SEATTLE -- At age 45 and in his 19th season of Major League ball, Tim Wakefield had a little edge in experience against a rookie-laden Mariners squad Sunday at Safeco Field.
But Seattle's youth corps -- with five rookies in the lineup -- topped the veteran knuckleballer and his Red Sox with a 5-3 victory that gave the Mariners a series win over the American League East leaders.
Rookie Charlie Furbush pitched seven strong innings of one-run ball for his second win for Seattle since being acquired from Detroit in the Doug Fister deal on July 30.
"Furbush was very good today," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He did a good job repeating his delivery. Because of that he was real consistent with his fastball and was able to move it around and hit his spots.
"He did a real good job with his breaking ball, especially against left-handers. He was very poised with good tempo. There was a lot to like out there today."
Rookie left fielder Casper Wells, who came in the same trade with the Tigers, hit his third home run for Seattle and kept his batting average at .333 in 10 games with the Mariners.
The Mariners also got RBI singles from rookies Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp, who both continued their productive runs in the 3-4 spots in Wedge's lineup.
The fifth rookie, third baseman Kyle Seager, also had a hit and scored a run as the Mariners rang up nine hits, their fifth straight game with at least nine hits.
Furbush breezed through the Red Sox's potent lineup for three innings before giving up a run on two hits in the fourth, Jed Lowrie driving home the one with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. But that was all he surrendered in his seven innings, finishing with four hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
Furbush said the key was getting ahead of hitters early, a fact echoed by Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia after his 0-for-4 day.
"He was throwing strikes," Saltalamacchia said. "He's got a sneaky fastball and kind of throws it across his body a little bit. He's tough to pick up."
Veteran shortstop Jack Wilson helped limit the damage in the fourth with an excellent diving stop of a leadoff line drive by Dustin Pedroia, then gave the 6-foot-5 Furbush a very tall compliment afterward.
"He reminds me a lot of like a Randy Johnson, with that turn and he's big and tall and you know he's coming," Wilson said. "He's falling off the mound, throwing every ounce of that 149-pound frame into every pitch.
"And that's part of the deception, too, with his slider and changeup, with how far he falls and how much he puts into it," Wilson said. "He's very deceptive and he had a very good game, which was good to see after his last outing."
The lanky lefty, who is listed at 215 pounds, struggled in his previous start in Texas when he gave up eight hits and six earned runs in four innings. But in two Safeco starts, the 25-year-old is now 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA and just six hits in 12 innings.
"It's a pitcher's ballpark, so I can't complain about that," Furbush said. "Definitely having been here a couple weeks, it's been pretty comfortable and getting to know the guys and everything around here has just been good."
It doesn't hurt that the Mariners' offense has heated up a bit of late with 24 runs over its past five games. Seattle jumped on Wakefield for three runs in the third and could have had more, leaving the bases loaded with its final two outs.
But the Mariners did take advantage of a pair of Red Sox errors that inning to score three runs (two earned) with RBI singles by Wilson and Carp as well as a sacrifice fly by Franklin Gutierrez.
Carp continued producing with runners in scoring position as he ripped a bases-loaded single to right field for his 15th RBI of August, second most in the Majors this month.
The 25-year-old first baseman extended his hit streak to 14 games, the longest by a Mariners rookie since Ichiro Suzuki had runs of 16, 21 and 23 games in 2001. Carp has 24 RBIs in 23 games since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in mid-July.
Ackley added a run-scoring single in the fifth to make it 4-1 before Wells' blast in the sixth added an insurance run, which came in handy when Kevin Youkilis ripped a two-run home run off reliever Jeff Gray to close the gap in the eighth.
The Mariners have now won five of their last six home games heading into a three-game set with Toronto on Monday with rookie Michael Pineda on the mound.