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Jason Varitek provided the only runs at Fenway Park on Independence Day against the Mariners, hitting a two-run home run in the second off Garret Olson. Tek’s HR would be just one of the four hits Olson allowed. The Mariners lefty went 6 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking four.
With the game tied until the top of the ninth, Takashi Saito came on for relief, walked the bases loaded and let up a Texas leaguer that got behind Mark Kotsay and Dustin Pedroia, scoring the go-ahead run. That run would be the deciding factor as the Sox were not able to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, losing 3-2.
Brad Penny pitched well, letting up just two runs but it wasn’t good enough. Penny gave up two runs, six hits, struck out six and walked one in six innings. He’s winless in six of his last seven outings. This marks the second straight close game between the two teams, as the Sox were unable to win late in the game Friday as well.
“You look at the last two games, the two guys pitched pretty well, sometimes you lose. It happens,” Penny said.
The loss was just their third series loss in their last 12 series at Fenway Park.
The Sox did have their chances however. Olson escaped a first-and-third no out jam in the sixth when he caught Baldelli off at third on Ellsbury’s grounder back to the mound. Jeff Bailey then hit into a double play.
The Red Sox bullpen has not played up to its potential in the last few series. From the come behind win for the Orioles to blowing two games in a row versus the Mariners, the pen has not lived up to being one of the best in the league. With the all-star break approaching, perhaps the break can be a much-needed rest.
Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 35th base, becoming the first Red Sox player to reach that mark in consecutive years since Tris Speaker from 1912-14. He also became the first AL player to do it in consecutive years before the All-Star break since future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson did it in 1988-90.
Red Sox C Varitek wore a red-white-and-blue chest protector that he will auction for charity.