Red Sox-Mariners Preview

JEFF BARTL (STATS Writer)
The Associated PressSeptember 5, 2012

The Boston Red Sox have experienced a nightmare of a West Coast road trip, though thankfully for them, it's almost over.

Boston looks to build on a rare victory and end its trip on a positive note against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

The end of the Red Sox's dismal road swing seemingly can't come soon enough. Boston was outscored 58-16 while dropping the first seven games before Tuesday's 4-3 victory.

It marked the first time Boston had lost the first seven games of a road trip since 1960, and the overall skid was its longest since a nine-game losing streak in 2001.

Even the win caused plenty of stress, though.

Cody Ross tied the game with a three-run homer and Ryan Lavarnway added a solo shot three batters later in the sixth inning. Andrew Bailey survived a two-out triple in the ninth before retiring Kyle Seager to earn the save.

''It feels good to shake hands. It's been a while. It seems like a really long time,'' Ross said.

Dustin Pedroia, who is hitting .393 during a season-high 15-game hitting streak, and James Loney each added two hits for the Red Sox (63-74).

''Our guys looked happy after the game,'' said manager Bobby Valentine, whose club has won four of 16. ''It's great to see them with smiles and coming from behind.

"It was a good win. Maybe it will get something started.''

Boston hasn't won two straight on the road since July 28-29 against the New York Yankees, and it will look to accomplish the feat again with help from Aaron Cook, who hasn't fared well since the last time he faced Seattle.

Cook (3-8, 5.35 ERA) gave up six runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings of Friday's 20-2 loss to Oakland, matching his shortest outing of the season.

The right-hander, though, had his best start against Seattle on June 29, pitching a two-hitter for his first shutout since 2009 and third of his career.

He is 1-7 with a 5.67 ERA in 10 starts since that outing. He'll look to get back on track against the Mariners (66-71), who are 2-3 on their nine-game homestand.

Seattle, which owns the majors' worst average at .232, had 12 hits Tuesday to mark the first time it reached double digits in its last 10 games. Jesus Montero went 3 for 4 and is hitting .444 over his last five.

The Mariners will look to get back on track with help from Kevin Millwood, who has continued to struggle.

Millwood (4-12, 4.38) gave up five runs and walked four in five innings of Friday's 9-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, dropping him to 0-4 with a 5.97 ERA over his last six starts.

"I wasn't locating the ball, and it showed," Millwood said. "That was the first time I felt it was as much of a struggle as it was."

The veteran right-hander hasn't faced Boston since 2010, and is 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in his last five starts versus the Red Sox.

These teams have split six meetings in Seattle this season.