Beckett’s Start Propels Sox To Series Win

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It’s always nice to drop the first game of a series, then win the next two and win the series, and that’s exactly what the Red Sox did this weekend. In fact, over the past couple of games, the Red Sox have developed a little routine of how to start the game. This primarily involves Mike Aviles batting leadoff, and knocking a home run for the first play of the game. They did this last night and once again today as the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead very early off of Cliff Lee and the Phillies. After a 1-2-3 first for Josh Beckett, the Red Sox continued to hammer Cliff Lee by runners at first and second with two outs in the second.

Mike Aviles came up and promptly drove in Marlon Byrd from second base with a little single through the left side of the infield. I’m starting to feel that Red Sox Nation should develop a little cheer where, whenever Mike Aviles steps up to the plate, everybody in Fenway Park (you can do this at home too, kids!) says “We like Mike!” over and over. Just think about it, ok? Anyhow, the Red Sox continued to score in the third inning when they put runners at second and third with just an out in the third.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia also has fallen into a routine, and crushed a home run for the second straight game– this one scoring three to give the Red Sox a 5-0 lead in the third inning. The Red Sox wouldn’t score again in the game, but the main source of pleasure in this one was watching Josh Beckett tear up the Phillies mediocre lineup. He was throwing heat and his curveball was killer today– he would record just five strikeouts in his 7.2 innings of work, but that does not illustrate his dominance as well as the one run allowed and two walks.

That sole Phillies run came in the eighth when they’d score a cheapie on a sacrifice fly when Josh Beckett was getting tired. Beckett would be taken out of the game with two outs in the eighth. Vicente Padilla came in, walking a batter to load the bases before getting out of the inning before he was pulled in favor of Alfredo Aceves for the ninth. It wasn’t a save situation for the Red Sox’ closer, but Aceves was just as good– striking out a batter in a perfect inning to end the ballgame in a 5-1 win for the Red Sox.