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With all the rain over the past few days, no one can accuse the Red Sox of not making visiting teams welcome: the teams were ensured rain worthy of Seattle, including a rain-out induced doubleheader. Still several games back of both the Yankees and Rays, the Red Sox need to win every game they can.
Starting the first game of the day in soggy conditions, struggling starter Josh Beckett turned in the type of outing the Sox have been looking for: a quality start good enough for the win. Beckett went 6.1 innings striking out 7 and allowing three runs. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon came through with 2.2 innings of no-hit relief to close out the game and give Beckett his fourth win of the season.
While David Pauley was a foe the Sox would handle well in the afternoon, the evening game matched the team against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. Jon Lester, the Sox scheduled starter was a late scratch due to back soreness. Thankfully the soreness was not in Lester’s back but in that of fellow starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Sox decided to shake up the rotation and replace Lester with Wakefield on Wednesday and have the lefty take over Matsuzaka’s scheduled start against the Rays on Friday.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Hernandez was on the ball, as he tossed 7.1 innings of four-hit, two-run ball while striking out 9. J.D. Drew collected his 17th home run in the 6th inning while Hernandez himself crossed the 1000th career strikeout mark. Some sparks flew early in the game when Adrian Beltre, while heading to third base, glove in hand, made a few remarks about his strikeout that were overheard by home plate umpire Dan Bellino.
Scoring two runs against Hernandez wasn’t quite enough as Tim Wakefield, making his first start since July 20th, allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, over his 5.2 innings.
The Red Sox are off on Thursday before beginning a series Friday in Tampa Bay.