American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 15th (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (16-21) at Boston Red Sox (16-19), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Blake Beavan (1-3, 4.32) Boston - Josh Beckett (2-4, 5.97)
(Sports Network) - Josh Beckett had a chance last week to silence his critics with a solid outing, but instead left Fenway Park to a chorus of boos.
The birthday boy will get a chance to turn those jeers into cheers this afternoon when the Boston Red Sox wrap up a two-game series with the Seattle Mariners.
Beckett's controversial return last Thursday came after reports surfaced the he played golf during an off day last week despite having his previous start skipped due to soreness on his right side. With Red Sox nation already up in arms, the right-hander was hammered for seven runs on seven hits and two walks over just 2 1/3 innings of a loss to the Indians, his shortest outing since Aug. 17, 2008.
Beckett, who turns 32 today, said the uproar about his golfing did not impact his outing at all.
"None," he said when asked if it was a distraction. "I spend my off days the way I want to spend them."
Beckett also said he didn't believe the fans had a right to take exception to his off-day event.
"Not on my off day. We get 18 off days a year and I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves," said Beckett.
Regardless, Beckett fell to 2-4 with a 5.97 earned run average in six starts this season, but is a solid 6-2 in nine career starts versus the Mariners with a 3.39 ERA.
The Red Sox would love for Beckett to get on track today, especially considering they haven't lost since his last outing. Boston picked up its fourth victory in a row with Monday's series-opening 6-1 win.
Jon Lester threw a complete game, allowing one run and eight hits while striking out six.
"Obviously you want to go nine every time you go out there," said Lester. "That's your goal, to stand out there (at the end) and watch everybody run in and give them high-fives. You feel like all the work you put in that week is for a reason."
Daniel Nava hit a two-run homer, Kelly Shoppach had a solo shot and David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and Marlon Byrd drove in a run apiece for the Red Sox.
Jason Vargas was charged with seven hits and five runs over six full frames for the Mariners, who slipped to 1-3 on their current 10-game road swing.
"Lester threw a good ball game," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We hit some balls hard for outs and a couple of our guys had some good at-bats tonight, but nothing with really any damage behind it."
Seattle will get one of its hurlers back in action as Blake Beavan takes the hill for the first time since May 7.
The 23-year-old righty had his start pushed back following his most recent outing, which ended after three innings after taking a liner off his elbow. Beavan gave up a run on four hits before his exit and saw his winless streak pushed to four starts (0-2).
Beavan, who hasn't won since April 15, is 1-3 with a 4.32 ERA in six starts in 2012. He has lost both of his previous meetings with the Red Sox, pitching to a 6.23 ERA.
Boston won five of nine against Seattle a season ago, going 4-2 in Beantown.
05/15 10:55:28 ET