SEATTLE (AP) -- Trot Nixon showed he's just as comfortable hitting fifth as second in Boston's batting order.
Dropped in the order before Saturday's game, Nixon hit a two-out grand slam in the seventh inning as the Red Sox rallied for a 6-3 win
over the Seattle Mariners.After Seattle's J.J. Putz struck out Manny Ramirez on a 97-mph fastball, Nixon hit an 0-1 pitch for his eighth career grand slam, his first since Sept. 1, 2003."You're still going to have to go to the plate and swing no matter where you are in the lineup," Nixon said.Boston put together a five-run seventh inning to improve to 10-3 in May. Trailing 3-1, the Red Sox got an RBI double from Mark Bellhorn off Ron Villone (0-2). Edgar Renteria -- who replaced Nixon in the No. 2 spot -- singled one out later and David Ortiz was hit by a pitch.Villone was pulled, and after Ramirez struck out, Nixon sent a fastball from Putz an estimated 398 feet to right-center."I tried to go down and away ... and it stayed straight, right down the middle, belt high," Putz said. "I made a mistake and he hit it."Boston has five grand slams this season, tied with San Francisco for the most in the majors."Trot, it's hard to throw too hard for him," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You know that if he gets a fastball over the middle of the plate, he's going to put a good swing on it."Ramirez hit his 399th homer in the sixth to move into a tie for 39th on the career list with Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga. Only four players have hit their 400th homer in a Boston uniform -- Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Andre Dawson.Boston's bullpen worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Mike Myers (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced in relief of Wade Miller in the sixth to earn his first win. Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances."That's the way you draw it up," Francona said.Francona flipped Ortiz and Ramirez in the order, along with moving Renteria and Nixon. Francona said he'd been contemplating the move but waited until Renteria was healthy before making the change.Richie Sexson and Raul Ibanez hit consecutive home runs for Seattle for the second straight night.Sexson's homer, a 424-foot shot to center off Miller, broke a 1-all tie in the sixth. It was his 11th of the season -- fifth this month -- and the third straight game in which he's homered. Ibanez followed with his sixth homer."The ball is carrying well the last two days," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "But those two were hit pretty good."Miller made just his second start after missing the first month of the season with a right shoulder strain. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed five hits, three runs and struck out five.Seattle didn't get a hit off Miller until the fourth. Adrian Beltre led off with a single to center and scored on Bret Boone's
two-out double off the wall in right, just out of Nixon's reach."I was pleased with it until the sixth. Just two pitches caught too much of the plate," Miller said.Miller allowed two runs and three hits in five innings against Seattle last Sunday in his season debut."The more he pitches, the more he pitches healthy, the stronger he'll get and the more efficient he's going to get," Francona said.Seattle starter Ryan Franklin gave up just one run, four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. Seattle has scored more than two runs in just three of his seven starts.Seattle may have lost another catcher. Wiki Gonzalez left in the eighth after injuring his left hamstring running out a grounder in the seventh. Hargrove said team physicians think it's a significant strain.Catcher Dan Wilson was lost for the season after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon's 18-game hitting streak was snapped. He was 0-for-5 and was caught stealing in the fifth, the first Boston player caught stealing this year after eight
Seattle optioned right-hander Joel Pineiro to Triple-A Tacoma before the game to work on his mechanics. Pineiro (2-3) lasted just 3 2/3 innings in Friday's game and has given up six runs in each of his last two starts. ... The Red Sox presented Seattle shortstop Pokey Reese,
who played last season in Boston, with his World Series ring. "It was incredible, just an incredible feeling," Reese said. He's been on the 60-day DL all season after surgery on his right shoulder. ... Renteria singled in the third, extending his hit streak to 10 games. ... Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham threw out the first pitch.