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Red Sox shut out Yankees behind dominant Josh Beckett

May 14, 2011, 10:40 PM EDT

Red Sox starting pitcher Beckett throws against New York Yankees during third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in New York

Josh Beckett entered Saturday’s game with a fine 11-7 career record against the Bombers, but it certainly hasn’t been easy.  His ERA stood at 5.90, and he had given up 24 homers in 23 starts.

That’s why the Red Sox have to be thrilled about just how outstanding Beckett has been in two starts versus the Yankees this year.  The 2010 version of Beckett was absolutely manhandled by the Yankees, giving up 29 runs and nine homers in 26 innings.  He had a ridiculous 10.04 ERA in his five starts.

This year, Beckett has pitched 14 scoreless innings in two wins over the Yankees.  He allowed four hits over six innings and struck out nine as part of Boston’s 6-0 win tonight.

Of course, that’s not all that has the Red Sox happy at the moment:

- Adrian Gonzalez homered again, giving him six in six games and eight in 13 games for the month of May.  Tonight’s was a three-run blow in the seventh inning that put the game out of reach.

- Jacoby Ellsbury had two more hits, including a two-run double that put the Red Sox on the board against CC Sabathia in the fifth.  He lost a 19-game hitting streak on Wednesday, but he’s collected four hits through the first two games against the Yankees, pushing his average up to .301.

- Jason Varitek contributed a key hit in front of Gonzalez’s homer tonight.  After batting .091 in April, he’s suddenly contributing with five hits and three walks in his five starts this month.

- And perhaps best of all, the Yankees appear to be in some pretty serious disarray, with the Jorge Posada drama completely overshadowing the game tonight.  Manager Joe Girardi, upset about a pitch that should have been called strike three in the aforementioned Varitek at-bat, was tossed from this one after Gonzalez homer.  Even the typically unflappable Sabathia is struggling some at the moment, and no one in the lineup is hitting higher than .281.

Of course, the Red Sox shouldn’t get too cocky.  The Yankees are still far and away first in the majors in homers, and their one explosion Sunday away from reclaiming the AL lead in runs scored.  Plus, they’re still two games ahead of Boston in the standings.

But things are looking up for Boston.  If Jon Lester can outduel Freddy Garcia and improve to 5-1 on Sunday, then the Red Sox will not only have completed a road sweep of their rivals, but they’ll have gotten to .500  for the first time all season.

And it will have taken only 40 games.

  1. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - May 14, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Adrian Gonzalez > Tex . Red Sox pitching staff – john lackey > Yankees . Yankees look old out there , just to be honest.

  2. aceshigh11 - May 15, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Losing out on Tex turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Sox.

    Adrian has been BEYOND on fire lately. What a machine.

  3. randomdigits - May 15, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Why does this game deserve a separate entry over the other five shutouts thrown last night? Two of them were 1-0 games and some of them included teams that were actually in first place.

    It would be nice if someplace national treated Yanks/Sox as just another game. Are you really getting that many more page hits by using that header?

    • Ari Collins - May 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      Now, I’m a Sox fan, so I’m biased, here. But considering how many more fans there are of the Sox and Yankees, and how big a rivalry it is (even when neither is even the wild card right now), having an extra story every once in a while about a big game between them makes some sense. There’s a bigger audience for it.

      When the Mariners and Royals start to have huge fanbases and a great rivalry, I’m sure we’ll hear stories about big games between them instead.

  4. pisano - May 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Not to knock Becketts effort last night, but at this point any no. 2,3,or 4 starter could shut the Yankees down at this point. There are two or three guys in that line up that are of any use offensively. Beckett did pitch well, but he had a team that looks like minor league players last night.

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