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John Lackey came within four outs of a no-hitter, only to watch his Boston Red Sox blow a comfortable lead and cost him a win before beating the Seattle Mariners 8-6 in 13 innings Thursday night.
Seldom-used Eric Patterson doubled home two runs with two outs in the 13th and the Red Sox overcame Seattle's five-run ninth against Manny Delcarmen and closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Josh Bard broke up Lackey's bid for baseball's fifth no-hitter this season on a clean single to right-center with two outs in the eighth. The last-place Mariners then rose up for five runs on three hits and two Boston errors to tie it in the ninth.
Bill Hall, J.D. Drew and Marco Scutaro 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 and stayed seven games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Hideki Okajima (3-2) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the 12th by getting Jose Lopez and Milton Bradley to foul out.
Ramon Ramirez worked the 13th for his second save in Boston's longest game by innings this season.
Kevin Youkilis began the 13th with a single against Garrett Olson (0-3) that went off the glove of shortstop Jack Wilson. Adrian Beltre, in his first game back in Seattle since leaving the Mariners as a free agent last winter, sent a 1-2 pitch just foul off the top of the left-field wall before popping out. Drew flied out before Mike Cameron, another former Mariner, walked. 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 101/2-year history of Safeco Field.
Lackey, who struck out six and walked one, threw his head back and dropped his mouth open after Bard's liner that fell a few steps to the right and in front of a sprinting Drew.
About half the Mariners crowd of 28,074 - roughly the proportion of Red Sox fans in the park - immediately gave Lackey a standing ovation.
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 than eluded second baseman Hall for a weird infield single. Lackey just bent over at the waist and exhaled before getting out of the inning.
Beyond the four no-hitters already this season: the perfect game Detroit right-hander Armando Galarraga was denied because of a missed call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce.
The last time there were at least five no-hitters in a season was 1991, when Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan threw one of seven in the big leagues that year, according to STATS LLC.
Two other attempts this season (by Cincinnati rookie Travis Wood and Cubs lefty Ted Lilly) were broken up in the ninth 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, then walked Lopez to begin the ninth. After Bradley reached on an error by shortstop Scutaro, Papelbon entered with no outs and the limited time of just 12 pitches by Delcarmen to warm up. Justin Smoak struck out on a wicked splitter before Casey Kotchman - 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 Wilson hit a soft grounder to Scutaro. Hall tried to turn a double play at second but his relay throw skipped far wide right of first baseman Youkilis to the seat railing for an error. That allowed Bradley to score and pinch-runner Ryan Langerhans to also score the tying run.
It was Papelbon's fourth blown save in 26 chances and third in his last eight opportunities.
Papelbon, who ended up throwing 30 pitches in the zany inning, intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki, then struck out Chone Figgins with two on to send the game to extras.
Seattle's only run off Lackey was unearned in third, thanks to Bradley's walk and a passed ball by catcher Kevin Cash.
This program aired on July 23, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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