Fresh off being named the American League's best pitcher for the month of June, Felix Hernandez takes on the high-flying Red Sox in his first July start.
Hernandez is 3-1 with a 3.05 earned run average against Boston in his career,but the issue tonight - as always - may be offense.
The Mariners don't hit knuckle baller Tim Wakefield.
Ichiro (.240), Ken Griffey Jr. (259), Russell Branyan (.182) have all struggled with him, Ryan Langerhans, Rob Johnson and Ronny Cedeno have never faced him.
So who to look for? Jose Lopez has a .333 career average with three doubles and a home run against Wakefield.
It's Seattle (40-38) vs. Boston (48-30) at Fenway Park on the Fourth of July weekend. This is baseball.
Felix is mortal.
Dustin Pedroia singled, David Ortiz walked and Jason Bay - in an 0-for-17 streak - doubled home a run.
Felix then wild-pitched home a second run before sriking out Mark Kotsay. He's down two runs.
After one: Red Sox 2, Mariners 0
Rob Johnson opened the third inning with a double, and back-to-back singles from Ichiro and Russell Branyan got him home.
With Ichiro perched on second base, Lopez and Griffey each popped out.
In the third: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1
And answer again
Langerhans doubled with one out - and yes, that will probably keep him in the lineup another day - and with two outs, Rob Johnson doubled him home.
No. 9 hitter Cedeno then homered to straightaway center field. Yes, Cedeno.
In the fourth: Mariners 4, Red Sox 2
He's still Felix
This isn't his finest game, but Hernandez can still raise his energy when needed. With two outs and two men on - both in scoring position - Felix threw a 96 mph fastball that absolutely froze Nick Green for a third strike.
Every pitcher gets in trouble. Not many of them can get out of it like that.
After six: Mariners 4, Red Sox 2
Sox get closer
J.D. Drew launched a Felix fastball over the wall in center, his 11th home run of the season, and cut Seattle's lead to one.
One run leads are delicate, anywhere, but in Fenway Park?
After seven: Mariners 4, Red Sox 3
A timely swing
Mr. Lopez provided the Mariners with a two-run lead, courtesy of his 11th home run, which landed in the seats atop Fenway's Green Monster.
Now it's up to the bullpen - and Sean White is in the game.
In the eighth: Mariners 5, Red Sox 3
Not tonight, Felix
Hernandez threw a grueling 105 pitches, didn't seem to have much left and came out after seven innings with a two-run lead.
Sean White, looking like someone other than the Sean White we've seen all season, got one out, gave up a walk and a single and came out, replaced by rookie Shawn Kelley.
Kelley got the second out, then gave up Nick Green's two-run, game-tying double.
That means no win for Felix, and it may mean something is wrong with White.
After eight: Mariners 5, Red Sox 5
It takes a village
Chris Jakubauskas has thrown two scoreless innings to keep Seattle in this one, and he's throwing harder in relief than he did as a starting pitcher.
In the rotation early this season, Jakubauskas topped out at 92 mph. Out of the bullpen, he's hitting 94 mph regularly.
What the Mariners need now is a run.
In the 11th: Mariners 5, Red Sox 5
That's a record
Much malligned for his hitting, catcher Rob Johnson delivered a one-out, two-run double into right field - his third double of the night.
That ties the franchise record for doubles in a game, and puts Seattle ahead by two.
In something of a surprise, Mark Lowe is on to close. David Aardsma finished Thursday's game in New York but threw a lot of pitches in a long ninth inning.
It's up to Lowe.
In the 11th: Mariners 7, Red Sox 5
And in the end
Lowe was hitting 99 mph on the Fenway Park radar gun and got two quick outs, then gave up a solo home run to catcher George Kottaras.
That not only cut the lead to one, it got the game to outfielder J.D. Drew, who'd homered in the seventh inning.
What to do?
Lowe went to a 3-2 count, then gave up single to right field, bringing up Dustin Pedroia - the reigning American League MVP.
He grounded out.
Final score: Mariners 7, Red Sox 6