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Originally published April 11, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 20, 2007 at 9:08 PM

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No fun at Fenway for M's

There was no snow Tuesday at Fenway Park, as much as the Mariners might have been rooting for an act of God to halt this monstrosity of...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Today

Xxxxxxxx at Xxxxxxxx, XX:XX x.m., FSN/KOMO 1000 AM

Pitchers: M's Xxxxxxx Xxxxxx (xx-x, x.xx) vs. Xxxxx Xxxxxx (xx-x, x.xx)

Today

Mariners at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m., FSN, ESPN2/KOMO 1000 AM

Pitchers: M's Felix Hernandez (1-0, 0.00) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 1.29)

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BOSTON — There was no snow Tuesday at Fenway Park, as much as the Mariners might have been rooting for an act of God to halt this monstrosity of a game.

After their four-day Holiday on Ice in Cleveland, the Mariners' worst fears were realized in a 14-3 loss that turned the Red Sox home opener into a merry festival for the 308th consecutive Fenway sellout crowd.

The Mariners provided flurries of bad pitching, with intermittent errors and a weak hitting front. There was a brief but virulent storm in the eighth inning, when outfielder Jose Guillen had to be restrained from charging the mound against his old Angels nemesis, Brendan Donnelly.

All in all, a most distasteful return to action for the too-long-dormant Mariners, who used their five-day layoff as an explanation, but not an excuse, for the disaster.

"The way we played today, in normal times, is absolutely unacceptable," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "It just is."

But under the abnormal circumstances, the manager was of a mind to give them a pass.

"We played like we hadn't played in four games today," Hargrove said. "We pitched like it, we swung the bats like it, we played defense like it.

"We didn't play like that for the entire spring training, and so it was a little disappointing, but a little understandable, because we haven't been able to get outside for four days."

Today

Mariners at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m., FSN, ESPN2/KOMO 1000 AM

Pitchers: M's Felix Hernandez (1-0, 0.00) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 1.29)

The Mariners, who now must face the Fenway debut of Japanese phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka, were off-kilter in virtually every aspect of their game.

Starting pitcher Jeff Weaver, in his first game action since March 31 — and his first time in a game that counts since clinching the World Series for St. Louis — walked leadoff hitter Julio Lugo on four pitches, and it went downhill from there.

"It was my fear — coming out after such a long rest, feeling strong and not having any feel," Weaver said. "Being a sinkerball guy, I'm all about feel, getting it down in the zone. Everything was up. My cut fastball, I really had no feel for it, and that's a big pitch, especially with so many left-handers in the lineup."

Weaver threw a staggering 47 pitches in the first inning, which would have put him on pace for a 423-pitch complete game. Except he lasted just two innings, yielding seven hits and seven runs before departing with a 31.50 earned-run average.

Coming on the heels of Miguel Batista's rough debut against Oakland — well, actually, heels that were separated by six days — it meant that the Mariners' two big free-agent pitching acquisitions combined, in their first Seattle starts, to work 6-2/3 innings, giving up 17 hits, 15 earned runs, four walks, one hit batsman and two balks, all adding to an 0-2 record and cumulative 20.24 ERA.

"I made an effort to try to talk myself into acting like I was out there after five days, but your body feels totally different," Weaver said.

The Mariners, meanwhile, were completely handcuffed by Boston starter Josh Beckett, who limited them to two hits and a run in seven innings.

Beckett retired the Mariners in order in six of his seven innings, their only run coming in the fourth on a single by Kenji Johjima, a double by Yuniesky Betancourt, and a groundout by Jose Lopez.

Ichiro struck out three times against Beckett, who became just the second pitcher to fan him three times in a game since Ichiro joined the Mariners in 2001. Oakland's Tim Hudson, in 2003, was the other.

Defensively, the Mariners were ragged as well, making two errors.

"You could definitely tell which team had a four-day layoff — or a five-day layoff, really," said Richie Sexson, whose two-run double with two outs in the ninth provided the remainder of Seattle's scoring.

"It was tough. We were all working [in Cleveland], but for the most part, we couldn't even get on the field to throw. Then you get a guy like Beckett, and it adds to it."

Hargrove said he felt no need to talk to the team after the game, either to offer encouragement or recrimination.

"They were as frustrated and disgusted as I was with our performance," he said. "Now, if this goes on another two or three days, you bet, we'll bring it to everyone's attention, real quick."

Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or lstone@seattletimes.com.

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