Red Sox - 000 002 000 02 - 4 8 0 Angels - 000 000 200 00 - 2 4 0Beckett (8-3-2-2-5, 125) turned in his third straight superb start -- a 1.08 ERA in those 23 innings -- and 11th inning RBI from Adrian Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie gave the Red Sox a win in their first extra-inning game of the season.
Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run single gave Boston a lead in the sixth. Beckett allowed his first hit in the sixth inning and Torii Hunter blasted a two-run dong in the seventh to tie the game.
Boston wasted several scoring chances throughout the game:
1st: 1st/2nd, 1 out - Kevin Youkilis 6U-3/DP
2nd: Man on 3rd, 1 out - Carl Crawford 3U, Jason Varitek K
3rd: 1st/2nd, 2 outs - Marco Scutaro F8
4th: 1st/2nd, 2 outs - Ellsbury F7
7th: 1st/2nd, 0 outs - Gonzalez P5, Scutaro K, David Ortiz K
8th: Bases loaded, 1 out - J.D. Drew K, Dustin Pedroia P4
Erick Aybar doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, and he foolishly tried for a triple (despite slowing himself down before he got to second base by turning his head twice to look out at Drew fielding the ball in the corner) and was thrown out Drew-to-Pedroia-to-Lowrie. That was the last Angels base runner until there was one out in the 11th. Peter Bourjos bunted for a hit and took second on a wild pitch, but Jonathan Papelbon retired the next two hitters for the save.
Youkilis fouled a ball off his shin in the first inning; in the bottom of the second, Lowrie moved to third and Scutaro took over at shortstop.
Boston improved to 7-11 and is now 4 GB the Yankees (and only 1.5 games out of second place).
Josh Beckett / Tyler Chatwood
Chatwood, a 21-year-old rookie right-hander, is making his third career start. In his previous starts, he has allowed nine hits and six walks in 12 innings (3.75 ERA). BP2011 says he has a mid-90s fastball and a plus curve.
In Beckett's last two starts (15 innings against the Yankees and Blue Jays), he has allowed only five hits, three walks and one run, while striking out 19.
Peter Gammons, WEEI:
I think one of the things that's killed [the Red Sox] is that Jacoby Ellsbury has forgotten what his job is in baseball, which is to get on base and run. His four home runs, to me, are one of the worst things that's happened to this team early in the season, because I think it's encouraged him to get wider and wider with his swing. ... They need him to get on base 37 percent of the time or 38 percent of the time. I think he's kind of gotten away from that. ... The guy who's supposed to hit leadoff isn't getting on base.Among the 10 Red Sox players with more than 25 plate appearances this year, Ellsbury's .262 OBP ranks 8th. (His batting average is 9th and his slugging, even with a team-leading four home runs, is 6th. He is also second on the team in strikeouts.)
KHAZAD, commenting at Joe Posnanski's blog:
I like to look at the season as a series of 18 game innings. As a team, you would like to win each inning. If you do you are definitely in the playoff hunt*. ... I also like it because there are arbitrary beginning and ending dates. You cannot start it just after a losing streak and carry it to the beginning of the next one just to make the team look better.* - This is true. Winning an 18-game "inning" by the smallest margin would be a 10-8 record, which is a 90-win pace for the season.
After tonight's game, we will have completed the first "inning" of the 2011 season.
AL East: White Sox/Rays at 6:30 PM and Twins/Orioles at 7 PM. Yankees off.