Red Sox 6, Mariners 3

On a night made for singles, Marco Scutaro came up with a timely
pair.

Scutaro’s second two-run single gave Boston the lead for good
and John Lackey pitched eight strong innings to lead the Red Sox to
a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on a windy, drizzly Monday
night.

With leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury sidelined for most of the
season due to rib injuries, Scutaro has moved from ninth to the top
of the order.

”He was always a tough out and never gave away at-bats,” said
Lackey. ”For sure, he’s a guy that’s really stepped up for
us.”

Signed to a $12.5 million, 2-year deal as a free agent during
the offseason, Scutaro’s been a reliable player on a team plagued
by injuries.

”I’d say he’s gave us stability all year,” Boston manager
Terry Francona said. ”We were really excited when we got
him.”

Adrian Beltre and J.D. Drew both had two singles for the Red
Sox, who won their third straight after their most lopsided loss of
the season last Friday.

Chone Figgins had three singles for the Mariners, who lost their
third straight after dropping the final two of a weekend series at
Yankee Stadium.

The teams combined for 17 hits – all singles – as a stiff 19-mph
wind blowing from center field knocked down any hard-hit
flyballs.

Lackey (12-7) gave up three runs – two earned – and six hits,
striking out 10 and walking two in his best his start since he took
a no-hitter into the eighth inning at Seattle on July 22.

”The first six innings is probably the best I’ve felt this
season,” said Lackey, who had a few balls hold up in the wind
behind him.

Jonathan Papelbon got the final three outs for his 31st
save.

Doug Fister (4-9) gave up five runs – two earned – with one walk
and six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

Steady rain was in the area for most the day, but ended just
before the first pitch. The game started on time and was played in
spotty drizzle, with Fenway Park only about two-thirds full as many
of the 37,133 – the 614th straight sellout – decided to stay
away.

Scutaro’s second two-run single broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh.
Jed Lowrie and Daniel Nava opened the inning with singles and
advanced on Ryan Kalish’s sacrifice. Scutaro later scored on Victor
Martinez’s sacrifice fly.

”You just look for a pitch. It doesn’t always happen, but you
go up with an idea,” Scutaro said.

The Mariners moved ahead 1-0 in the third when second baseman
Lowrie misplayed Figgins’ infield single and was charged with an
error on the same play as the ball bounced behind him, allowing
Ryan Langerhans to race around from second.

Boston took advantage of Langerhans’ error and scored three
unearned runs off Fister in the fifth. Beltre singled leading off
and Lowrie reached second on an error when his fly ball down the
left field line ticked off Langerhans’ glove, bounced off the track
and his body before going into the stands. Kalish walked to load
the bases before Scutaro had a two-out, two-run single. Drew
followed with an RBI single, making it 3-1.

”That’s what teammates do is just pick one another up and
unfortunately I didn’t fulfill my job tonight,” Fister said. ”Got
in a couple of little sticky situations and I need to make better
pitches at the right times.”

Langerhans said it was a ball he should have caught despite
running in as it held up.

”I think it went off my glove and hit the wall, I guess, I
don’t know. I just felt it hit my glove and next thing I know it
like hit me in the hip or something and bounced in the stands,” he
said.

The Mariners loaded the bases on two singles and Lackey’s error
on Franklin Gutierrez’s slow roller before Casey Kotchman tied it
3-3 with a two-run single to right in the sixth.

NOTES: Red Sox C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, on the 15-day DL with an
infection in his right lower leg, was released from the hospital
Monday after spending five days there. He came to the park and
played catch. … Third base umpire Joe West had home plate umpire
Angel Hernandez roll him a ball at the end of the first inning and
he walked over and handed it to a young child in the first row in
left field. … Boston LHP Hideki Okajima, on the 15-day DL with a
right hamstring injury, gave up four runs on four hits in a 1/3 of
an inning on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket at Buffalo
on Monday. … The Mariners opened the final series of a four-city,
12-game trip on Monday, their longest since 2004.