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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beckett Stumbles But Still Manages To Beat Yankees

Josh Beckett couldn't keep up his dominant form (3-0, 1.00 ERA) against the Yankees this season but he still found a way to win as the Red Sox triumphed 9-5 tonight at Fenway Park.

One of my childhood favorites Mo Vaughn was also in the building for the second day of the Jimmy Fund telethon.

Boston (83-52) evened the series (1-1) and moved to 11-3 vs. New York (81-53) this season while going back to a 1.5 game lead in the AL East.

Just as CC Sabathia finally found a way to beat the Red Sox yesterday, Beckett (12-5) got it done despite having far from his best outing. He gave Boston seven innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Yankees starter Phil Hughes (4-5) continued his mostly forgettable 2011. He went 5.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Remind me again who will start Game 2 of the ALDS for the Yanks?

Boston used the longball-three two-run homers-to rough up Hughes and a pair of relievers: Boone Logan and Luis Ayala.

Derek Jeter (2 hits, stolen base) gave New York a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the third. Boston answered in the bottom of the inning as Marco Scutaro scored on Dustin Pedroia's (2 hits) ground out and Jed Lowrie knocked in Jacoby Ellsbury (2 hits, 2 runs) with an RBI single.

David Ortiz's two-run bomb (28th of the season) put the Red Sox up 4-1 in the fifth but New York countered with four runs in the sixth. Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez had RBI doubles (two runs scored on Chavez's since Josh Reddick had an error in the right field corner) and Eduardo Nunez's sacrifice fly gave the Yankees a 5-4 advantage.

Jason Varitek's hit and run lucky swing resulted in an RBI double which tied it at five in the sixth and Ellsbury put Boston ahead for good with a two-run shot (his 24th of the season; 1st career opposite field homer) off Logan and over the Monster.

Varitek wrapped it up with his two-run blast (his 10th of the season; 11th time he's had 10+ homers). Daniel Bard got his 31st hold with a 1-2-3 hold (on 13 pitches) and Jonathan Papelbon got a 1-2-3 ninth in the non-save situation. Pap struck out a batter and all seven of his pitches were strikes. The good news is they should both be available tomorrow night too since they didn't appear on Tuesday.

Tomorrow in the series finale, Jon Lester faces Yankees train wreck A.J. Burnett in another matchup that clearly favors the home team.

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