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Finally, two months into a dreadful season, the Mariners' ace showed up. Erik Bedard looked like the man for whom Seattle traded five players to Baltimore in February by allowing just two hits in seven innings, and Yuniesky Betancourt's home run was all the Mariners needed to beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Reliever Brandon Morrow stranded Julio Lugo at second by striking out Dustin Pedroia on a 98 mph fastball to end the eighth. In the ninth, walks by J.J. Putz to Manny Ramirez and Sean Casey put the tying run at second with two outs. But Putz got Coco Crisp to ground out for his sixth save in nine chances, completing the first shutout of the season for Seattle.
The Mariners had lost seven straight and 20 of 25 games before taking the last two of the three-game series against Boston.
The Red Sox lost for the 10th time in 12 games away from Fenway Park. They got only two runners past first base against Bedard (4-3), who allowed a career-high nine runs in his last start Friday against the Yankees.
Boston had two on and one out in the fourth after a hard single by Ramirez, but Bedard got Lowell to hit into a double play that included a deft grab of the grounder and flip throw by second baseman Jose Lopez.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 and remained one home run short of becoming the 24th player in major league history with 500.
Betancourt made an error ahead of Ramirez's three-run homer Monday night and then slammed a bat in the dugout when manager John McLaren took him out for pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied.
McLaren said he understood and talked to his 26-year-old shortstop Wednesday.
"If you don't like it, prove me wrong," McLaren said.
Betancourt did in the third inning. He hit the third pitch he saw from Tim Wakefield (3-4) into Boston's bullpen for his third home run of the season.
The game then settled into a showdown of Bedard's precise fastballs and sharp curves against Wakefield's floating knuckleball.
Wakefield was nearly as good Bedard in his first start since allowing eight runs in five innings at Oakland. He had a season-high eight strikeouts while allowing five hits and walking none in his first complete game of the season. Only four Mariners even saw a three-ball count.
This program aired on May 29, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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