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Loretta's walk-off homer lifts Red Sox past M's

BOSTON (AP) -- Mark Loretta wanted to feel the whole celebration,
even the fun-filled pounding that comes from teammates at the plate
after a game-ending home run.

Loretta hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth
inning and the Boston Red Sox, saved by Kevin Youkilis' hustle,
rallied past the Seattle Mariners 7-6 Monday in the annual Patriots
Day game.

As he rounded the bases after his first game-ending homer,
Loretta thought about taking off his batting helmet to lessen the
number of players that would jump on him. He decided against it.

"Having it being my first time, I thought I wanted the total
experience," Loretta said. "[Jason] Varitek really gave it to
me."

"I've never experienced it before at any level -- Little League,
high school or college level," he said. "Just complete euphoria.
You kind of have to take a step back and think `is the game really
over?"

Mariners reliever Eddie Guardado struck out the first two
batters in the ninth. Youkilis then hit a grounder up the middle
and second baseman Jose Lopez made a diving stop, but his throw to
first was a shade late.

Youkilis raised his arms after beating the play for an infield
single, and Loretta followed with his first home run for the Red
Sox.

Loretta's shot landed in the Monster Seats, where moments
earlier many fans turned around to watch the women's leader of the
Boston Marathon running through Kenmore Square.

"I fell behind 2-0 and had to get a strike there," Guardado
said. "The ball was not where I wanted it, no doubt. I just blew
it. I blew it. We played big today."

David Ortiz homered twice for Boston, which improved to 5-0 in
one-run games.

"You've got the big man hitting behind Loretta," Boston
manager Terry Francona said. "That pretty much ensures he is going
to get a pitch to hit, and he put a good swing on it."

Mike Timlin (1-0) got the win and Guardado (0-1) took the loss.

Ortiz hit his fifth and sixth homers for the Red Sox, the second
a two-run shot that tied it at 4 in the sixth. Trot Nixon doubled
twice and singled for Boston.

It was 5-all when Adrian Beltre and Willie Bloomquist hit
one-out singles in the Seattle ninth against Keith Foulke. Timlin
relieved with runners at the corners and pinch-hitter Roberto
Petagine hit a hard grounder to second base that Loretta stopped
with a dive. Loretta's only play was to first base as the go-ahead
run scored.

"We get the lead, give it up. Get the lead back, give it up,"
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "It just seemed like that all
day long."

The Red Sox tied it at 5 against J. J. Putz in the eighth when
Nixon doubled and Varitek hit an RBI single.

The Mariners took advantage of backup Alex Cora's error to move
ahead 5-4 against Julian Tavarez in the seventh. Bloomquist reached
on the error when his grounder tipped off the shortstop's glove.

Bloomquist moved up on a sacrifice, stole third and scored on
Ichiro Suzuki's sharp grounder that sent Loretta diving. Ortiz
flied out to the right-field warning track in the eighth, with
Suzuki making a semi-leap at the short wall.

Carl Everett's two-run homer gave Seattle a 4-2 lead in the
sixth.

Suzuki, 0-for-11 in the first three games of the series, lined a
leadoff double in the first and scored on Raul Ibanez's sacrifice
fly. Boston tied it on Ortiz's homer into the center-field
bleachers.

Seattle moved ahead 2-1 in the second on Betancourt's RBI
double, but the Red Sox tied it on Cora's run-scoring double.

Boston fill-in starter Lenny DiNardo, replacing David Wells,
allowed two runs and six hits over five innings. Wells was placed
on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a right knee sprain.

Game notes
It was Ortiz's 21st career two-homer game, his 19th with
the Red Sox. Also, the homer was his 500th hit with Boston. ... RF
Nixon returned to the lineup after missing the previous five games
with a strained left groin. ... DiNardo's other start came last
Sept. 2 against Baltimore, when he allowed four runs -- one earned --
in six innings. ... Varitek appeared to be hobbling running down
the line on his ground outs in the second and fourth, but played
the entire game. ... It was the Mariners' earliest-ever game, with
an 11:07 first pitch. ... Red Sox SS Alex Gonzalez had the day off.