Mariners throw Sox overboard in 11-4 win

Mariners throw Sox overboard in 11-4 win
July 9, 2013, 1:30 am
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SEATTLE -- A night after being shutout, the Red Sox reached Felix Hernandez for two runs in the fifth inning, snapping a scoreless streak of 16 innings, and serving as something of a moral victory.
That, however, wasn't nearly enough to make up for a poor night for Red Sox pitching.
Starter Jon Lester was belted for five runs on nine hits, chased in the fifth inning and the bullpen offered no relief as Alex Wilson and Jose de la Torre were charged with six more, sending the Red Sox to their third straight loss, 11-4 to the Seattle Mariners.
The loss was Boston's third in a row after having won nine of its previous 10. The three-game streak is the longest in almost two months, when the Sox dropped three straight from May 9-11.
Lester was coming off his best start in weeks, but there was no carryover Sunday night. He struggled against the lower third of the Seattle lineup, and walked No. 9 hitter Michael Saunders with the bases loaded.
After the Sox scraped together a couple of runs off Hernandez in the the top of the next inning to tie the game, Lester allowed a go-ahead homer to Raul Ibanez, handing the lead back. When he allowed hits to the first two hitters he faced in the sixth, his night was done. Lester has just two wins -- and only two quality starts -- in his last 10 outings.
The Sox managed two runs in the eighth on run-scoring doubles from Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia long after the game was decided.

STAR OF THE GAME: Felix Hernandez
Hernandez toyed with the Red Sox for seven innings, allowing two runs -- both in the fifth inning -- to improve to 9-4. After the Red Sox got his attention with those two runs, he went on to retire nine of the last 10 hitters he faced, including the final seven straight.

Most of the damage in the Seattle lineup came from the lower third of the order, led by the Mariners' first baseman who was on base four times with two doubles, a single and a walk. Smoak knocked in two runs, too.

It appeared as though Lester has turned a corner in his last outing, during which he yielded just a single run in seven innings. But Monday night represented a big step back as Lester barked about the strike zone, walked in a run by offering a pass to No. 9 hitter Michael Saunders and couldn't get an out in the sixth inning.
TURNING POINT: The Red Sox finally broke through against King Felix in the fifth when they used a hit batsman, two singles and a groundout to tie the score at 2-2. But in the bottom of the same inning, Lester gave the Mariners back the lead in three pitches when he allowed a homer to Raul Ibanez. The Mariners never looked back after that.

BY THE NUMBERS: Shortstop Jose Iglesias went hitless for the second straight night, the first time he's gone consecutive games without a hit in the big leagues this season.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I felt like I threw a lot of good pitches tonight -- maybe a handful of balls found the middle of the plate. I feel like I threw the ball better than what the line score says." - Jon Lester