BOSTON — A rough first month of the season for Boston has ended and the Red Sox are still searching for answers at the plate.

The Red Sox, a trendy pick to make it to the World Series, closed the month of April like many of its early-season dates, failing to come through with a key hit and dropping a 2-0 decision to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

The Red Sox, who are expected to have a potent lineup but entered the night in the middle of the American League in runs scored and average, left 11 on base and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Entering Saturday, they were hitting just .187 with runners in scoring position and less than two outs. They were third worst in the AL in runners left on base. That mostly explains why they’re 11-15 and last in the AL East heading into May.

“It’s a lot of the same things,” Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. “We get in a situation like that and we’re swinging at a lot of off-speed pitches. We had a lot of opportunities and just didn’t do anything.”

Boston loaded the bases twice against Mariners starter Doug Fister, who escaped jams three times in 5 2⁄3 scoreless innings.

Seattle’s bullpen continued its hot run in the team’s fifth straight win.

Boston lost for the fourth time in five games after winning 8 of 9.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” said tough-luck loser John Lackey of the offense. “We’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of good track records. They’ll get going. As pitchers we’ve just got to keep doing our part.”

Boston’s starters are 8-3 with a 1.86 ERA in their last 14 games.

Seattle’s Milton Bradley had an RBI double before being ejected a few minutes later and the Mariners’ bullpen pitched the final 3 1⁄3 innings. Seattle’s pen has held opponents scoreless for the last 13 1⁄3 innings.

Boston went hitless the final five innings – two against the bullpen – in Friday’s 5-4 loss.

Fister (2-3) allowed five hits, walked five and fanned four.

Aaron Laffey pitched 2 1⁄3 of one-hit relief and Brandon League got the final three outs for his seventh save in seven attempts.

Bradley’s double gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the second, halting a 15 1/3-inning scoreless stretch by Lackey (2-3). Ichiro Suzuki walked and Chone Figgins singled before Bradley doubled just inside the left-field foul line.

Bradley, standing at second following his double, was ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis after Miguel Olivo was out on a close grounder at first. Manager Eric Wedge had just gone back to the dugout after arguing the play with Tim Tichenor, but was not tossed.

Jack Wilson’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the sixth.

NOTES: Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will start today against Felix Hernandez. The scheduled starter, Clay Buchholz, was pushed back a day after he left the park Friday when he wasn’t feeling well.

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