"I know that every time I go out there, I'm going to give our
team a chance to win," the left-hander said. "That's the biggest
thing. To go out there with confidence, and not looking at the
names on people's backs and what they did up to now."
Madritsch pitched eight shutout innings and the Mariners ended a
seven-game losing streak Thursday night with a 7-1 victory over
Boston, dropping the Red Sox 3½ games behind the first-place New
York Yankees in the AL East.
The Yankees swept a doubleheader from Tampa Bay earlier in the
Madritsch has a 3.15 ERA in 11 games for the Mariners this
season, the best among Seattle starters.
Manager Bob Melvin likes his 28-year-old pitcher's
"I think he relishes pitching against those teams," Melvin
said. "I think he looks forward to that. He's a battler out there.
He wants to see how his stuff compares and this is the No. 1
scoring team in the American League; RBI, runs, on base. This is
the best offensive team in the American League."
The Red Sox, who had won four in a row, 14 of 15 and 20 of 22,
committed two errors that accounted for five unearned runs. A
dropped fly ball by left fielder Manny Ramirez led to four unearned
runs in the fifth.
"I just missed it, but at least I went hard out there,"
Ramirez said. "You know something, mamma said there would be days
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki singled off Tim Wakefield's glove in the
first inning to break his own AL record for singles in a season.
Suzuki, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, had 192
singles as a rookie in 2001. He also singled in the eighth and has
194 singles this season.
Suzuki went 2-for-4 to give him 229 hits. He is trying to break
the major league record of 257 by George Sisler of the St. Louis
Browns in 1920. Suzuki has 23 games left. He leads the majors with
a .378 batting average.
Neither of Suzuki's singles left the infield. That didn't bother Suzuki, the Mariners' All-Star right fielder who started at designated hitter for the first time this season.
Suzuki admitted he takes his share of kidding from opponents
about his infield hits.
"There's a lot of guys that joke with me about that, but
there's nothing in the rule book that says you can't and it's not
like I'm going to run any slower to first," he said through a
Mariners rookie Jose Lopez hit a two-run homer off Wakefield and
had a pair of doubles against the knuckleballer.
But it was Madritsch (4-2) who stymied a Red Sox offense that
averaged 6.7 runs in their previous 30 games. He gave up five hits,
walked three and struck out five, becoming the first Mariners
starter to win since Aug. 22.
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first after Suzuki's
record-tying single off Wakefield's glove. Suzuki stole second --
his 34th of the season, second in the AL -- and went to third on a
passed ball before scoring on a throwing error by Wakefield on a
pickoff attempt of Randy Winn at first. The run was unearned.
The Mariners expanded their lead to 7-0 with four unearned runs
in the fifth after Ramirez let Dan Wilson's fly ball go off his
glove for a two-run error.
"Those things happen sometimes," Boston manager Terry Francona
said. "Manny just didn't catch it. I feel tonight was more the
aberration, though. Teams are going to make errors, but we are
Lopez, a 20-year-old shortstop called up from Triple-A Tacoma on
July 31, followed with his fourth major league home run in his 36th
game with the Mariners.
Lopez faced a knuckleballer for the first time in his career. He
had a good strategy at the plate, though.
"I wait for a knuckleball for three or four times in a row,"
said Lopez, who hit his homer on a knuckleball and his doubles off
a curveball and a fastball.
Wakefield (11-9) went 4 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs -- two
earned -- on seven hits, three walks and two hit batters.
"I wasn't getting the outs I needed to get," he said. "I
can't explain it. I don't know why."
Boston's Johnny Damon had his 11-game hitting streak snapped.
His streak of scoring a run in 11 consecutive games also ended.
Wakefield tied Roger Clemens for the second-most
appearances by a Red Sox pitcher at 383. Bob Stanley holds the mark
at 637. ... The Mariners and Red Sox are tied at 3 in their season
series. ... The Mariners scored first for the first time in 21
games. It was the first time they led from the start to the finish
since Aug. 17. ... Madritsch went eight innings for the third time
in seven starts since being called up from Tacoma on July 21.