Josh Beckett Has Better Stuff Against Yankees, But Continues to Be Victimized by Long Ball

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Josh Beckett Has Better Stuff Against Yankees, But Continues to Be Victimized by Long BallJosh Beckett went 12 straight starts without surrendering a home run.

Now, he's becoming susceptible to a barrage of bombs. During Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees, Beckett yielded two solo shots to Ichiro Suzuki, who has become mostly just a singles hitter as he's gotten older.

But on this night, Beckett made Ichiro look like a slugger. By whacking two home runs into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium, the outfielder notched just the seventh multi-homer game of his 12-year career.

It marked the third consecutive start in which Beckett has yielded at least two home runs. The defeat dropped Beckett to 0-4 in his past six starts and 5-11 overall for the 2012 season.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Beckett understood the bleak outlook moving forward.

"We need a lot of things to happen now," said Beckett, who allowed seven hits and four runs over six frames. "We've got to play better and we've got to have some teams fall down."

While Beckett improved from his past outings ?? where he yielded 14 earned runs over his last 10 1/3 innings ?? it wasn't enough to match Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda's masterpiece. Kuroda allowed four hits and one run over eight innings.

The game continued to expose Beckett's woes in the first inning. After giving up a leadoff double to Derek Jeter, the Red Sox pitcher allowed another two-bagger to Curtis Granderson that placed the pressure on him once again.

"He had trouble with two hitters," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "Jeter and Ichiro did him in."

For the season, Beckett has surrendered 23 first-inning runs, raising his ERA in the opening frame to 9.86. He last savored a victory on July 15 and since May 20, he's only collected two wins.

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