While Lester looks to snap Red Sox's road woes
The Red Sox are getting perilously close to an 0-9 road trip.
Continuously setting their own standard for rock bottom, the Sox have lost seven in a row between Anaheim, Oakland and now Seattle, as the Mariners took the opener, 4-1, of a three-game series Monday at Safeco Field.
Boston's principal owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington were in town for the opener, and the former had breakfast with manager Bobby Valentine.
"It's hard to watch," Cherington said before consecutive loss No. 7. "It's a reflection on all of us. We knew when we made the trade [with the Dodgers] that we weren't helping our team win games the rest of this year. That said, it's still been hard to watch.
"There's things we need to accomplish the rest of the year, and we can accomplish those things -- learn more about players, get players healthy, put guys in the best position to be well-informed going into the offseason. It is harder to do that when you're staring at a loss at the end of the day. It's hard for everyone to get the work done, what needs to get done, but the only choice we have is to do it -- to show up the next day and make sure the work gets gone. I think that'll happen."
In the middle of all the turmoil for the Sox has been a constant: Dustin Pedroia. He enters Tuesday's contest riding a 14-game hit streak, the longest in the Majors. Since Aug. 5, he's hit safely in all but one of 28 games, and during the current hit streak, he's hitting .386 (22-for-57).
The second baseman on Monday also reached and surpassed a major milestone: 1,000 career hits.
On the mound Tuesday, Seattle has 23-year-old Blake Beavan (9-8, 4.95 ERA) going against Boston veteran Jon Lester (8-11, 5.01 ERA), and Beavan's been on track since rejoining the team in July. In nine starts, he's gone 6-2 with a 3.90 ERA.
The 23-year-old has walked just 19 batters in 120 innings and is tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the most starts without a walk (nine) despite spending a month in Triple-A.
"I just started focusing on throwing my offspeed for strikes," Beavan said. "I didn't use my fastball as much, but that's why I've got a curveball now. That's a big pitch for me when I get it over for strikes, and that was probably the most I've used my changeup since I've been in the big leagues. It got me a bunch of quick outs, which kind of got my momentum going, and then I took it from there."
But the Red Sox have been a particular problem for Beavan. He's 0-3 with a 6.45 ERA against them lifetime, and Boston beat him in May at Fenway Park, 5-0.
Lester, born in Tacoma, Wash., has pitched well enough at his hometown ballpark, going 2-2 with a 4.42 ERA in six outings.
Lester threw an eight-inning complete game against the Angels on Thursday, a 5-2 loss. They lefty gave up the five runs, but he allowed just one hit from the fifth inning on.
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