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Monday, May 14, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 6, Mariners 1

By Joe McDonald



BOSTON -- Backed by another solid starting pitching performance, the Boston Red Sox have now won four in a row.

Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester tossed a complete game en route to a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night at Fenway Park. With the victory, Boston has its first four-game winning streak at home this season.

Lester allowed eight hits, posted six strikeouts with zero walks, while improving his record to 2-3 this season. He threw a total of 119 pitches (73 strikes). This was his eighth career complete game.

Lester retired the first 11 batters he faced, including three strikeouts, but with two outs in the top of the fourth inning, the Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki hit a hard grounder up the middle.

Lester got a glove on the come-backer but the ball trickled away and out of reach of both the pitcher and third baseman Will Middlebrooks before a play could be made.

The lost bid on a perfect game, or even a no-hitter, did not faze Lester.

Boston’s southpaw retired the next four Seattle batters before allowing a leadoff single to the Mariners’ Michael Saunders in the top of the sixth. Lester allowed one other hit in that inning but was able to get out of it unscathed as Boston led 5-0.

Lester surrendered a total of three hits in the seventh, but a double play helped his case and he again finished with a zero on the board. He retired the side in order in the top of the eighth inning before allowing his only run of the game in the top of the ninth.

NON-EXTENSION: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia saw his 14-game hitting streak come to an end, as he went 0-for-3 with a walk. He went 21-for-63 (.333) with 8 doubles, 2 homers, 11 RBIs, 12 runs, 9 walks and 2 stolen bases during that stretch.

NAVA-BOOM: You never personally forget your first home run. Everyone should remember Daniel Nava’s first one in the majors. It came on June 12, 2010, when he drilled a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues against the Philadelphia Phillies. Nava, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, drilled his second homer of his big-league career in the bottom of the fourth inning Monday night off Mariners starter Jason Vargas. Nava crushed the first offering and deposited it into the first row of the Monster seats for a two-run shot to give Boston a 5-0 lead over Seattle.

SHOP’S HOUSE: Boston catcher Kelly Shoppach finally hit his first home run while in a Red Sox uniform, with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning. Originally selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2001 draft, Shoppach was traded to the Cleveland Indians as part of a six-player trade in 2006. Before re-signing with Boston as a free agent last offseason, Shoppach hit a total of 59 homers with the Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays.

UP NEXT: The Red Sox close out the homestand with a 4:05 p.m. game against the Mariners on Tuesday at Fenway. Boston right-hander Josh Beckett (2-4, 5.97 ERA) will face Mariners righty Blake Beavin (1-3, 4.32). The Red Sox then leave town for an eight-game road trip through Tampa, Philadelphia and Baltimore.