Beckett is Baseball’s First 13-Game Winner as Red Sox Blank Orioles

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Beckett is Baseball's First 13-Game Winner as Red Sox Blank Orioles All eyes were on the newly-acquired Victor Martinez, but Red Sox ace Josh Beckett stole the show Saturday in Baltimore as the Sox shutout the O’s 4-0.

In his first game as a member of the Sox, Martinez went 1-for-5 with one run and one RBI, hitting in the third slot and playing first. Beckett however, stymied O’s bats all night, going seven innings, allowing just six hits and no runs while striking out five and walking two.

The win brought Boston to within a half game of the first place Yankees who got crushed Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

The Boston bats were a bit quiet for the majority of the evening, but the Sox were able to get on the board in the first inning thanks to Dustin Pedroia’s sixth homer of the season – a line shot over the fence in left. Kevin Youkilis popped a solo shot in the fifth before Martinez and Rocco Baldelli were able to each drive in a run in the sixth to give the Sox the 4-0 lead.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 0
Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.
August 1, 2009

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Headliner: Red Sox ace Josh Beckett cruised through seven innings, picking up his Major League-best 13th win of the season. Beckett managed to lower his ERA down from 3.44 to 3.27 by allowing no runs on six hits while striking out five. The ace has now won six of his last seven decisions 

Dirt dog: Kevin Youkilis reached base five times, smacking three singles and a homer while also drawing a walk. Youk launched his 19th longball of the season in the fifth frame to give the Sox a 2-0 cushion.

Better luck next time: O’s starter David Hernandez went just 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, four walks and two runs while striking out four. The rookie righty allowed two longballs, including a solo shot off the bat of Dustin Pedroia in the first frame.

Key moment: Victor Martinez picked up his first hit and first RBI as a member of the Sox but all credit goes to Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox leadoff hitter swiped third base – his 48th of the season – in the sixth frame and scored on a soft flare to leftfield that wouldn’t have scored a run had Ellsbury still been on second base.

The Red Sox defense was also able to turn double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings after Red Sox pitchers allowed the first two Orioles runners to reach base in each frame.

On deck: The Red Sox will hand the ball to Clay Buchholz in the series finale in Baltimore. Buchholz (1-1, 3.52 ERA) will be fighting for his second win this season as he takes on southpaw Rich Hill and the O’s in afternoon baseball at Camden Yards. Hill has a 3-3 record to go with a 7.80 ERA in 13 starts.

Buchholz tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run baseball in his last outing on Tuesday, striking out a season-high five in a 9-8 loss to Oakland at Fenway Park. In his last start, Hill threw just 61 pitches in just 2 1/3 innings. Hill allowed three earned runs on four hits, but issued three walks in the no-decision.

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