Final — Red Sox 4-0: Daniel Bard pitched a perfect ninth that included two strikeouts to end it at Fenway South. Beckett is now 13-4 and has become the MLB's first 13-game winner.
End 8th — Red Sox 4-0: Hideki Okajima came in to relieve Beckett and ran into early trouble, allowing the first to O's batters to reach base. Like Beckett in the previous two innings, Oki got a huge double play to end the threat. This one was a liner to Pedie at second who fired it to V-Mart at the bag.
10:07 p.m.: Pats training camp has started up and Olympia Sports is selling Patriots replica jerseys for just $69.99!
Mid 8th — Red Sox 4-0: Youk is tearing up the O's staff tonight as the Sox third baseman ripped his fourth hit of the night, a single to left-center. Youk has reached base all five times tonight, smacking a homer, three singles and drawing a walk.
End 7th — Red Sox 4-0: Beckett appeared to have run out of steam as he allowed the first two O's batters to reach base for the second straight inning. The ace benefited from another double play and a line out to Pedroia at second to keep the shutout intact.
Mid 7th — Red Sox 4-0: Reddick has picked up his second double of the night. Not a bad replacement for J.D. Drew, who has been out with a groin injury. Now that Bay has left the game with what Heidi has reported to be a cramp, Reddick's presence in the lineup may prove to be very important for Tito's bunch. Also in the seventh, Lowrie showed off some good bat control and was able to advance Reddick from second to third by rolling a grounder to the right side with no outs. Pedie and Ellsbury were unable to plate the Sox rookie outfielder.
End 6th — Red Sox 4-0: Jason Bay has left the game with a cramp in his hamstring. More on that to come…
Beckett allowed back-to-back singles in the sixth but forced Reimold to bounce into a huge inning-ending double play.
Mid 6th — Red Sox 4-0: Victor Martinez is on the map, folks. V-Mart flared an RBI-single to left to plate Ellsbury for both his first hit and RBI as a member of the Sox. Ellsbury deserves all the credit on this one however, as the Sox leadoff hitter singled, moved to second on a groundout and stole third (his 48th of the season) before Martinez drove him in. It was Martinez's 68th RBI of the season.
Rocco Baldelli picked up a pinch hit RBI double, scoring Martinez with Boston's fourth run.
End 5th — Red Sox 2-0: Baltimore gave Beckett a scare with a triple (double-and-error by Reddick) by Izturis. Roberts spanked a deep fly to left but Jason Bay snared it at the track to end the frame.
Mid 5th — Red Sox 2-0: Yoooooooouk belts an inside heater deep and gone over the fence in left-center to give Boston the 2-0 advantage. Martinez popped out to left-center to lead off the inning and is now 0-for-3 on the night. Papi followed Youk's tater by sneaking one down the first base line for his 23rd double of the season. That two-bagger was the final pitch Hernandez would throw as he was pulled after 3 1/3 innings which he allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks.
After Varitek and Reddick each drew walks, Lowrie popped out in foul territory on the first base side with the bases juiced. It was the second time tonight the Sox left 'em loaded.
End 4th — Red Sox 1-0: More of nothing for the O's offense. Beckett allowed a leadoff walk — his first of the night — but also picked up his fourth strikeout of the night. The righty has now thrown 64 pitches (40 for strikes).
Mid 4th — Red Sox 1-0: After a pair of strikeouts to Reddick and Lowrie, Ellsbury smoked a single back up the middle. The Sox leadoff hitter was stranded however as Pedroia grounded out to end things.
End 3rd — Red Sox 1-0: Despite another single (off the bat of Wieters), the O's still look sluggish against Beckett. The Sox ace has thrown 45 pitches through the first three innings.
Mid 3rd — Red Sox 1-0: Martinez is 0-for-2 in his first night as a Red Sox hitter as the first baseman grounded out in his second at bat. Youk singled and Bay walked but the Sox were unable to plate any runs.
End 2nd — Red Sox 1-0: Beckett looks even stronger this time around as he struck out the first two batters he faced. After coughing up a hit to Luke Scott (who owns Beckett — had a .538 BA against the Sox ace entering the game), Beckett got Mora to groundout to Youk at third.
Mid 2nd — Red Sox 1-0: Josh Reddick picks up his first career MLB hit — a double to the right-center gap (Yes, he got the baseball).
After the double, Hernandez walked Jed Lowrie and Ellsbury to load 'em up with two outs for Pedie. The Sox two-bagger couldn't take advantage this time and bounced out to short to end the big threat.
The Sox picked up a half game on the Yankees, who just lost to the White Sox 14-4. The lead in the East is back to one game for the Yanks.
End 1st — Red Sox 1-0: An easy three-up, three-down inning for Beckett, who needed just 12 pitches in his first frame. Beckett got Adam Jones to strikeout swinging at a high heater. Maybe Jones needs to take advantage of NESN.com's AWESOME 20% discount at Olympia Sports! Perhaps some new batting gloves?
Mid 1st — Red Sox 1-0: Dustin Pedroia smashed a solo shot to left field, but getting the biggest ovation of the top half of the inning was for Martinez as he made his way to the plate.
The Sox newest slugger didn't respond too well to the throng of Red Sox fans as he struck out swinging on a high heater. After a two-out walk to Youk, Big Papi dribbled one back to the pitcher for the final out.
5:40 p.m.: V-Mart speaks:
“I’m really proud and honored to wear a Red Sox uniform,” he told the Herald earlier today. “They’ve always been a tough team to play. I’m happy to be on this side of it.”
On leaving Cleveland, the team that signed him out of Venezuela in 1996:
"It’s tough to leave that team that gave you the opportunity to be a Major League ballplayer, especially when it was my only organization," he told the Globe.
On working alongside Jason Varitek:
"I always look up to Jason," Martinez told the Globe. "He’s one of the best catchers in the game. I always look up to him, and I really look forward to talking to him a lot just to be beside him and learn. I’ll learn a lot of stuff from him."
5:29 p.m.: Here's an interesting stat from the Red Sox media relations dept: David Ortiz has homered in each of his last two games and has nine RBIs in his last seven games. He leads the A.L. and is tied for third in the Majors with 14 home runs since June 6. Only St. Louis’ Albert Pujols and Arizona’s Mark Reynolds have more in that time, each with 16. Ortiz has homered once every 10.79 at-bats during that stretch, tops in the Majors. Pujols ranks second at 11.00.
5:18 p.m.: Terry Francona has inserted his newest slugger V-Mart into the No. 3 slot of Saturday's lineup. Getting the bump to the bench is Mike Lowell, as Martinez is playing first, Kevin Youkilis manning third, Jason Varitek catching and David Ortiz DHing.
The Sox are 25-25 on the road entering this contest and snapped a five-game road losing streak by winning on Friday night. Boston is just 3-6 in its last nine away games and remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East, who are currently trailing the White Sox in Chicago 6-2 in the fourth inning.
Josh Beckett is looking for his major league-leading 13th win
and will have the biggest offensive acquisition of Friday's trade
deadline in the lineup helping him get there. All-Star slugger Victor Martinez is batting third and playing first base for the Red Sox, who take on rookie hurler David Hernandez and the fifth-place Orioles, just one night after topping O's 6-5 on Friday night.
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