The Seattle Mariners have been dominant at home over the last month. The Boston Red Sox, meanwhile, continue to just be dominated.
The Mariners look to hand the Red Sox an eighth straight loss for the first time in 11 years when the clubs continue their series Tuesday night.
After losing two of three over the weekend to the Los Angeles Angels , Seattle won for the 17th time in 20 home games with a 4-1 victory Monday.
Jason Vargas went seven innings to earn his 14th win as the Mariners (66-70) scored four times in the fourth.
It was the 14th time in the last 20 at Safeco Field that Seattle gave up two earned runs or fewer. The club has a 2.30 ERA during that stretch.
That number doesn't bode well for Boston (62-74), which had two errors in Monday's loss while dropping to 0-7 on a miserable road trip that ends Wednesday. The Red Sox have been outscored 58-16 during that stretch.
Coming off a series sweep in Oakland, which included a 20-2 defeat Friday, general manager Ben Cherington spoke of the team's struggles prior to Monday's game, admitting the Red Sox were "hard to watch."
Cherington was joined by principal owner John W. Henry on the third leg of the road trip, and addressed questions about manager Bobby Valentine 's future.
"Bobby and I talked post-July 31 when things were not going as well as we're used to," Cherington said. "We talked about controlling things we can control and I told him we're both being evaluated on work we do every day."
Cherington, however, said a win-loss record is not a great way to judge a manager."It's always reflective to the talent on the roster. It's the work that gets done. We need the right work done every day," he said.
Looking to avoid its first eight-game losing streak since a nine-game skid Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2001, Boston hands the ball to Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01 ERA).
Lester had a three-start winning streak snapped after he allowed five runs in eight innings of a 5-2 loss in Anaheim on Thursday. He gave up two runs in the first and two in the third."After the third, I was able to get in more of a rhythm and slow them down," said Lester, who had a 2.25 ERA over his previous three starts. "You've got to minimize the damage early, and I didn't do that."
The left-hander also had a complete game against Seattle on May 14, striking out six and scattering eight hits in the 6-1 win. He is 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA in the last four meetings against the Mariners, fanning 40 in 31 1-3 innings.
Blake Beavan (9-8, 4.95) counters for the Mariners, and he's looked much better since the All-Star break, going 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in his last eight starts. He gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-4 win at Minnesota on Thursday.
The right-hander, however, is 0-3 with a 6.35 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox. He allowed three runs and five hits in four innings of a 5-0 loss May 15 at Fenway Park.
Dustin Pedroia , who extended his hitting streak to 14 games Monday, is 3 for 9 against Beavan with two doubles.
|Boston Red Sox|
|September 02, 2012||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|August 25, 2012||David Ortiz||15-Day DL||Aggravated right Achilles strain|
|August 25, 2012||Daniel Nava||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|August 24, 2012||Franklin Morales||15-Day DL||Left shoulder fatigue|
|August 20, 2012||Carl Crawford||Day-to-Day||Left elbow surgery|
|August 11, 2012||Will Middlebrooks||15-Day DL||Broken right wrist - out for season|
|August 31, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained groin|
|August 25, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||Day-to-Day||Hip injury|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|August 06, 2012||Brendan Ryan||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|July 18, 2012||Charlie Furbush||15-Day DL||Strained left triceps|
SEATTLE (AP) -- The longest Red Sox skid in more than a decade lasted only a week.
It felt much longer to those involved in Boston's downward spiral that finally came to an end on Tuesday night.
"It feels good to shake hands. It's been a while. It seems like a really long time," Boston outfielder Cody Ross said.
Ross hit a tying three-run homer in the sixth inning, Ryan Lavarnway connected two batters later and the Red Sox snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners .
The Red Sox were looking at an eighth straight setback with another lackluster effort on this miserable road trip before pulling even thanks to a rally that took just six pitches.
Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury opened the sixth with singles off Seattle starter Blake Beavan (9-9) before Ross hit his 20th homer of the season. After recovering to get two outs, Beavan left a pitch up in the zone to Lavarnway and he lined his first homer off the out of town scoreboard beyond the left field bullpens.
"Our guys looked happy after the game," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "It's great to see them with smiles and coming from behind ... it was a good win. Maybe it will get something started."
The Red Sox appeared ready for the losing to end, with most leaping to the dugout railing to see Ross' homer sail over the head of left fielder Trayvon Robinson . Boston had previously missed scoring chances in the first, second and fifth innings with runners in scoring position.
The quick turn of fortunes for Boston made a winner out of Jon Lester (9-11), who gave up consecutive homers to Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager in the third, but otherwise avoided damage.
Eric Thames hit a two-out, two-strike triple in the ninth for Seattle off Andrew Bailey to keep the Mariners hopes alive. But Bailey got Seager to fly out to right to end it for his second save in three chances.
Boston's seven-game slide started with the opening of a West Coast swing through Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle. According to the Red Sox, from information provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time Boston had dropped the first seven games of a road trip since 1960. The losing streak was the longest since a nine-game skid during the 2001 season.
The losing streak seemed to be the cap to a miserable last few months for the Red Sox, who have tumbled to fourth place in the AL East. Speculation about Valentine's future hit a peak here when general manager Ben Cherington and owner John Henry joined the team.
But Ross and others are trying to make clear that even though the Red Sox are out of the playoff race there is still something worth playing for during the final month.
"There's a lot at stake right now," Ross said. "Even though we're not in the hunt there's jobs at stake, guys have to stay hungry and go out and battle and win a spot for next year, whether you're a young kid or a free agent or whatever."
Pedroia's single to start the inning extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games. Following Ross' homer, Beavan recovered to get James Loney and Jared Saltalamacchia on fly outs before Lavarnway came through with his first home run for the Red Sox since a two-homer game Sept. 27, 2011, against Baltimore.
Lester needed 111 pitches to get through six innings, but worked out of jams in the first and second innings leaving runners stranded at third base. Jesus Montero had three hits off Lester, including a two-out RBI single in the first. Gutierrez homered to deep center field on the first pitch of the third inning and, two pitches later, Seager hit his 16th of the season into the right field seats.
Lester gave up nine hits for the second straight start, but struck out four and won for the fourth time in his last five outings.
"It wasn't easy, a bit of a grind, but it's big for us to score those runs in that inning and have the bullpen come in there and do a good job after that," Lester said.
NOTES: Seattle ace Felix Hernandez was named the AL pitcher of the month for August. Hernandez was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five starts, including the 23rd perfect game in baseball history. ... Boston recalled RHP Clay Mortensen from Double-A Portland before Tuesday's game. It was the sixth time this season he's been called up from the minors this season. ... Seattle hit back-to-back homers for the third time this season and first since July 2 versus Baltimore.