SEATTLE (AP) -Can't win on the road. Top sluggers are out. Soaring Yankees are next.
Come visit Seattle, everyone's cure-all.
hit a two-run single off
in the 12th inning, and the
took advantage of two outfield errors to beat the sunken Mariners 6-3 on Wednesday and complete Boston's first series sweep
at Seattle in 15 years.
entered the series having lost eight of 11 on the road, leaving manager
to say he was perplexed. They flew home for the latest showdown with New York after their first three-game sweep on the road
, who rested Wednesday with a sore knee, Boston stayed a half-game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.
''Since I've been with the
, we don't play well in Seattle. So this was a big series for us,'' Lowell said.
Asked if he thinks the
have successfully weathered their road woes and the loss of Ortiz, due back Friday after being out since injuring his wrist
May 30, Lowell said: ''I think we've done that ... but you've got to do that. No one else is going to feel sorry for you.''
Save the pity for the Mariners.
hit home runs in the fifth consecutive loss for the AL's worst team. Seattle expected to be in the postseason but dropped
a season-low 25 games under .500, and is in clearance-sale mode for the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. Ibanez and Vidro
are top candidates to go.
''No matter how many times you get hit between the eyes, you have to get back up and get after it,'' said Ibanez.
began the 12th with his fourth hit in 34 at-bats, a single off Green (2-3). A hit-and-run groundout by
got Ellsbury to second before Green intentionally walked J.D. Drew.
then hit a liner that center fielder
sprinted deep for but had clang off the inside of his glove.
''I just flat-out missed it. I can't sit here and make excuses,'' said Bloomquist, whom manager Jim Riggleman had moved from
shortstop to center field in the ninth inning to get
into the game.
The error loaded the bases, and Lowell unloaded them with his second hit of the game.
, the designated hitter for Ramirez, singled home Youkilis to make it 6-3.
(4-3), pitching a third consecutive day, created a jam in the 11th by flubbing a pickup of Vidro's leadoff squibber down the
first-base line for a generously scored infield single.
''That was terrible,'' Lowell joked. ''I don't know if he kicked it, spat on it or what.''
One out later, Vidro went to third on a single with two strikes by Betancourt, but Papelbon got fading
to ground into a double play to end that threat. Johjima was playing only because rookie catcher
is likely out until Saturday with a torn nail on the thumb of his throwing hand.
allowed Seattle to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 12th but retired Vidro on a ground out for his second
save in four chances.
''That wasn't pretty, but we'll take it,'' Francona said.
Boston could have ended it far earlier.
It had the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth against
before Seattle's 22-year-old ace struck out Jed Lawrie and
. But Hernandez then walked
, the No. 9 hitter, on four pitches to force in Youkilis and give the
a 3-1 lead.
Hernandez yelled at himself and slapped at the ball with his glove after his season high-tying fifth walk, then stomped angrily
off the field when Ellsbury fouled out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth,
gave up a leadoff single to
and one out later fell behind Vidro 2-0. The weakest-hitting designated hitter in the league this season, batting .223 entering
Wednesday, drove the next pitch over the railing of the right-field wall to tie the game. Hernandez rose from his seat in
the dugout and exhorted the ball out with both arms extended, then celebrated avoiding his seventh loss in 14 decisions.
Buchholz allowed seven hits and three runs in 5 1-3 innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts. He hasn't won since May
Hernandez allowed six hits and two earned runs in six innings. He struck out six in his third start since returning from being
on the disabled list for a sprained left ankle.
The game was scoreless in the third when
sprinted with his back to the plate and leaped above the right-field wall to take a three-run homer away from Drew.
A few pitches later, Seattle's perennial Gold Glove outfielder kicked Youkilis' RBI single into the corner. His second error
of the season scored Pedroia behind Crisp to make it 2-0.
Notes: Boston's last sweep at Seattle was July 2-4, 1993. ... Hernandez has allowed three earned runs or less in eight consecutive
starts. His ERA is 2.95, on pace to finish with the third-lowest in Mariners' history, and lowest since
's team-record 2.30 in 1997.