SEATTLE (AP) — Mariners’ starter Blake Beavan wasn’t close to dominant — and still had a shutout through five innings.
Things changed quickly in the sixth inning, when it took all of six pitches for Boston to pull even against Beavan and one more poorly placed pitch for the Red Sox to take the lead.
Cody Ross hit a tying three-run homer, Ryan Lavarnway connected two batters later and the Boston Red Sox snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Beavan had skirted trouble through the first five innings, but couldn’t make it through the sixth thanks to Boston’s rally that finally snapped the longest Red Sox losing streak in more than a decade.
“Just poor execution, maybe not enough concentration,” Beavan said. “I gave up a couple of hits and tried to get a ground ball with Ross. You can’t do much with a first pitch breaking ball, (but) he hit it out of the park.”
Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury opened the sixth with singles off Beavan (9-9) before Ross hit his 20th homer of the season. After recovering to get two outs, Beavan left a pitch up in the zone to Lavarnway and he lined his first homer off the out of town scoreboard beyond the left field bullpens.
The quick turn of fortunes for Boston made a winner out of Jon Lester (9-11), who gave up consecutive homers to Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager in the third, but otherwise avoided damage.
The bad news for Seattle extended beyond just the loss. Gutierrez, who already had two lengthy stints on the disabled list this season, was pulled from the game in the fourth inning for precautionary reasons. The Mariners are concerned Gutierrez may have injured a groin muscle making a diving catch in the first inning and aggravated it on his home run in the third.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge said the team needs to see how Gutierrez feels on Wednesday before deciding how to progress.
“What we don’t want to have happen obviously is to have him pull it. Then his season is over,” Wedge said.
Gutierrez started the season on the DL with a pectoral injury and was only recently reactivated from the DL after getting hit in the head with a pickoff throw in June. He’s missed 49 games this season.
His home run in the third was his third of the year. Jesus Montero had three hits off Lester, including an RBI single in the first, but Seattle couldn’t push across any more runs after Seager’s solo shot. Eric Thames hit a two-out, two-strike triple in the ninth for Seattle off Andrew Bailey to keep the Mariners’ hopes alive. But Bailey got Seager to fly out to right to end it for his second save in three chances.
“It feels good to shake hands. It’s been awhile. It seems like a really long time,” Ross said.
Boston’s seven-game skid started with the opening of a West Coast swing through Los Angeles, Oakland andSeattle. According to the Red Sox, from information provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time Boston had dropped the first seven games of a road trip since 1960. The losing streak was the longest since a nine-game skid during the 2001 season.
The Red Sox appeared ready for the losing to end, with most leaping to the dugout railing to see Ross’ homer sail over the head of left fielder Trayvon Robinson. Boston didn’t capitalize in the first, second and fifth innings with runners in scoring position.
Pedroia’s single to start the sixth inning extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games. Following Ross’ homer, Beavan recovered to get James Loney and Jared Saltalamacchia on fly outs before Lavarnway came through with his first home run for the Red Sox since a two-homer game Sept. 27, 2011, against Baltimore.
“It looked like his ball flattened out and he was missing the middle of the plate,” Wedge said. “It happened in a hurry. I was trying to get him out of there.”
NOTES: Seattle ace Felix Hernandez was named the AL pitcher of the month for August. Hernandez was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five starts, including the 23rd perfect game in baseball history. … Boston recalled RHP Clay Mortensen from Double-A Portland before Tuesday’s game. It was the sixth time this season he’s been called up from the minors. … Seattle hit back-to-back homers for the third time this season and first since July 2 versus Baltimore.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.