Jed Lowrie hits two home runs and David Ortiz crushes a go-ahead three-run homer as Boston wins its third straight.
The Sox, now 6 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay with 17 to play, will go for the sweep Wednesday.
Back in a few with a final thought.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 9-5: Two insurance runs take away the save opportunity for Jonathan Papelbon but he will come on regardless. Could use the work.
Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick get the RBIs in the ninth. Kalish has 13 in 11 games this month.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-5: Daniel Bard does what Daniel Bard does with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless eighth. The Red Sox are three outs from their third straight victory.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-5: The Red Sox were down to their last four outs and had nobody on in the eighth before breaking out in a big way. Two straight singles preceded David Ortiz's 30th home run of the season, a three-run moon shot that sends this see-saw affair back into Boston's hands.
Ortiz joins Manny Ramirez and Ted Williams as the only players in team history with six seasons of 30 or more home runs. It is the first time he has reached the mark since he hit 35 in his phenomenal 2007 season.
End 7th, Mariners 5-4: It took about 35 minutes for Seattle to score one run but it's a big one. Rich Hill records the long-awaited last out of the seventh.
12:26 a.m.: The fourth Red Sox pitcher of the seventh inning will be coming on after Michael Bowden fails to do his job. Pitching in the biggest spot he has been in since being converted to a reliever, Bowden gives up a long RBI double to Franklin Gutierrez to snap the tie.
The run is charged to Daisuke Matsuzaka. Rich Hill will be making his Red Sox debut.
12:21 a.m.: Hideki Okajima has very quietly been an effective member of the bullpen since returning from the DL. After getting a pair of outs, including a strikeout of Russell Branyan with the go-ahead run perched at second, Okajima has now thrown 5 1/3 scoreless innings since his return.
Michael Bowded is coming on with two outs and Ichiro Suzuki still at second.
12:11 a.m.: Daisuke Matsuzaka gets to face one hitter in the seventh. It is Ichiro Suzuki, who rips his third hit of the game to chase Matsuzaka. Hideki Okajima is on in relief.
Mid 7th, 4-4: Luke French keeps throwing slop up there and the Red Sox keep popping it up. He has set down 12 straight and 11 of the outs have come through the air.
End 6th, 4-4: If this one stays tied and we go to extra innings it may never end. The Mariners lead the majors in extra-inning losses with 11. The Red Sox are second with 10. The teams are a combined 8-21 in extras.
Mid 6th, 4-4: Yes, I did say Luke French might not last very long in this one after he was hit hard early. But following a five-pitch sixth he is in great shape to go seven or even more.
French has retired nine in a row since Jed Lowrie's second home run of the night.
End 5th, 4-4: This is now the sixth straight start that Daisuke Matsuzaka has allowed at least four runs, with an eight-spot thrown in the last time out. He beaned the light-hitting Josh Wilson with his very first pitch of the inning so you just knew it would not go well.
Wilson came in on a double by Ichiro Suzuki, who eventually scored from third on a sac fly to right.
Matsuzaka still had 15 pitches to throw before getting out of the inning. In addition to hitting Wilson he gave up three hits and a walk.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-2: Luke French has his first scoreless inning since the first. He has recorded 11 outs through the air.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-2: Daisuke Matsuzaka survives his own throwing error to get through the fourth. Red Sox pitchers have 21 errors this year.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-2: You can see our earlier post for more on what Jed Lowrie has done in his limited action this year. Add to that his second home run in as many at-bats as he takes Luke French deep in the fourth to record the first multi-homer game of his career.
Lowrie is hitting .333 (16-for-48) against lefties this year.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-2: Teams have been running wild on the Red Sox this road trip and the M's are intent on testing Jason Varitek in his return.
Ichiro Suzuki steals the third base of the night for Seattle and later scores. At that point in time opponents were 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts against Boston on the trip.
Chone Figgins was gunned down at third later in the inning to end the streak.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: A wild pitch by Luke French helps the Sox expand their lead in the third. Marco Scutaro walked and moved to second on the wild one ahead of an RBI base hit by Victor Martinez.
