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Broussard, Mariners put pinch on struggling Red Sox

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners are playing with intensity
again, just in time to hurt Boston's playoff chances.

Pinch-hitter Ben Broussard hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in
the eighth inning and the Mariners rallied to beat the Red Sox 4-3
Saturday night.

Boston, which has lost 10 of its last 13 games, wasted an
opportunity to gain ground on the AL East-leading Yankees, who lost
to Los Angeles 12-7. Boston remains 5½ games behind New York with
33 games left and trails Minnesota by 5½ games in the wild-card
race after the Twins beat the White Sox 8-7 in 11 innings.

"It hurts. You're up in the eighth. You feel like that's a game
for us to win," Mike Lowell said. "It feels like one of these
runs where no lead is ever safe. We have to score more than two or
three runs a game."

The Mariners, just off a franchise-worst 0-11 road trip, have
won four of five on the homestand. They shut out the Red Sox 6-0
Friday night.

Gil Meche allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for
Seattle, which has beaten the Red Sox in four straight games for
the first time since 2001.

"We got a great game out of Gil and everyone had a big game
tonight," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We have been playing with
an intensity we did not have on the last road trip, but an
intensity that we had before the road trip."

Lowell had a two-out bloop single in the eighth to score David
Ortiz from second base and give Boston a 3-2 lead. On the play,
Manny Ramirez was thrown out trying to take third despite the ball
coming out of Adrian Beltre's glove. Ramirez, who had missed the
previous two games with a sore knee, didn't slide because of the
concern over the knee.

"He (umpire Ron Kulpa) said that he held onto the ball long
enough," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I didn't agree
with him but I was more concerned to make sure David was scoring
because it was getting close."

Beltre led off the bottom half with his 16th home run on a 0-2
pitch from reliever Mike Timlin (5-4). Raul Ibanez followed with a
single to left and moved to third on Richie Sexson's single to
right. Broussard, who came to Seattle in a July 26 trade with
Cleveland, flied out to center and Ibanez scored without a throw.

"I think I pitched exceptionally well, if you look at the
replays," Timlin said. "All the pitches were off the plate,
Ibanez's pitch was probably four or five inches off the plate.
Sexson was down and away. The pitch to Broussard was a sinker down
and away, he gets under it and hits a sac fly."

Coco Crisp homered and David Wells allowed eight hits and two
runs in seven innings for Boston.

"He has been tremendous. It's a shame we didn't have more
offense to show for it because he pitched a whale of a game,"
Francona said. "He has been pitching very well. He has done it for
a long time."

J.J. Putz (3-1) struck out three in 1 1-3 scoreless innings to
earn the win.

Meche, who missed his last scheduled start for Seattle because
of right forearm tendinitis, was overpowering early. He struck out
five of the first seven batters he faced. But with two outs in the
third, Crisp, who had just four hits in his previous 34 at-bats
(.118), hit a 1-2 fastball into the right-field seats for his
seventh homer.

Beltre hit a one-out double off Wells in the fourth and scored
on Ibanez's sharp single to center. Beltre's double was the first
hit allowed by Wells.

Mark Loretta put the Red Sox in front 2-1 in the fifth with an
RBI single but Yuniesky Betancourt tied it with his seventh home
run off Wells with one out in the seventh.

Game notes
The Red Sox, with an 8-17 record this month, are guaranteed
a losing August. That snaps a 13-month streak in which the club had
played .500 or better. ... Boston's Kevin Youkilis, who missed
Friday's game with the flu, was available Saturday but didn't play.
... The crowd of 44,779 pushed the Mariners attendance to 2,028,105
this season. It's the 11th straight season the club has drawn at
least 2 million fans and the 13th time overall.