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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, July 9th (All times Eastern)

Boston Red Sox (54-37) at Seattle Mariners (40-49), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Allen Webster (1-2, 7.88) Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (7-4, 2.60)

(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox haven't been able to catch a break on their western road trip and will try to find a way to get past the Seattle Mariners Tuesday in the second matchup of a four-game series at Safeco Field.

The Red Sox lost two of three to the LA Angels over the weekend, then dropped an 11-4 decision to the Mariners in Monday's opener. Jon Lester was going for his ninth win, but was tagged for five runs and nine hits in five innings. Alex Wilson and Jose De La Torre both allowed three runs in relief.

"The 40-pitch fourth inning took a lot out of his night tonight. The pitch count got him and I had to make a move in that sixth inning," Red Sox manager John Farrell said about Lester.

Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava had an RBI apiece for the Red Sox, who have lost three in a row since winning five straight and nine of 10 games. Boston's lead atop the AL East is now 3 1/2 games in front of Tampa Bay.

Boston will send youngster Allen Webster to the mound Tuesday and the right- hander is 1-2 with a 7.88 earned run average in five starts. He earned his first major league win in Thursday's 8-2 win over San Diego and held the Padres to two runs in six innings.

Webster lost his only road start of the season, a 10-3 setback at Detroit on June 22, and will face the Mariners for the first time.

The Mariners have won two in a row and five of seven games, and opened their seven-game homestand on a good note Monday.

Raul Ibanez homered, Justin Smoak posted three hits, two RBI and a pair of runs scored and Michael Saunders drove in three runs to lead Seattle offensively. Ibanez is riding a 13-game hitting streak and is the first player age 40 or older in Major League history to hit more than 20 home runs before the All-Star Game.

"You look at the quality of at-bats we've had of late and we're making the opposition work hard, I think we've seen a lot of good things from our guys," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

Starting pitcher and staff ace Felix Hernandez struck out six and limited the Red Sox to two runs in seven innings for his ninth win (9-4).

Following King Felix in the rotation will be Hisashi Iwakuma, who makes his 19th start to the season and is 7-4 with a 2.60 earned run average. Iwakuma, though, is winless (0-3) in his last four starts and has allowed four runs in each game during the drought,

Iwakuma was touched for four runs and five hits in six innings of a 5-4 loss at Texas on Thursday and once had a 7-1 lead to go along with a 1.79 ERA. The Japanese right-hander and All-Star is 3-1 in nine starts at Safeco Field this season and has yet to face Boston in his career.

Seattle and Boston are meeting for the first time since the Red Sox took five of nine encounters a season ago.

07/09 10:39:13 ET

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