Now 4-3 on this trip with two games to play, the Mariners are in position to win a series from Boston - on the road - by winning today or Sunday.
Win and they're guaranteed a 5-4 trip through Los Angeles, New York and Boston. It's like gambling with the house's money.
They begin the day 2 1/2 games behind the Angels in the American League West, three games over .500 and feeling good about themselves.
It's Garrett Olson vs. Brad Penny and though no one would say the Mariners are favorites today, the way they've played all season proves they expect to win.
This is a 41-38 team. A year ago after 79 games, the Mariners were 29-50.
Red Sox strike first
Olson walked Rocco Baldelli, fell behind Jason Varitek, 3-1, then threw a fastball the Boston catcher was sitting on.
Varitek got it and hit it out, his 12th of the season. A not-so-subtle reminder to young pitchers: that's why you can't fall behind good hitters.
Olson wobbled after Varitek's homd run, giving up a single and another walk - watched as Jacoby Ellsbury and Julio Lugo pulled a double steal - then got out of it by striking out J.D. Drew.
Long inning, too many pitches thrown, poor results.
Afer two: Red Sox 2, Mariners 0
Another one-run game!
It's a Mariners speciality. With two outs, Ichiro singled up the middle and Russell Branyan doubled to left field.
Ichiro scored on the play, but Branyan was out trying for third base. One run in, Branyan's 44th RBI.
In the third: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
Mariners small ball
Chris Woodward singled, and Ronny Cedeno's bunt to move him up was so good he was safe at first base.
Ichiro lined out to right field, getting Woodward from second base to third for Branyan. Branyan worked the count full at 3-2, fouled off four straight pitches and then flied to left field, bringing in the tying run with his 45th RBI.
In the fifth: Mariners 2, Red Sox 2
Red Sox small ball
On an 0-2 pitch, Olson hit Rocco Baldelli, and Jason Varitek followed with a hit-and-run single that sent Baldelli to third.
Ellsbury hit back to the mound, and Olson alertly caught lead runner Baldelli in a run down for the first out.
With Red Sox at first and second base, Olson coaxed a ground ball double play out of Jeff Bailey, and the inning was over.
After six: Mariners 2, Red Sox 2
Farewell Mr. Olson, hello Mr. Corcoran
Olson went 6 1/3 innings - his longest start of the season - and left after walking Drew with one out in the seventh.
With the bullpen short because of useage, Corcoran got the call. Pitching to avoid what seems inevitible, losing his job, Corcoran got a ground ball out that sent Drew to second base.
Corcoran got a grounder to shortstop to end the inning. Nice outing - and the Mariners have gotten this one to the eighth inning, tied.
After seven: Mariners 2, Red Sox 2
And in the ninth
Mariners got their leadoff baserunner when Junior walked, and Wladimir Balentien pinch ran.
Gutierrez flied out, Langerhans walked for the second time, pushing Balentien to second base. Kenji Johjima drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
Chris Woodward hit a little pop fly over first base, just beyond a diving Pedroia, for an RBI single to put Seattle ahead. It was the kind of hit that pitchers talk angrily about 10 years later.
David Aardsma will get the chance to close.
In the ninth: Mariners 3, Red Sox 2
That's a final
Back strain, smack strain - with the chance to win their fifth game on this nine-game trip, Wakamatsu brought in his closer.
Aardsmsa responded by getting a ground ball out, a fly ball out, a strike out and, oh yes, his 17th save.
The Mariners are four games over .500 (42-38) for the first time since May 4.
It's final: Mariners 3, Red Sox 2