BOSTON — Even a 10-time Gold Glove winner can lose the ball in the sun.
And with that mistake by right fielder Ichiro Suzuki went the Seattle Mariners’ chance at a perfect road trip.
Jed Lowrie hit a ninth-inning fly that turned into a triple, then scored on Carl Crawford’s two-out single to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory Sunday.
“Right when it hit the sky, it just disappeared,” Ichiro said through an interpreter. “I didn’t see the ball at all.”
The Mariners had won six straight on the road — including a sweep at Detroit before they won the first two games against the Red Sox. That from a team that opened the season 4-11.
“I’m looking at nothing but positives,” said Jamey Wright, who took the loss. “We had a great road trip. We fought to the very end. I’m so proud of our team and what we’ve done the last couple of weeks.”
Wright (0-1) retired his first four batters before Lowrie lofted one to right, where Ichiro looked up helplessly as the ball hit him on the hip. After Marco Scutaro’s grounder was fielded by a drawn-in infield for the second out, Crawford lined one to center to end it.
Seattle’s bullpen had thrown 15 scoreless innings before the game-winning hit. Now, the Mariners have a day off before opening a series against Texas on Tuesday.
“It was a great road trip,” manager Eric Wedge said. “The guys have played some real good baseball. It’s a step in the right direction. I think the guys are learning what they can do.”
Things were shinning brightly for Seattle, but maybe a little too bright on Sunday.
Jonathan Papelbon (1-0) earned the win with a perfect ninth. The Red Sox won for the second time in six games.
Boston has never been swept at home by the Mariners in a three-game series.
Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142-million deal to come to Boston, was hitting just .155 entering the game but singled in his last two at-bats.
Tim Wakefield made his first start of the season and held the Mariners to three hits while striking out three and walking one. He left to a standing ovation with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first, but Bobby Jenks gave up a single to Miguel Olivo and then three straight walks — two of them with the bases loaded.
Jenks faced five batters and did not get an out until Michael Saunders hit a hard line drive that was caught by Crawford in left. Jenks was sarcastically cheered with every strike — he only threw 12 of them — and booed when he left the mound at the end of the inning.
That cost Wakefield a decision as he tries to catch Roger Clemens and Cy Young for the franchise mark for wins; the knuckleballer has 179 with Boston, 13 shy of the Red Sox record. At 44, Wakefield is the oldest pitcher to start a major league game since Roger Clemens, who was 45 when he started for the Yankees against Boston on Sept. 16, 2007.
Boston loaded the bases in the first but failed to score, then put two on in the third and extended its slump to 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position before David Ortiz doubled off the Green Monster to score two runs. Felix Hernandez shut down Boston from there, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out a season-high 10 before leaving after seven innings.
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