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Beckett Leads Red Sox to 6-0 Victory Over Yankees

Josh Beckett Pitched Brilliantly in a Victory Over the Yankees ( Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Winners of Game 1 of the series, the Red Sox entered Saturday’s matchup with a tall order: beat CC Sabathia for a chance to reach .500 with a victory on Sunday. While there are no guarantees in baseball, the Red Sox are continuing to dig out of their early season slump.  In the first two games against the Yankees, Boston has taken down two of the sport’s larger stars (Bartolo Colon on Friday, Sabathia on Saturday).

Behind a rejuvenated Josh Beckett, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-0 in the Bronx.

After the first start of the 2011 season, Beckett has pitched like a man on a mission and Saturday night was no different: 6 innings, 9 Ks, 2 walks, 4 hits and 0 runs against the formidable Yankees lineup. While New York entered this series after losing two out of three to a surging Royals team, the motivated Texan deserves no less praise for his outing. This is Beckett at his best. This is the man who you would trade Hanley Ramirez for. And Saturday Beckett was not alone; his offense came alive in Yankee Stadium too.

Sabathia held the Sox scoreless through four innings, but in the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury chipped in with some clutch hitting and knocked in two runs on a bases-loaded double.

In the seventh, Sox hitters took to the plate looking for more. Mike Cameron took a leadoff walk and smartly advanced to second base on a wild pitch to Carl Crawford. After Sabathia struck out the speedy left fielder, Jason Varitek, the struggling catcher and captain, drove in Cameron for the Red Sox third run of the night. Pedroia collected a two-out single to right, scoring Varitek and setting the table for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Like clockwork, Gonzalez launched a high fastball into the stands and put the Red Sox on top 6-0.

With a six-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh and Josh Beckett at 105 pitches after six innings, Terry Francona turned to Matt Albers for two innings of scoreless relief. The former Oriole allowed two hits and a walk against two strikeouts.

One of the new faces in the bullpen, Rich Hill, took the mound for the ninth inning and recorded the final three outs. Brett Gardener led off the inning and reached first base on an infield hit, but Hill retired the next three men he faced to finish the game and put the Red Sox one game under .500 for the year.

Sox Stud of the Game: Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett is pitching as well as he ever has and is doing so against good-hitting teams. Beckett’s return to form is one of the best surprises for the Sox this season and Saturday night was as good as any start he has made in a Red Sox uniform.

Sox Dud of the Game:  David Ortiz

Big Papi just did not have it against Sabathia in this game. Facing one of the toughest left-handed pitchers in the game is a tough assignment for anyone, especially a fellow southpaw.

Game Notes:

W: Beckett (3-1)
L: Sabathia (3-3)

  • Yankee DH Jorge Posada took himself out of the lineup an hour before game time. The former catcher insists he asked out because of back pain while the team originally said he was upset about being slotted in the nine-hole. Both sides are downplaying it now, but we may hear more about the controversy over time.
  • J.D. Drew pinch hit for Kevin Youkilis in the ninth, allowing Francona to slide Jed Lowrie to third and insert defensive whiz Jose Iglesias at shortstop for defensive purposes.

About Mike Carlucci

Mike Carlucci writes about the Red Sox for Sports of Boston and can be found blogging about baseball and technology. He has a J.D and enjoys palindromes and espresso. You can follow him on Twitter @mikecarlucci or on Google+.

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