Red Sox - 000 010 200 - 3 6 0Jason Varitek hit two solo home runs -- the second on a long bomb deep into the upper deck in right-center -- and Josh Beckett (7-3-1-4-8, 111) turned in another fine performance.
Twins - 010 000 000 - 1 5 0
Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch, ending his 22-game hitting streak. Lyndon popped to left in the first, grounded to second in the third, flew out to left in the fifth, and was hit on the wallet in the seventh. He was in the on-deck circle when Julio Lugo made the final out of the top of the ninth.
Beckett struck out the first four batters, then allowed a dong to Joe Crede and walked the next two Twins. A double play got him out of that inning and he allowed only a single and a walk over the next four frames. A one-out double and two-out walk in the seventh were also stranded.
The seventh inning featured the ejections of both managers and both catchers. Ron Gardenhire and Mike Redmond were tossed for arguing a play at the plate in which Jeff Bailey scored Boston's third run on Dustin Pedroia's line drive to right field. The replay seemed to show Redmond tag on Bailey's left arm a split-second before he touched the dish. Bailey may have also missed the plate with his hand; no replay that i saw gave clear evidence either way.
In the bottom of the inning, Beckett and Varitek were steamed at a non-strike call to Brendan Harris. The pitch was nothing special, off the outside corner, but Tek was given the heave-ho pretty quickly and Terry Francona soon followed. I'm not sure how or why things escalated so quickly. Post-game interviews may shed a little light.
The bullpen cleaned up handily. Hideki Okajima allowed a two-out single in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon gave up a one-out single to Harris before getting Delmon Young to line out to right and striking out pinch-hitter Brian Buscher.
The Yankees are off today, so the Red Sox moved 0.5 GA in the East.
Josh Beckett (5.01, 97 ERA+) / Anthony Swarzak (0.00, 2nd career start)
Jason Bay is not in the lineup for the first time this season.
RHP Swarzak, 23, made his major league debut last Saturday against the Brewers. He threw seven shutout innings (7-5-0-2-3, 98). It was the first time in Twins history that a starting pitcher went seven scoreless innings in his debut. (Mike Fornieles pitched a nine-inning shutout on September 2, 1952, when the Twins were known as the Washington Senators.)Ellsbury, CF
Swarzak has apparently gotten past the drug use that earned him a 50-game suspension in 2007, but his effectiveness didn't come with him. Unlike most Twins pitching prospects, he actually has impressive stuff, but he's also a fly-ball pitcher short of a strikeout pitch. Right now, he has a fastball and curve down pat, but might need a third pitch to make it as a starter in the bigs. His results at Triple-A were obviously greatly improved [1.80 ERA in 7 starts after 5.66 in 20 AA starts], but the low strikeout rate [26 in 45 IP] and still lower BABIP [.266] argue for some sample-size cynicism.The Star Tribune reported that the "drug of abuse" was marijuana.