SEATTLE -- The music blared in the clubhouse for the first time in more than a week. The conversation among players was loud and joyous instead of muted and somber.
One win isn't going to change the Red Sox' season with just four weeks remaining, but after a brutal stretch that saw them outscored and outclassed every night for a week, the Red Sox' 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners sure beat the alternative.
"The guys looked happy after the game," said Bobby Valentine. "It's great to see them with smiles. It was a good win."
The Sox would have taken any victory that came their way after being swept in Anaheim and Oakland, then kicking off the final series of the West Coast road trip with a loss Monday.
Valentine said that the team was physically and mentally spent after Monday's loss, the constant drone of losing having worn them down for the last week.
There seemed more energy in the clubhouse before the game and there was little doubt that, post-game, some stress was being blown off.
"It wasn't easy," said Jon Lester, who picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. "It wasn't easy. But it's big, especially the way we did it, coming back."
The Sox trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth before Cody Ross hit high fly left that carried into the seats, scoring Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury ahead of him.
Three batters later, Ryan Lavarnway followed up with a solo homer that put the Sox ahead to stay.
"It feels good to shake hands," said Ross. "It's been a really long time. It's been, what, probably a week now? But we're not going to give up. We're going to keep fighting. We're going to keep going out and keep battling. That's all we can do at this point."
The playoffs, of course, are completely out of reach and even a winning record is highly unlikely. But there's pride on the line for the Sox.
"We want to play well and keep fighting and try to create some momentum for next year," said Ross. "There's a lot stake right now. Even though we're not in the hunt, there's jobs at stake. Guys have to stay hungry, go out and battle and try to win a spot for next year.
"Whether you're a young kid or a free agent, you have to keep fighting and being a professional. That's what we're planning to do."
"Maybe it'll get something started," concluded Valentine of the win, which snapped the team's longest losing streak in more than a decade.
Then, after a beat, he added perhaps the understatement of the season.
"We're due," he said.