Mariners 5, Red Sox 3
Apr. 11, 1997
BOSTON (AP) _ Randy Johnson won for the first time since May 12 as the Seattle Mariners beat the Red Sox 5-3 Friday and stopped Boston's four-game winning streak in home openers.
Johnson, making his second start of the season, had not won since his final start last year. After trying to pitch in relief, he had back surgery Sept. 12, ending his season. He didn't get a decision last Friday when the Mariners' bullpen blew a lead against the Red Sox in Seattle.
Johnson (1-0), who struck out seven and walked three, has won 13 consecutive decisions since Aug. 1, 1995, and 26 of his last 28. Seattle is 37-5 in his last 42 starts.
John Valentin hit his first two homers of the season, making him 7-for-23 (.304) against Johnson in his career. Valentin, who entered the game batting .222 with two RBIs in eight games, cut the lead to 3-2 with homers in the fourth and sixth.
Ken Griffey Jr., the AL home-run leader with six, missed the game because of the flu. Lee Tinsley, his replacement, doubled home a run in the eighth off Butch Henry.
Norm Charlton struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.
Steve Avery (0-1) pitched well, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. He gave up Rich Amaral's two-run double in the second and Alex Rodriguez's second homer of the season in the third, leaving with Boston behind 3-2.
Jay Buhner made it 5-2 in the seventh with an RBI single off Jim Corsi, recalled Thursday from Triple-A Pawtucket. Mike Stanley singled in a run in the eighth off Bobby Ayala.
Notes: Pumpsie Green, who in 1959 became the Boston Red Sox first black player, and Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, each threw out a ceremonial first pitch. ... Johnny Pesky, 77, was out of Boston's dugout for the first time in three home openers. Pesky, who used to hit fungoes to players before games, was reassigned to community relations duties. ... The Red Sox made another change with Ed Brickley, 61, taking over as public address announcer for Leslie Sterling, who held the job the past two years. ... Seattle is 3-12 in road openers during seasons it started at home. ... Tinsley's second-inning single gave him 7 hits in 12 at bats after opening the season 0-for-16. ... Boston opened the season 4-4 on the road compared to 1-5 last season. It then won its home opener before losing its next seven.