Red Sox-Mariners: Lineup and notes

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Red Sox-Mariners: Lineup and notes

BOSTON -- There's a left-hander on the mound for Seattle (Jason Vargas) and, as a result, Mike Aviles goes back into the leadoff spot for the Red Sox tonight against the Mariners:

Mike Aviles SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Cody Ross RF
Daniel Nava LF
Marlon Byrd CF
Kelly Shoppach C

Jon Lester P

The Mariners' lineup isn't posted yet.

Some quick notes from the Red Sox P.R. department . . .

TEN IN NINE: Yesterday was Bostons ninth game this season scoring 10 or more runs, the most in the Majors and the clubs most ever through the first 34 games of a season . . . The Red Sox are just the second team in the last 81 years to score 10 or more runs in 9 of the first 34 games of a season (Colorado in 1997 is the other) and the first A.L. team to do so since Baltimore (now the Yankees) and Chicago both accomplished the feat in 1901.

FIRST 10 GAMES: With a homer and two RBI yesterday, Will Middlebrooks became the third player to accumulate at least 4 home runs and 13 RBI over his first 10 games in the Major leagues, according to Elias . . . The others: Kansas City's Mark Quinn in September 1999 (5 HR, 15 RBI) and Seattle's Alvin Davis in April 1984 (4 HR, 13 RBI).

VS. THE MARINERS: Boston and Seattle meet nine times in 2012 . . . The current two-game set is the Mariners' only series in Boston this year, the fewest number of games the Sox have ever played against the Ms at Fenway Park in a season . . . The Red Sox are 215-158 (.576) all-time against the Mariners, the top winning percentage for any American League club against Seattle.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?