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Baek stifles Boston as M's sweep struggling Red Sox

SEATTLE (AP) -- Everyone in the somber Boston Red Sox clubhouse
was willing to take blame Sunday.

After getting swept by the last-place Seattle Mariners, the
struggling Red Sox would welcome any solutions.

Rookie Cha Seung Baek took a shaky no-hit bid into the sixth
inning, Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam and the Mariners won 6-3 to
sweep Boston in a three-game series for the first time since 1989.

Despite David Ortiz hitting his league-leading 47th homer, the
Red Sox lost for the 11th time in 14 games and dropped 6½ games
behind New York in the AL East. The deficit is almost equal in the
wild card, with Boston 5½ back of Minnesota.

"We've painted ourselves in such a corner, losing games we
think we should win," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We
have to keep believing when it's not very easy to believe."

All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez again sat out with a sore
right knee and the injury news didn't get any better for Boston.
Rookie pitcher Jon Lester was scratched from his scheduled start
Monday night in Oakland with a sore back and is returning to Boston
for further evaluation.

Catcher Doug Mirabelli and outfielder Wily Mo Pena were injured
during the series against the Mariners, adding to the six players
already on the disabled list.

"I've got to take responsibility for where we're at and try to
fix it, regardless of how beat up we are," Francona said. "We've
got to try and make it stretch when it doesn't look like it's going
to stretch."

The Mariners, who a week ago wrapped up an 0-11 road trip that
dropped them from the AL West race, have won five of six against
the Yankees and Red Sox on their current nine-game homestand.

Baek (1-0) was not overpowering and walked five in 5 2-3
innings, but won for the first time since Sept. 26, 2004. Baek lost
his shutout in the fifth after two walks and an error, and Ortiz
ended the no-hitter in the sixth with his homer.

Ortiz also hit 47 home runs last season, tied for second on the
Red Sox single-season list behind the 50 that Jimmie Foxx hit in
1938. Mike Lowell hit his 15th homer with two outs in the Boston
sixth, finishing Baek. Still, the right-hander allowed just two
hits and two earned runs.

J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 32 chances.

"When I was young I always watched the Yankees and the Red
Sox," Baek said, who made his first outing this season against the
Yankees last Tuesday. "Now I go against them. It feels great, a
dream come true."

Ibanez set a career high with his 25th home run, and his first
slam since July 14, 2002, with Kansas City. Ibanez also hit the
first grand slam in Safeco Field history in 1999, and now has 102
RBI, one shy of his career high set in 2002 with Kansas City.

"It definitely means something after that road trip we had,
bouncing back the way that we have," Ibanez said. "We're staying
focused and playing hard and doing the right things. Hopefully we
can continue that."

Kyle Snyder (3-3) struggled from the outset. He got out of a
bases-loaded jam in the first, but gave up a run in the second as
outfielder Kevin Youkilis misplayed two balls in left field.

Starting in left for only the third time this year, Youkilis
came in on Yunikesky Betancourt's line-drive double and the ball
eluded his leap. Two batters later, Youkilis lost Willie
Bloomquist's fly ball in the sun, and then Chris Snelling hit a
sacrifice fly to score Betancourt.

Ichiro Suzuki led off the fifth tapping an infield single to
shortstop, and Snelling followed with a double. Adrian Beltre was
intentionally walked, and Ibanez lofted a drive about 10 feet
inside the right-field foul pole. Down in the count 2-0, Synder
threw a changeup that stayed in the middle of the plate.

"The bottom line is I wasn't able to get the job done," Synder
said. "We were still in the game at that time."

Baek lost his shutout in the fifth after a pair of walks and an
error by first baseman Ben Broussard. Baek walked Eric Hinske and
Dustin Pedroia but rebounded to strike out Javy Lopez and Alex
Cora.

Coco Crisp then grounded to Broussard's right. Broussard fielded
it cleanly but threw high to Baek as he ran to cover first,
allowing Hinske to score easily.

"We've had a lot of injuries ... and a lot of bad things are
coming about right now," Youkilis said. "We've got to make our
own luck and play some better ball."

Game notes
Seattle has won five straight over Boston for the first
time in the series' history. ... LHP Kason Gabbard will start in
place of Lester on Monday.