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News » Red Sox-Mariners Preview 2009-05-16

Red Sox-Mariners Preview 2009-05-16

Red Sox-Mariners Preview 2009-05-16
The Boston Red Sox have finally benched slugger David Ortiz. The Seattle Mariners might not need to make drastic changes to their lineup.

Ortiz may be relegated to backup duty for the second straight contest as the Red Sox look to bounce back from a loss to the light-hitting Mariners when the teams play the middle game of their series Saturday night.

Ortiz didn't play in Boston's 5-4 loss to Seattle (17-19) on Friday night, a day after going 0 for 7 and tying a team record by stranding 12 runners in an extra-inning loss to Los Angeles.

Ortiz is batting .208 with 15 RBIs and has yet to hit a home run. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said the designated hitter may sit for a couple of days.

"If staying away from his bat helps, good," Francona said.

A five-time All-Star, Ortiz has gone 144 at-bats since his last home run Sept. 22.

J.D. Drew hit in Ortiz's usual No. 3 spot in the order Friday as Boston (21-15) dropped its third straight. Rocco Baldelli took Ortiz's place as the DH.

There are plenty of Mariners that probably deserve a benching with the team batting .253 while scoring 144 runs, but the lineup turned in yet another productive effort as Seattle (17-19) won for just the second time in 11 games. The Mariners had 11 hits and scored at least five runs for the fourth time in six contests after being held to a total of four in their previous four games.

Ichiro Suzuki is one Seattle regular who has remained consistent. The All-Star right fielder delivered a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning Friday after hitting a solo shot in the fifth, giving him the fourth two-homer game of his career and first since July 30, 2005.

"Who knows? It kind of proves that in the universe, mysterious things happen," said Suzuki, who raised his average to .320.

Suzuki, though, is 1 for 14 (.071) against Josh Beckett (3-2, 6.42 ERA), who's posted a 1.31 ERA in winning his last three starts versus the Mariners.

Beckett, however, deserves his fair share of the blame for Boston's problems on the mound this season. The rotation's ERA is at 5.96 after Friday's contest.

Beckett has been particularly bad on the road, posting a 7.56 ERA in three starts. The right-hander started at home in his last outing, giving up three runs in six innings of Boston's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday night.

Seattle will counter with Garrett Olson (0-0, 2.57), who's getting a spot start in place of the injured Erik Bedard (hamstring). Olson was acquired by Seattle in January in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, and was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on May 6.

The left-hander started 26 games for Baltimore last season, going 9-10 with a 6.65 ERA. He's 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in six starts against the Red Sox.

Olson's first three appearances this season came in relief. He leaves a Mariners bullpen that's had David Aardsma, a recent Red Sox castoff, take over as closer.

Aardsma earned his fourth save Friday, lowering his ERA to 1.53. He posted a 5.55 ERA in 47 appearances for Boston in 2008.

Aardsma replaced Brandon Morrow, who blew saves in back-to-back losses this week to end a 1-7 road trip. Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said there's no timetable on Morrow returning to the closer role.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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