Finally some run support for Beckett

August, 25, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett improved to 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA after he worked six innings and allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts to help Boston to a 13-2 victory over the Texas Rangers Wednesday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

“Against that lineup, we’ll take exactly what he gave us,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

The right-hander entered the game with the 10th-lowest run support in the league, but got plenty of it on Wednesday as he exited with a 9-1 advantage.

In fact, it was the most run support he’s received in an outing since getting 11 runs in an 11-7 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on May 18, 2008.

With a large cushion on Wednesday, Beckett still pitched his game, didn’t get too crazy with the strike zone and stayed focused.

“You have to do that here,” he said. “You saw that ball [Mike] Napoli hit to right-center field and the way the ball carried. They can put up some crooked numbers, not only with their lineup, but also with this ballpark.”

A scary moment occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler lined a shot right back up the middle and at Beckett’s head. The pitcher reacted and made a catch, avoiding possible serious injury.

“I never saw it. I really didn’t,” he said. “That ball caught me. I didn’t catch it.”

Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek and home-plate umpire Dana De Muth walked out to the mound just to give Beckett a breather.

“I told the umpire I needed new underwear,” Beckett said.

If the ace can continue to pitch the way he has, it’ll be opposing batters who will need to bring a change of clothes when they face Beckett down the stretch and maybe into the postseason.

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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