American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, May 14th (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (16-20) at Boston Red Sox (15-19), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Jason Vargas (4-2, 2.79) Boston - Jon Lester (1-3, 4.29)
(Sports Network) - Seattle salvaged a game against one American League East powerhouse on Sunday. The Mariners and starter Jason Vargas hope they can cool off another of the division's residents this evening in the first of two straight against the Boston Red Sox.
The Mariners opened a 10-game road trip by dropping a pair of 6-2 decisions to the Yankees, but won the series finale yesterday by the same margin. Justin Smoak and Casper Wells hit two-run homers off New York starter Andy Pettitte in his first outing since coming out of retirement.
Fellow veteran Kevin Millwood picked up his first victory of the season for Seattle, hurling seven innings of one-run ball with three hits and four walks allowed. Millwood also struck out six.
Vargas follows up the outing with his ninth start of the season. He is 4-2 with a 2.79 earned run average and has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his eight outings this season.
That includes each of the left-hander's past three starts, though he went 0-1 in the first two before besting Detroit on Wednesday. Vargas pitched a season- high eight innings and gave up one run on five hits with six strikeouts. The 29-year-old did not walk a batter for the first time this season.
"Vargas was fantastic tonight," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "Even the inning they scored one run, [Detroit had] a couple of jam shots, but he did a great job of controlling the ballgame."
Vargas will try to prevent Boston from winning a fourth straight game tonight in his fourth start against them. He is 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA.
The Red Sox had lost eight of nine before taking the final three of a four- game series with the Indians. Boston's offense exploded in Sunday's finale, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia pacing the way with three hits, including a two-run homer, and five RBI.
Daniel Nava added a pair of doubles, three RBI and scored three runs, while Will Middlebrooks hit a solo homer and crossed the plate three times.
"Everyone was hitting," said Nava. "I was just happy to be involved."
Daniel Bard surrendered a run on six hits and four walks in six innings for the Red Sox to get the win.
Left-hander Jon Lester hopes to find the win column for the second time in 2012 as he toes the rubber for Boston.
Lester is coming off a loss in Kansas City on Wednesday as he was charged with four runs over five innings and 109 pitches. A first-inning error, however, led to three of those runs being unearned.
Still, the 28-year-old fell to 1-3 with a 4.29 ERA in seven starts.
Lester is just one-third of an inning shy of reaching 1,000 for his career and hopes to highlight that milestone with a solid performance at Fenway Park. He has allowed 10 runs over eight innings in two home starts so far this year.
In seven career outings versus the Mariners, Lester is 2-2 with a 3.97 ERA.
Boston won five of nine against Seattle a season ago, going 4-2 in Beantown.
05/14 10:43:59 ET