The setting was a familiar one in the first inning of the Red Sox and Twins game on Tuesday night. Josh Beckett was staked a 3-0 lead before he took to the rubber and once again he was on the verge of raising the blood pressure of every Red Sox fan across the Nation. Beckett walked three straight which included walking in a run but then finally settled down and escaped a bases loaded jam to conclude the first while giving his team a 3-1 lead. After that it was vintage Beckett for the most part, going six strong innings, surrendering two earned runs on five hits, while walking three and fanning five. The promising stat is that after the three straight walks, Beckett never gave up another free pass for the rest of his outing.
Scott Atchison came on in relief and did what Scott Atchison has done consistently during his early season appearances, get batters out. The veteran reliever went two innings without allowing a hit while striking out three. He also lowered his team leading ERA to 1.54.
Matt Albers was called on to round out the ninth and even he couldn’t blow a nine run lead on this night. Albers would give up a one out double before retiring the final two outs and securing the victory for the Olde Towne Team.
From an offensive standpoint, the runs came early and often. It started in the first with RBI singles from Ryan Sweeney and David Ortiz before Cody Ross grounded out to drive in a run with the bases loaded.
The long ball was once again popping off the Red Sox bats when David Ortiz went deep to right in the 3rd and Aviles sent a solo shot over the wall in the 4th making the lead 6-1. Adrian Gonzalez would single in Sweeney later in the 4th before Aviles, Pedroia and Gonzalez all ripped run scoring doubles in the 5th making it a 10-1 score.
Red Sox fans learnt something on the weekend and that was no lead is safe. Josh Willingham put the fear back into the hearts of Red Sox Nation with an RBI double in the bottom of the 5th but Beckett would shut the door for the rest of his night.
Once again the offense came through with more than enough support on this night and despite a shaky first, Josh Beckett was solid on the mound. Mike Aviles had a four hit night and all Red Sox starters managed a hit except for Monday night’s hero Cody Ross. Baseball can be a funny game can’t it?
Make it two wins in a row for the Red Sox thanks to the route of the Twins. The Sox will go for the series sweep on Wednesday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound. Buchholz has struggled to regain his dominating form, often serving up one or two bad innings that cost him the game. Perhaps this will be the start of something good for this club.