Red Sox - 100 012 000 - 4 13 0Beckett (7-6-0-2-5, 107) and Kevin Youkilis (4-for-4, with a walk and dong) led the way to victory, with Josh Reddick collecting two doubles in his first major league start. Jason Bay and Jacoby Ellsbury each had two singles and LBJ stole his 48th base of the season.
Orioles - 000 000 000 - 0 8 0
Victor Martinez went only 1-for-5, but his sixth inning single drove in a run, and he later scored.
Dustin Pedroia clubbed a first-inning home run to give the Red Sox a quick 1-0 lead. Boston squandered plenty of chances to add to that lead, leaving the bases loaded in the second and fifth innings, and leaving two men on in the third, sixth, and ninth. Total LOB: 15.
However, Baltimore was equally inept at bringing in runners -- or Beckett and Hideki Okajima slammed the door in their faces. It's a matter of perspective. The Orioles had the first two batters on base in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but could not score. Boston got double plays in each frame to keep the whitewash intact.
Daniel Bard pitched the ninth, retiring the side and striking out the final two Orioles on flithy curveballs. In his last 12 appearances, Bard has pitched 14 scoreless innings (two unearned runs) and has allowed four hits and no walks, while striking out 23 batters.
Bay left the game after five innings with a right hamstring cramp.
The Yankees were routed by the White Sox this afternoon 14-4, so the red Sox are only 0.5 GB.
Josh Beckett (3.44, 136 ERA+) / David Hernandez (3.20, 143 ERA+)
Both Victor Martinez and Casey Kotchman are expected to be with the Red Sox for tonight's game in Baltimore.
Theo Epstein likes Martinez's versatility:
He can catch and give 'Tek a little bit of a rest behind the plate, and he can play first base and get some at-bats there. He can DH a little bit ... He provides some offensive support and some depth at the same time.Terry Francona:
In getting Victor, we are getting a middle-of-the-order, switch-hitting bat that can catch, play first and DH. It's a very valuable piece.Martinez is 30 years old; he will turn 31 two days before Christmas. This season, his hitting line of .284/.368/.464, 115 OPS+, gives him the 4th-best on-base, 4th best slugging and 3rd-best OPS+ on the team. However, his numbers have slipped every month this year:
Clay Buchholz was happy to still be in a Red Sox uniform at the end of the day:PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Mar-Apr 101 .386 .446 .636 1.082
May 126 .321 .413 .468 .881
June 115 .240 .322 .480 .802
July 93 .175 .280 .250 .530
I was a little nervous, because I wasn't getting any feedback from anybody. It's a helpless feeling knowing you have no say in whatever goes on, to get here today and walk around not knowing what's going on. ... The organization is awesome. They've treated me about as good as a person could be treated.Justin Masterson writes his final blog post for Comcast SportsNet.
4 PM: Yankees/White Sox.