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Red Sox aim to regroup against Mariners

The Boston Red Sox look to regain their composure and regroup from a poor call when they begin a three-game series versus the Seattle Mariners Tuesday from Fenway Park.

The Red Sox are coming off Monday's 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in a makeup game from last week and dropped a half-game behind them for the top spot in the American League East.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Red Sox fell victim to a controversial call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals. With one out in the frame, Brandon Snyder flied out to left field and Daniel Nava tried to score from third base. Nava was tagged out at the plate by catcher Jose Molina and replays showed Nava's foot slid under the tag, but Meals made the call.

Meals then admitted he made a mistake afterward.

"What I saw was: Molina blocked the plate and Nava's foot lifted," Meals said afterward. "But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava's foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina's shin guard."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was irate after the play and ejected.

"Well, it ended up in an ejection," Farrell told the club's website. "It was a missed call. Terrible call. Clearly, the angle of Jerry Meals behind the plate when the throw came in, he did not see the view. Daniel Nava clearly was safe. It's unfortunate. We should still be playing right now."

Snyder homered and Red Sox starting pitcher Felix Doubront was outdueled by David Price. Doubront allowed both runs in five innings, while Price continued his dominance with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball.

Boston right-hander Brandon Workman draws the start Tuesday and is 0-1 with a 4.40 earned run average in three games, two of which have been starts. He lost to Tampa Bay last Monday in a 3-0 decision and permitted two runs in six innings. He has given up at least two runs in all three appearances.

Workman faced the Mariners in an 11-4 win on July 10 at Safeco Field and did not figure into the decision, allowing three runs in two innings of relief.

The Mariners have been playing well of late with 10 wins in the last 13 tries, and will start a six-game road trip Tuesday at Boston and Baltimore.

Seattle earned a split of a four-game series versus the Minnesota Twins with Sunday's 6-4 victory behind a big day at the plate by Nick Franklin. Franklin went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two home runs, while Michael Saunders also homered for the Mariners.

"He's small, but he's a strong kid. The way he hits through the balls puts a lot of backspin on the balls and that is how he gets it to carry," Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said of Franklin.

Franklin has four home runs and 13 RBI since the All-Star break.

Erasmo Ramirez picked up the win despite allowing four runs in six innings. Tom Wilhelmsen recorded his 24th save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Joe Saunders draws the start for the M's Tuesday and looks to get back on track against the Red Sox. Saunders had a four-start winning streak cut short in Wednesday's 10-1 loss to Cleveland and was roughed up for six runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Saunders fell to 9-9 in 21 starts this season with a 4.48 ERA and has pitched well throughout his career against the Red Sox, going 5-2 in 10 starts to go along with a 4.11 ERA.

The Mariners have lost three of four to the Red Sox this season.

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