Boston has five hits and all have been solid. French may not be long for this one.
The Yankees have outlasted the Rays, but you have to see how the game ended. I'll withhold the details so you can experience it on your own. You may hate the Yanks but it was a pretty cool way to finish off a win.New York is back on top in the division. The Sox, with a win, would be 6 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay. Seems like we've been saying that for over a month.
End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: Whenever Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the mound, even if he's on his game, you have to consider the use of the bullpen. He simply has not lasted deep into games on a consistent basis.
The righty, who turned 30 on Monday, has gone at least seven innings just twice in his last 13 starts. He has failed to go beyond six innings in nine of those outings.
Dice has already thrown 42 pitches.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: Seconds after Adrian Beltre is thrown out at home plate for the first out of the second, Jed Lowrie hammers a two-run homer to left to give the Red Sox an early lead.
There seem to be some Lowrie haters out there. They most likely exist due to his inability to stay healthy. But if he does he could be a big part of this team going forward. In fact, don't be surprised to see Lowrie push Marco Scutaro for playing time next season at shortstop.
Half of Lowrie's 30 hits this season have been for extra bases. He led the team in OPS in August and has as many walks as strikeouts. He quietly produces when in the lineup, and has shown in the past to be a very good shortstop defensively.
As for Beltre, his double to lead things off gave him 71 extra-base hits, a new record in a season for a Red Sox third baseman. Wade Boggs had the old mark of 70 in 1987.
End 1st, Mariners 1-0: Daisuke Matsuzaka's first-inning woes had vanished over the past couple of months, but he is reached for one in the first on a pair of singles and a walk.
Dice-K entered with a 7.71 ERA in the first inning this year.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Mariners catcher Adam Moore had an embarrassing instance in the opener in which he misjudged a pop behind the plate. He handles two such plays successfully in the first as Luke French is through the inning without a problem.
9:55 p.m.: If you are one of those who has already moved on and is eying 2011 as the year for the Red Sox, then you can begin plan your outings to Fenway Park now. The 2011 schedule was released Tuesday.
If you are one of those still clinging to Boston's chances in 2010, then hold your breath when Daisuke Matsuzaka steps to the mound in a matter of moments. He is needed in a big way, but the same could be said last week when he gave up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay.
Matsuzaka has a 7.04 ERA over his last five starts.
9:14 p.m.: The Red Sox used an all-rookie outfield Monday night for the first time since 1987 when Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks and Todd Benzinger were thrust out there together. It was also their 41st different outfield rotation of the season, tied with the 1996 team for the most in franchise history.
Tuesday's rotation of Bill Hall, Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald? Old hat.
Further evidence that the Yankees are in serious trouble? They just blew a 6-0 lead and now trail Tampa Bay 7-6.
8:00 p.m.: We have talked a bit about the remote, yet still possible, chance that the Sox catch the Yankees, given that New York is seriously struggling and it has to play Boston six times.
Well, the Yankees, losers of seven of eight, have broken out against Matt Garza in Tampa Bay and hold a 4-0 lead in the third. We'll keep our eye on that one through the night.
For now, here is the Seattle lineup against Daisuke Matsuzaka:
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chone Figgins, 2B
Russell Branyan, DH
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Jose Lopez, 3B
Michael Saunders, LF
Adam Moore, C
Josh Wilson, SS
6:20 p.m.: The captain is back for the Red Sox as they take on the Mariners on Tuesday. Jason Varitek will get his first start since he returned from his broken right foot. Here is the Boston lineup:
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Darnell McDonald, RF
Victor Martinez, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Jason Varitek, C
Bill Hall, LF
Ryan Kalish, CF8 a.m.: The Red Sox will look to win three straight games for the first time in almost a month when they face the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Behind eight dominant innings for Jon Lester the Sox took the opener 5-1. They are seven games behind the New York Yankees in the race for the wild card with 18 games to play.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has struggled over the past month or so, will go for Boston. He is 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA in his career at Seattle.
Lefty Luke French gets the nod for the last-place Mariners. He has never faced the Red Sox.
First pitch is 10:10 p.m. and you cannot use football as an excuse not to watch.