This zany, 4-hour ride was perhaps Boston’s worst win this season—and Seattle’s best loss.
Lackey came within four outs of a no-hitter, only to watch the Red Sox blow a comfortable lead and cost him a win before they beat the Mariners 8-6 in 13 innings Thursday night.
Seldom-used Eric Patterson(notes) doubled home two runs with two outs in the 13th and the Red Sox overcame two errors in Seattle’s five-run ninth against Manny Delcarmen(notes) and closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes).
“I mean, you hear the music playing. But … ,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said as tunes blared from the main room of the visiting clubhouse across the hall. “That’s a tough way to win.”
Lackey, who allowed an unearned run, struck out six and walked one despite having what he called a bad fastball, threw his head back and dropped his mouth open after Bard’s liner fell a few steps to the right and in front of a sprinting J.D. Drew(notes).
About half the Mariners crowd of 28,074—roughly the proportion of Red Sox fans in the park—immediately gave Lackey a standing ovation.
“I jammed him, man. I threw it where I wanted to,” Lackey said, still disappointed 2 hours after he lost a no-hitter in the eighth inning or later for the second time in two calendar years. “I mean, you’d like for somebody to at least get the barrel of the bat on it to end it.”
The last-place Mariners then rose up for five runs on three hits and two Boston errors in the ninth.
“What got me mad most was Lackey almost got a no-hitter and at least deserved the win,” Delcarmen said.
Bill Hall(notes), Drew and Marco Scutaro(notes) all homered as Boston scored more than four runs for the first time in eight games since the All-Star break. The Red Sox improved to 3-5 since the break—albeit the hard way. They stayed seven games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
“Definitely one of the weirdest no-decisions I’ve ever had, how about that?” Lackey said, grinning.
Hideki Okajima(notes) (3-2) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the 12th by getting Jose Lopez(notes) and Milton Bradley(notes) to pop out. Ramon Ramirez(notes) worked the 13th for his second save in Boston’s longest game by innings this season.
Kevin Youkilis(notes) began the 13th with a single against Garrett Olson(notes) (0-3) that went off the glove of shortstop Jack Wilson(notes). Then came two outs and a walk to Mike Cameron(notes). Patterson, who entered in the 11th for Hall, drove a 1-2 pitch into the left-center gap.
Seattle lost for the 15th time in 19 games—and was four outs from the first no-hitter in the 10 1/2 -year history of Safeco Field.
“It was a tremendous comeback and a heartbreak all in the same game,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Bard’s hit came on Lackey’s 111th pitch against the team with the fewest hits, fewest runs and lowest batting average in the major leagues. Wilson followed with a squibber that eluded Hall at second base for a weird infield single. Lackey just bent over at the waist and exhaled before getting out of the inning.
Lackey’s two hits allowed tied his season low from May 5 against the Angels, for whom he tormented the Mariners inside the AL West until he signed an $82.5 million, five-year contract with Boston as a free agent last winter.
Delcarmen allowed a two-run homer to Franklin Gutierrez(notes), then walked Lopez in the ninth. After Bradley reached on Scutaro’s error at shortstop, Papelbon entered with no outs and the limited time of just 12 pitches by Delcarmen to warm up. Justin Smoak(notes) struck out on a wicked splitter before Casey Kotchman(notes)— who had been 0 for 4 against Papelbon—doubled home Lopez to make it 6-4.
Papelbon walked Bard on a full count to load the bases. No. 9 hitter Wilson fouled off three two-strike pitches before hitting a soft grounder to Scutaro. Hall tried to turn a double play at second but his relay throw skipped far wide of Youkilis at first base for an error. That allowed Bradley and pinch-runner Ryan Langerhans(notes) to score, tying it at 6.
It was Papelbon’s fourth blown save in 26 chances and third in his last eight opportunities.
NOTES: On July 29, 2008, Lackey took a no-hitter into the ninth—against the Red Sox for the Angels. Dustin Pedroia(notes) singled with one out to end it. … Boston DH David Ortiz(notes) drove in his 60th run of the season with a single in the third. He would have had a much bigger night if good friend and Gold Glove RF Suzuki hadn’t leaped above the wall, crashed into it and snared what would have been Ortiz’s 19th home run for the final out of the first inning.