Josh Beckett made his return to the Red Sox after a two-month absence and gave the team a 5 2/3 innings, 5 strikeout, 1 earned run performance, as the Sox won another battle with the Seattle Mariners, 2-1. (The Red Sox optioned Michael Bowden back to Pawtucket before the game to make room for Beckett.)
But the night belonged to the players on the Sox who once wore Mariner uniforms. Bill Hall had the game winner in the 7th, taking Jason Vargas deep to break the 1-1 tie. Adrian Beltre drove in the first run, and Mike Cameron had two hits. Former Seattle hurler Scott Atchison came in for Beckett in the sixth and got the final out, and pitched a scoreless seventh and got his second win of the year. He is proving to be a valuable man in the pen lately, the most trustworthy behind Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard.
David Ortiz got picked off third in the sixth, with the bases loaded and one out, and it basically short circuited the inning. As bad as that was, it was worse for the Mariners. Mike Cameron doubled in the fifth, and when Chone Figgins didn't properly backup the play and the throw went past him and Cameron wound up on third (where he was stranded). Manager Don Wakamatsu benched him after the inning, and after an argument between the two across the dugout, fists flew with many players getting involved trying to break it up, including Vargas.
It's been a disaster of a year in Seattle, and it was on display in the dugout last night. (You know there will some ex-Mariners coming out of this situation.)
I was watching the Mariners feed last night, and Dave Sims mentioned that he had Ortiz on his radio show that day and he said he would "play three more years and that's it."
Jon Lester goes for the Red Sox tonight. New York won last night and Tampa Bay lost, the Red Sox remain 7 out of first, and three behind the Rays for second.