Red Sox Live Blog: Josh Beckett Turns in Another Gem As Sox Defeat Phillies 5-1


Red Sox Live Blog: Josh Beckett Turns in Another Gem As Sox Defeat Phillies 5-1

Final, Red Sox 5-1: Offensively, it was the Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia show all over again.

They each smacked early homers to propel the Red Sox past the Phillies to win two out of three games in Philadelphia. 

Josh Beckett continued to dazzle for the Red Sox, allowing just one run and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings en route to collecting his second straight win.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 5-1: Chad Qualls made quick work of the Red Sox lineup in relief.

To Nick Punto's credit, he managed to draw a walk to increase his on-base percentage. I wonder if the Red Sox will eventually look for Pedro Ciriaco to give them a little spark in that utility man role.

For now, that's not a short term question. Right now, Alfredo Aceves is coming to end the game.

End 8th, Red Sox 5-1: Josh Beckett and Vicente Padilla were very fortunate in this inning.

When Beckett left the game, he left two runners on base for Padilla to inherit. Padilla walked the next one to juice the bases, but got Ty Wigginton to ground out.

It had the potential to be a devastating inning for the Red Sox, but instead, they stepped up. And no eephus pitches from Padilla this time around.

3:59 p.m.: After 14 2/3 innings, Josh Beckett has finally allowed a run. Ironically, he exited to a standing ovation from some Phillies fans.

Now, Vicente Padilla will enter for a back-to-back appearance.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-0: Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman was flummoxing the Red Sox with some a flurry of fastballs and changeups.

With that, Cliff Lee obviously exited the game and is still in search of his first victory of the 2012 season. The Phillies are getting challenged this season.

End 7th, Red Sox 5-0: Finally, someone was able to slow down "Sox-killer" Freddy Galvis.

OK, Sox-killer is a stretch, but Galvis has hit homers in each of the last two games. He entered this game with just one homer.

This marks 14 scoreless innings for Josh Beckett now. Talk about rebounding from a tough start.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-0: There was good news and bad news from Josh Beckett's at-bat.

The good news — he was just inches away from blasting a shot over the center field wall. It ended up being a single, but a 400-foot one at that. It was his 33rd career hit.

The bad news — during the ensuing at-bat, Mike Aviles grounded out and Beckett didn't show any hustle or urgency to get to second base. He was tagged out fairly easy.

End 6th, Red Sox 5-0: Last week, many thought Josh Beckett had the chance to go the distance against the Mariners. The rain prevented that from happening.

This time around, Beckett's odds are a lot better. The weather is great and he's been very efficient — and effective for that matter — in his bid against the Phillies.

Also, Adrian Gonzalez hasn't really gotten much action in right field.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-0: Cliff Lee has continued to cruise, recording two strikeouts in the sixth inning.

He's also managed to be pretty efficient after the Red Sox exhausted his pitches through the first couple innings.

But I have to admit, this game has been flying by.

End 5th, Red Sox 5-0: That's an eight-pitch inning right there for Josh Beckett, who is rolling.

As I wrote last week, I believe the pitcher's strength is also his biggest weakness on the mound. But the way that he has been pitching the last two outings, he's making everyone forget the controversial golf outing.

He's being efficient and succesful.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-0: Ah, this is the Cliff Lee that the Phillies fans know and love.

He retired Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks by primarily using his fastball. He sprinked in the curveball as well.

Lee is also former teammates with Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach. The two played together in Cleveland.

End 4th, Red Sox 5-0: Someone give David Ortiz a Gold Glove. Ok, kidding, but he made another nifty snag on a liner to first base.

Ortiz also stopped a grounder really nicely and could've likely gotten Shane Victorino out at first — had Josh Beckett covered the base as quickly as he should've.

It's been a sight to see and I really thinking losing all that weight has helped out his mobility.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-0: For the first time in this one, Mike Aviles didn't make Cliff Lee pay for his mistakes.

Aviles instead flied out. Still, Lee is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, so it's rare to see him struggling like he did in the first three innings and raising his ERA.

But it looked like he started settling down a little better there.

End 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: While Cliff Lee may be struggling on the mound right now, he had a very impressive at-bat.

He lined a double down the left field line and beat Daniel Nava's throw to second with a really well-timed slide. Not bad a for pitcher.

But the Phillies couldn't convert, partly because of David Ortiz' nice snag at first base to end the inning.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: You must be wondering why Jarrod Saltalamacchia is starting a day game after a night game. Typically, Kelly Shoppach holds it down, especially with Josh Beckett on the mound.

Not this time. Before the game, Bobby Valentine said he wanted to ride Saltalamacchia's hot streak as far as it would take him.

That streak continued on Sunday with that mammoth blast to center field. It was huge.

2:23 p.m.: Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been blazing since suffer a left ear laceration, this time belting a three-run bomb.

End 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Will Middlebrooks has flashed his bat relatively well, but in that frame, he showed off some good glove work.

He turned a very nice double play with Dustin Pedroia to help alleviate any of Beckett's stress. The play before, he showed off his arm strength with a deep throw to first base.

Beckett put the finishing touches on John Mayberry, striking him out swinging with a bevy of fastballs and curveballs.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0:  Mike Aviles just ripped an RBI single to left field. Give credit to Josh Beckett, who laid down a bunt.

But Aviles is sizzling at the plate right now. Before the game, he was sitting on the couch, studying the scouting report and it looks like it paid off very handsomely.

Marlon Byrd also had some wise base running that keyed that run as well.

End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: Josh Beckett responded to Cliff Lee's quick first with a quick first split of his own.

In speaking with Felix Doubront earlier, he said he though Beckett was one of the better hitting pitchers on the team. He has that experience from his days in the National League.

We'll see how handles his at-bats against Cliff Lee, but that should be interesting.

Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: For the second straight game, Mike Aviles has unloaded a leadoff shot.

That's his eighth of the season and 26th RBI of the year. He's blazing hot right now and you can only wonder whether Bobby Valentine would contemplate sliding him down to capitalize on RBIs.

It seems leadoff is good for Aviles, but the way he's been slugging, he's quite an asset.

1:45 p.m.: Here are the lineups.

Red Sox
Mike Aviles, SS  
Dustin Pedroia, 2B  
David Ortiz, 1B   
Adrian Gonzalez, RF  
Will Middlebrooks, 3B  
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C  
Daniel Nava, LF  
Marlon Byrd, CF  
Josh Beckett, P 

Jimmy Rollins, SS
Juan Pierre, LF
Shane Victorino, CF
Hunter Pence, RF
Ty Wigginton, 3B
John Mayberry, 1B
Freddy Galvis, 2B
Brian Schneider, C
Cliff Lee, P

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox (19-21) will have their hands full when they take on Philadelphia ace Cliff Lee on Sunday. Boston will have its own standout pitcher on the mound against the Philles (21-20) as Josh Beckett looks to dazzle once again. During his last start, Beckett was dominant, firing seven shutout innings aginst the Mariners while walking two and striking out nine.

Beckett, who is 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA, has also enjoyed success as a slugger in Philadelphia, having blasted two career home runs at the park. He'll look to help his cause against Lee, who is 0-1 — with little run support on his side — but has a minuscule 1.95 ERA this season.

For more details and analysis from Citizens Bank Park, tune in to NESN and follow's live blog. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., and NESN's pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.

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