Mariners 9, Red Sox 4

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SEATTLE (AP)—Finally, Jeff Weaver has something to shout about.

Seattle’s early season flop continued his flip back toward respectability by holding the potent Boston Red Sox to one earned run in 5 2-3 innings of the Mariners’ 9-4 victory on Monday night.

Weaver showed anger and resolve—if not consistent command—while featuring offspeed pitches against the fastball-feasting Sox, who own the best record in the major leagues.

Boston lost a 2-1 lead and a chance to move to a season-best 23 games over .500.

Weaver yelled at himself, the plate umpire and his fielders while winning for the second time in less than a week following an 0-6 start. Last October’s World Series star with St. Louis has lowered his ERA from 14.32 to 7.71 in four starts since returning from the disabled list.

“That’s my competitive nature. It sometimes gets the best of me,” said Weaver, whom the Mariners have lauded for maintaining an even temperament throughout his dismal start.

“When you are feeling good like you can beat a team and you’re not pitching the way you can, it’s frustrating.

“But it’s all for the good.”

It is now, after Jose Lopez capped a five-run fifth inning with a two-run single and Kenji Johjima and Adrian Beltre hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh. Seattle won for the fifth time in seven games on its season-high 12-game homestand even though Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 with a walk, ending his 19-game hitting streak.

So is Weaver back to where he wanted to be after he signed an $8,325,000, one-year contract with the Mariners last winter?

“Well, I’ll let you know at the end of the season,” he said, smiling. “Right now, I’m feeling good.”

Julian Tavarez (5-5) lost for the first time in eight starts.

Tavarez held Seattle to two hits—Richie Sexson’s double and Ben Broussard’s RBI single—through four innings. But as he finished striking out Jose Vidro in the fourth—his only strikeout of the game—Tavarez stumbled off the mound awkwardly.

Eight of his next nine pitches were balls. And in the next 1 1-3 innings, Tavarez allowed five runs and four hits with three walks.

“It hurt a little bit, you know, my hamstring,” Tavarez said. “But … it didn’t affect me at all. Things just went wrong.”

Beltre doubled leading off the fifth. After Tavarez threw Yuniesky Betancourt’s sacrifice bunt past first baseman Kevin Youkilis for an error, Willie Bloomquist singled home Beltre.

Tavarez walked Suzuki to load the bases, and Lopez then hit a 1-2 pitch past a diving Mike Lowell at third. That scored Betancourt and Bloomquist to make it 4-2. Lopez, an All-Star last year, is 5-for-8 with the bases loaded this season.

Tavarez left after Richie Sexson’s infield single reloaded the bases. Kyle Snyder then walked Johjima with a full count and Beltre on five pitches to make it 6-2.

Tavarez allowed six runs—three earned—and six hits in his 4 1-3 innings. He walked three.

“He’s fine,” Francona said, adding that he didn’t see Tavarez’s stumble off the mound.

Johjima’s two-run home run, one pitch after Mike Timlin used his glove to narrowly avoid getting hit in the head with Sexson’s broken bat, made it 8-2 in the seventh. Beltre hit the next pitch into the left-field bleachers for a 9-2 lead.

“I don’t think the (broken) bat had anything to do with it. It was the location of the pitches,” Timlin said.

Weaver made his own mess in the second with a throwing error on a bunt by Julio Lugo that put runners at second and third with no outs. J.D. Drew then hit a grounder under the glove of second baseman Lopez for a two-run single.

When slugger David Ortiz singled under Betancourt’s glove one out later, Weaver raised both arms and yelled “C’mon!” Then Weaver stomped around the mound when no one covered second base as Ortiz rumbled to his first stolen base of the season. But Weaver struck out Ramirez on a 78 mph floater, and after walking Youkilis to load the bases, he retired Lowell on a groundout to escape the jam, down only 2-1.

Notes

Still no word from the Red Sox medical staff on when RHP Curt Schilling can begin throwing. Schilling went on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sore shoulder and showed frustration Monday. Kason Gabbard will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start for him on Tuesday. … Youkilis hit a two-run double in the ninth. … Seattle hit back-to-back homers for the first time this season. … Lugo is hitless in his last 29 at-bats and was pinch-hit for with the bases loaded in the eighth. After fouling out in the fourth, Lugo slammed his bat into the dugout floor.

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