frame but needing just 12 pitches to get through the seventh.
Beckett’s now done for the afternoon though, as Bobby Valentine gave him the handshake in the dugout.
Beckett’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 SO, 0 ER, 0 R.
End 6th, 4-0 Red Sox: It took a while, but the Red Sox finally went down in order.
If Beckett can get another strikeout, it’ll be his first time with double-digit K’s since July 3 of last season.
Middle 6th, 4-0 Red Sox: In another ballpark, it may be 4-3 right now. But they’re playing this one at Fenway Park, where you really have to get into one to get it out to right field, so Seagar’s long fly ball with two outs will merely go down as an F9.
The inning-ending flyout came after Ichiro beat out an infield single before promptly stealing second and third. He can still move at a spry 38 years old. Beckett walked Montero to put two on, but Ross settled under Seagar’s fly ball to end the inning.
That was the first inning in which Beckett did not record a strikeout, but he’s at just 81 pitches through six.
End 5th, 4-0 Red Sox: Tack on another run for the Red Sox, and tack on another RBI for Mr. Will Middlebrooks.
Ortiz led off the inning with a bunt single to the vacated left side of the infield. Gonzalez then grounded to first, where Smoak threw to second base for a 3-6-3 double play. The problem was that Munenori Kawasaki came far off the bag for the force at second base, allowing Ortiz to reach second.
The next pitch from Furbush was a wild one, advancing Ortiz to third, and Middlebrooks drove him in with a sharply hit single to left.
Middle 5th, 3-0 Red Sox: If the rain does eventually come, this one’s official, with Beckett shutting down the Mariners with another pair of strikeouts in the fifth.
He now has nine K’s, which is a season high, and he’s rolling at 68 pitches.
Beavan’s out of the game for the Mariners, so we’ll now Charlie Furbush facing Ortiz, Gonzalez and Middlebrooks.
End 4th, 3-0 Red Sox: The Sox tack on a couple of more runs, courtesy of an RBI double from Mike Aviles and a Ryan Sweeney groundout that scored Nava from third. Nava singled earlier with a runner on first, bringing his average up to .615.
Dustin Pedroia may have done Beavan a favor by swinging at a 3-0 pitch with two outs, as he grounded to short to end the inning.
Beavan’s thrown 93 pitches through four innings.
Middle 4th, 1-0 Red Sox: Beckett’s no-hitter is gone after allowing an infield single to Dustin Ackley and a sharply hit single to center from Ichiro, but he works out of it without allowing a run.
End 3rd, 1-0 Red Sox: Blake Beavan struck out Gonzalez and Middlebrooks to end the inning. That’s the good news for him. The bad news? He threw a 93 mph fastball on the inner half against David Ortiz, and the big man cleared that thing out, sending into the bullpen to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
Now let’s see if Josh Beckett can keep up his machine-like pace.
Middle 3rd, 0-0: Birthday boy Beckett is just dealing out there, striking out the side in order in the third. He’s got six strikeouts through three innings and looks like the guy that Red Sox fans always cheered for, not the guy who’s been booed mercilessly lately.
Sure, he’s facing a light-hitting Seattle lineup, but the first three innings represent some solid progress.
End 2nd, 0-0: Beavan gets out of the second unscathed, but he certainly had to work for it. He’s at 56 pitches after lengthy at-bats from Cody Ross and Mike Aviles, as well as a single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a Daniel Nava hit-by-pitch. That hit-by-pitch raised Nava’s on-base percentage to an absurd .762.
Middle 2nd, 0-0: That was quite the inning from Josh Beckett, who struck out Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak, both on curveballs. In between those two outs came a great diving stop by Mike Aviles, who got to his feet quickly and fired to first to retire Kyle Seager.
There was a long video review on a Smoak foul that was close enough to Pesky’s Pole to warrant a second look, but the umpires ruled that it was indeed foul.
Beckett’s through two innings at just 20 pitches.
End 1st, 0-0: After his 14-game hit streak ended Monday night, Dustin Pedroia starts up a new one with an infield single down the third base line.
He’s left stranded though, after David Ortiz pops out to shallow left, Adrian Gonzalez walks and Will Middlebrooks grounds into a fielder’s choice. Ryan Sweeney led off the inning with a flyout to left.
The Sox didn’t score but they made Beavan work and throw 29 pitches. There’s also a light rainfall at the Fens. We’re all hoping it stays that way and doesn’t get any worse.
Middle 1st, 0-0: Josh Beckett made quick work of the Mariners, retiring the side 1-2-3 on just eight pitches. Maybe that is a sign of good things to come for No. 19.
Tim Wakefield Day
3:52 p.m.: Tim Wakefield Day was quite the scene, with the knucleballer getting a rousing ovation from the Fenway Faithful. The Sox also gave him plenty to remember the team by, including a seat from Fenway with #49 on it, a Ted Williams signed bat and one of the Splendid Splinter’s Fishing Pole, as well as a $25,000 check for his charity, Pitching In For Kids.
David Ortiz spoke to the crowd about Wake, saying “you taught me how to be a good teammate, but more than that you showed me the most important thing; how to help in the community.”
“I know how much Boston means to you, and I know how much you mean to Boston,” continued Ortiz. “Thanks for being a great teammate, a great friend, and a great person to children… I love you man.”
In a very touching scene, hundreds of Wakefield Warriors made their way out from center field. They included patients from the Franciscan Hospital for Children and the Jimmy Fund in Boston, who Wakefield often brought to games to watch batting practice.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Tim Wakefield day without a knuckler, which Wake fluttered in to (who else) Doug Mirabelli. His former-personal catcher was taken to home plate by a Boston Police cruiser, marking the second time he got a police escort to Fenway.
Once the ceremony was over, Wake’s kids got to say the words everyone was waiting for, “Play Ball!”
Now it’s Beckett time…
3:40p.m.: We weren’t trying to jinx anything, but the sprinkles have started… The two teams will desperately try and get this game in, as this is Seattle’s only trip to Boston.
3:22 p.m.: So far, we’ve yet to see a raindrop here in Boston, but it looks like some wet weather is coming soon. From the looks of the radar now, it looks like Boston may avoid downpours but should be getting some steady rain. At the very least, the rain will make Fenway a little less comfortable and will be a bit of a downer for the Wakefield ceremony.
2 p.m.: Tuesday marks the 32nd birthday of Josh Beckett, and the crowd at Fenway Park could be poised to give him a heavy dose of boos as a present.
Of course, a strong outing from Beckett would go a long way in turning a lot of those boos into cheers, and an afternoon matchup against the light-hitting Mariners gives him a good opportunity to do just that.
Regardless of what the outcome will ultimately be, it is sure to provide great theater at Fenway Park, and we’ll be providing updates right here in the live blog all game long.
That game, though, will be weather permitting, as some rain showers are in and out of the forecast throughout the afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m., but we’ll provide any updates on that situation as it develops.
The Sox will also honor Tim Wakefield in a pregame ceremony. His jersey number, 49, has been mowed into the grass in center field.