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All the talk at Fenway Park on Monday night was about the possible return of Johnny Damon and all the rain that continued to fall in the Boston area. Despite the distractions, the Red Sox and Mariners did indeed start their three-game series at Fenway on Monday, with the inconsistent John Lackey squaring off against Seattle’s Doug Fister.
For the second straight outing against the Mariners, Lackey was dominant. On July 22, Lackey tossed eight innings (while flirting with a no-hitter) and allowed one unearned run (but did not earn the win after the Red Sox bullpen blew his lead). Meanwhile, on Monday night, Lackey tossed eight more solid innings while allowing just three runs (two earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out 10 to earn his 12th win of the year.
The Red Sox bats picked up the slack for Lackey after he gave the M’s the lead in the third and squandered a Sox lead in the sixth. Chone Figgins scored on an errant throw by Jed Lowrie in the third inning to account for the game’s first run.
In the fifth, Marco Scutaro singled home Adrian Beltre and Lowrie to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. J.D. Drew made it three to run on an RBI single that scored Daniel Nava.
Former Sox 1B Casey Kotchman had 2 RBI on a single in the sixth inning to make a 3-3 game, but the Red Sox answered in the home half of the seventh. Scutaro knocked in two more runs to help his team reclaim the lead, and Victor Martinez hit a sac fly to left for an insurance run that made the score 6-3.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 31st save.
Scutaro has been solid all season for the Red Sox, but no one expected the shortstop finish with four RBIs (tying a career-high) on two singles. That’s what they call clutch-hitting, my friends.
It appears that the major league game is starting to catch up to Kalish. After an 0-3 effort with 2 K’s, Kalish is now hitting .239.
W: John Lackey (12-7)
L: Doug Fister (4-9)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (31)