SEATTLE (AP) -- Even in jest, David Ortiz was right on. Again.
And this time, his fellow Red Sox sluggers were, too.
"I'm the greatest, that's all I have to say," Ortiz joked
Muhammad Ali style while wearing nothing but a bath towel and a
huge grin inside the Boston clubhouse Friday night.
Ortiz again proved to be the greatest home run hitter of the
season -- so far. His major league-leading 33rd home run, Manny Ramirez's 26th and three more Boston homers off Jamie Moyer sent
the Red Sox roaring past the Seattle Mariners 9-4 on an unusually
hot night in the Northwest.
An evening game-time temperature of 89 degrees inside usually
pitcher-friendly Safeco Field helped Boston to its season-high home
run derby and fifth straight win. It pushed the Red Sox 3½ games
ahead of the New York Yankees in the AL East. Boston, off to its
best start since 1979, has gained three games on its archrival in
So what does that mean to manager Terry Francona?
"That we're 3½ games up, evidently," he said. "The thing we
do very well is stay in the present and focus on the next game."
The five home runs were as many as the Red Sox had on their just
completed, eight-game homestand. They entered the game tied with
Tampa Bay for fifth in the AL with 119 home runs. Chicago was first
"This team will have its spurts ... but we're one of the best
offensive teams around," Kevin Youkilis said.
The homers were also a career high allowed by Moyer, who is in
his 20th major league season. Seven of the eight runs he allowed in
4 1/3 innings were earned as Seattle lost for the fifth time in
seven games since the All-Star break.
Moyer (5-9) has allowed 10 home runs in his last three starts.
That's more than he had allowed in 11 games combined before this
The five homers tied Mark Langston's Seattle record from April
19, 1988, against the Chicago White Sox.
"They hit everything I threw up there," a dour Moyer said.
Kyle Snyder (2-1) allowed five hits and two unearned runs in
five innings in his third start since Boston promoted him from
Triple-A last month.
Snyder, who walked two and struck out two, had his right calf
cramp while warming up to begin the sixth. Francona and a trainer
visited Snyder and then decided to summon reliever Craig Hansen.
Both Snyder and Francona said the injury was minor and will not
keep him from his next start. One of the trio of Triple-A call-ups
in Boston's rotation in the last month blamed his ache on
But he was drenched in offensive support -- and confidence.
"Yeah, you get staked to six-, eight-run leads, it's a lot
easier to stay confident," said Snyder, whom Kansas City waived
Ortiz, who didn't start Thursday for the first time this season,
golfed Moyer's 1-0 pitch in the first inning into the right-field
bleachers of sold-out Safeco Field.
Jason Varitek made it 4-0 in the fourth when he lifted Moyer's
low, 2-2 pitch into Seattle's bullpen.
After Moyer walked Gonzalez on four pitches to start the fifth,
Youkilis whacked Moyer's thigh-high, 82 mph pitch for another homer
and a 6-0 lead.
Ramirez made it 8-0 with a drive off the back wall of the
Seattle bullpen following a walk to Ortiz. He followed his 10th
home run in 50 career at-bats against Moyer by pantomiming double-
and triple-clutching his front leg before a swing in the dugout, as
if to recreate how anxious he was waiting to tee off on Moyer's 80
Yuniesky Betancourt had a career high-tying four hits for
Seattle. Rookie Adam Jones' double in the seventh off Hansen scored
Betancourt for Jones' first career RBI. Jones scored on Ichiro Suzuki's single to make it 8-4.
Boston OF Coco Crisp broke an 0-for-15 skid with an RBI
single in the ninth. ... Gonzalez is 4-for-4 with three RBI in his
career against Moyer. ... Suzuki stole second base down 8-2 in the
fifth to extend his major league-best streak of successful swipes
to 26. ... The Red Sox announced they will promote LHP Kason
Gabbard from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Saturday in his major
league debut. He will replace RHP Tim Wakefield (strained upper
back). ... Mariners All-Star 2B Jose Lopez missed the game and will
miss Saturday's. He is in his native Venezuela tending to a family
matter that is "not bad," according to manager Mike Hargrove.