Middlebrooks sits as Sox face Tigers in series finale

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Middlebrooks sits as Sox face Tigers in series finale

BOSTON -- Tonight it's Will Middlebrooks' turn to sit as the Red Sox look to complete a four-game sweep of the Tigers:

Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Sweeney RF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
David Ortiz DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Mike Aviles SS
Scott Podsednik CF
Nick Punto 2B

Josh Beckett P

Some notes from the Red Sox:

HIGH WATER MARK: With a 6-4 win over the Tigers Wednesday night, their third straight victory, the Red Sox improved to 26-24 and are a season-high two games over .500 . . . The Sox surpassed the .500 mark for the first time this year after Tuesday nights win . . . It had been the longest the club had gone at the beginning of a season without going over .500 since the 1996 squad crossed that mark for the first time on Aug. 25 (66-65).

IN THE STANDINGS: The Sox are in fifth place in the A.L. East, 2 12 games behind the division-leading Orioles and Rays, their smallest deficit since also being 2 12 back after play on April 28 . . . This is the latest into a calendar year that Boston has stood in last place since September of 1997 . . . With a win tonight, the Sox will move into a tie for fourth place with Toronto, which is off tonight and is 27-24, and will be within two games of first place in the division for the first time since the end of play on April 16.

PAPI THROUGH 50: With a 2-for-4 effort last night, including a two-run homer, David Ortiz brought his season hit total to a team-best 61, tied for sixth-most in the A.L. . . . According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 61 hits ties the most he has ever had in his first 50 games of a season. He also had 61 hits in his first 50 games in 2007, en route to a career-high 182 hits . . . Ortiz is tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and the Reds' Joey Votto for the Major League lead with 30 extra-base hits.

10-SPOT FOR GONZO: Adrian Gonzalez has hit safely in a season-high 10 straight games dating back to May 20, the second-longest active stretch in the Majors (Miami's Jose Reyes has hit in 11 straight) . . . Gonzalez is batting .300 (12-for-40) with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 6 RBI and 6 runs over the 10-game span.

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

Eduardo Rodriguez strong, Red Sox down Mariners for 5th straight win

BOSTON (AP)  Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a sloppy performance by the Seattle Mariners to earn their season-high fifth straight win, 3-0 on Friday night.

It was the third consecutive win for Rodriguez (4-1), who went six innings, gave up just five hits and struck out four while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. Craig Kimbrel earned his 13th save.

Rodriguez has pitched at least six innings in his last seven starts, going 4-0 in that span.

The only run support Rodriguez needed came in the second inning, when Hanley Ramirez scored on Josh Rutledge's RBI groundout. Boston added two more runs in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball.

Yovani Gallardo (2-5) took the loss. He lasted 5 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and was responsible for all three of Boston's runs. Seattle has won just one of its last seven.

Meanwhile, Boston gave Rodriguez got lots of help from his defense. Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of nice plays, getting an outfield assist in the second and running down another ball on the warning track in the sixth.

In addition to the pitching miscues, the Mariners had all kinds of issues in the wet conditions, committing two fielding errors.

The Red Sox left 11 runners on base, leaving the door open for the Mariners to get back in the game. But Seattle couldn't capitalize, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners also left seven runners stranded.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left forearm) was slated to make a rehab start Friday night in Double-A Arkansas. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 5. He could be activated for a start at the end of the month against Colorado.

Red Sox: Infielder Marco Hernandez will be out the remainder of the season after undergoing stabilization surgery on his left shoulder on Friday. Hernandez was placed on the disabled list May 4 with a left shoulder misalignment. The 24-year-old hit .276 with two RBI in 21 games. ... A night after he left the game with left knee pain, 2B Dustin Pedroia was held out Friday for what manager John Farrell said was "precautionary reasons" because of the wet playing surface.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen (0-2, 4.09 ERA in Triple-A Tacoma) will be making his major league start since last season with Atlanta. He will be 12th different starting pitcher the Mariners have used this season.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) will be making his second major league start this year and third of his career.

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More AP baseball:https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

MARINERS
Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP