Who Will Be the Amica Pitcher of the Week This Week?

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Who Will Be the Amica Pitcher of the Week This Week? Josh Beckett and the Red Sox bullpen set the bar high in the competition for Amica Pitcher of the Week honors.

Beckett continued to keep his name in the Cy Young discussion as he went eight shutout innings Sunday night in Tampa Bay, allowing only one hit and striking out six Rays hitters. He lowered his earned run average to 2.12, good for second place in all of baseball behind only Jered Weaver‘s 1.90 mark.

Despite his dominance Beckett did not pick up win number nine on the season as the Sox bats were stifled by Tampa starter Jeff Niemann, who went eight scoreless innings himself.

The Sox bullpen picked up where its starter left off as Daniel Bard, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, Alfredo Aceves and Jonathan Papelbon combined to go eight innings, giving up two hits and striking out seven as Boston emerged with a 1-0 victory in 16 innings. Aceves earned the win, his fifth of the season, while Papelbon shut the door in the 16th inning to collect his 21st save.

On Monday, 44-year-old Tim Wakefield will seek to duplicate his teammates’ efforts as he goes for career win No. 199 at Baltimore. The knuckleballer is 5-3 on the season with a 4.74 ERA. In his most recent start on July 6 the right-hander gave up three runs in seven innings in Boston’s 6-4 win over the Blue Jays.

Tuesday, the Sox will turn to Kyle Weiland, who will be making his second career start — only 450 starts short of Wakefield’s career total. The 24-year-old Weiland made his MLB debut against the birds last Sunday, the final day before the All-Star break. The 6-foot-4 righty will be looking for redemption as his first start didn’t go as he probably hoped, lasting only four innings and surrendering six earned runs before being tossed by home plate umpire Marty Foster for throwing inside. Fortunately for him and his team, the Sox held on for an 8-6 victory.

Andrew Miller will take the mound in Wednesday’s matinee affair and will be in search of his fourth win of the season. The lanky southpaw is 3-1 on the year with a 5.68 ERA. He was roughed up in his last start at Tampa on July 15, lasting only 2 2/3 innings and getting tagged for seven earned runs in a 9-6 loss to the Rays. Prior to the setback, Miller had won his previous three starts.

The Sox return to Fenway on Friday when John Lackey gets the start for Boston against Seattle. Lackey’s most recent start against the Rays was as contentious as most of his starts this season have been, with the 32-year-old having some choice words for manager Terry Francona as he was yanked with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning on Saturday. Despite the confrontation, Lackey actually earned the win to improve to 7-8 on the year.

Beckett and Wakefield round out the series with the M’s as Beckett toes the rubber on Saturday and Wakefield scheduled for Sunday.

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