May 15, 2012

Red Sox win 5-0, making it five in a row

Josh Beckett strikes out a season-high nine batters.

The Associated Press

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Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz celebrates as he returns to the dugout after scoring on a single by Will Middlebrooks in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park in Boston today. Boston won 5-0.

The Associated Press

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BOSTON — Josh Beckett redeemed himself less than a week after being booed off the mound, striking out a season-high nine as the Boston Red Sox shut out the Seattle Mariners 5-0 on Tuesday and extended their winning streak to five.

Beckett (3-4) scattered four hits over seven innings before being pulled as a steady rain started to fall late in the afternoon.

Beckett was celebrating his 32nd birthday and could not have atoned better for his previous start, when he was pulled after allowing seven runs in 2 1-3 innings. Boston fans already were seething that day over news Beckett had played golf the week before after being scratched from a start because of back stiffness.

David Ortiz hit his eighth homer and scored a run after putting down a surprise bunt to lead off the fifth inning. Mike Aviles hit a pair of doubles and drove in two runs as Boston completed a 5-1 homestand.

The Mariners fell to 1-4 on a 10-game road trip and were shut out for the fifth time this season. Blake Beavan (1-4) went four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks.

Ichiro Suzuki was the only Seattle player with more than one hit, singling twice.

Beckett didn't give the fans a much of a chance to boo him in this outing. He started the game by striking out Dustin Ackley, picked up two more strikeouts in the second and then struck out the side in the third with the game still scoreless.

Ortiz changed that quickly with a solo shot into the Red Sox bullpen on a 3-2 pitch in the third.

Boston added two more runs in the fourth when Cody Ross walked with one out, Daniel Nava singled and Aviles hit an RBI double. Nava scored on Ryan Sweeney's groundout.

Ortiz caught the Mariners – and everybody else at Fenway Park – off-guard when he laid a bunt down the third-base line for a leadoff single in the fifth. Seattle's infield was shifted toward the right and nobody had a chance to field the ball in time.

Ortiz advanced to second when Adrian Gonzalez hit a grounder and shortstop Munenori Kawasaki pulled his foot off second base before throwing out Gonzalez at first. Ortiz took third on Charlie Furbush's wild pitch to Will Middlebrooks, who followed with a line drive single.

NOTES: Retired knuckleballer Tim Wakefield threw out the ceremonial first pitch after the Red Sox honored him with a pregame ceremony for his 17 seasons in Boston. Wakefield's No. 49 was also cut into the grass in center field. ... Justin Smoak hit a high shot to the right-field corner that was reviewed after 1B umpire Eric Cooper called it a foul ball. Seattle manager Eric Wedge came out to question it and the umpire crew went inside to review. After a few minutes, it was still a foul ball. ... Beckett's previous this season eight strikeouts on April 29 against the White Sox. ... Seattle continues its long road trip Wednesday, opening a two-game series in Cleveland followed by three games at Colorado in interleague play.

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