for this game

Beckett, Red Sox shut out Yankees

May 15, 2011 - 5:03 AM Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Josh Beckett tossed six strong, scoreless innings and Adrian Gonzalez belted a three-run home run, as the Boston Red Sox rolled past the New York Yankees, 6-0, to take the first two games of a three- game set.

Jacoby Ellsbury had a two-run double and Dustin Pedroia collected three hits for the Red Sox, who moved to one game under .500 (19-20) and can reach that mark for the first time this season if they complete the series sweep on Sunday.

Beckett (3-1) got the best of an anticipated duel with Yankees ace CC Sabathia, striking out nine batters while giving up just four hits and walking two in the impressive outing.

Sabathia (3-3), meanwhile, allowed six runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for New York, which has dropped a season-high four consecutive games.

There was drama on the Yankees side before a pitch was even thrown.

Scuffling designated hitter Jorge Posada was dropped to ninth in the order, then scratched from the lineup before the game. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a TV interview during the game that Posada asked to be out of the lineup and was not injured.

"Jorgie came into my office before the game and said he needed the day off," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said afterward. "That was the extent of our conversation."

As the game progressed, so did the drama, as Posada was heavily criticized on social media for taking himself out of the game.

Laura Posada, Jorge's wife, said on Twitter: "Jorge loves being a Yankee [more than] anything. He's trying his best to help his team win. Today, due to back stiffness he wasn't able to do that."

"I hope it's nothing serious. We'll keep an eye on it," Jorge Posada said.

The longtime catcher has been struggling, batting just .165 with six homers and 15 RBI this season. He has struck out 30 times in 109 at-bats.

"Sometimes you need a day to clear your head," said Girardi.

Andruw Jones replaced Posada at DH and went 1-for-4 in the No. 9 hole.

The game itself was controlled by the two starting pitchers. Both worked out of trouble in the first inning after allowing two baserunners with no outs.

Sabathia struck out the side after pegging leadoff hitter Ellsbury and giving up a single to Pedroia. Beckett nearly had a carbon copy of the top of the first, allowing singles to Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson to start the home half. But like Sabathia, Beckett got out of the situation.

"He had a good changeup today and we were able to use it against the lefties and righties," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

The two veteran hurlers cruised through the next couple of innings, until Sabathia found himself in trouble when he walked the No. 9 batter Varitek on four pitches to load the bases in the fifth. Ellsbury then doubled into the left-field gap to bring home Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford.

The Yankee ace worked out of the jam without any further damage when red-hot Gonzalez grounded into a double play.

But Gonzalez would get the best of Sabathia in the seventh with a three-run blast into the right-field seats to make it a 6-0 game. Before that, Varitek started the four-run inning with an RBI single that brought home Mike Cameron.

Game Notes

To pile on, Girardi was ejected from the game after arguing with home plate umpire Mike Winters during a pitching change in the seventh...It would have been exactly 12 years since Posada hit in the ninth spot -- he was 0-for-4 against the Chicago White Sox on May 14, 1999...Beckett extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 18 1/3 innings. He also improved to 12-7 lifetime against the Yankees...New York was 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position...Gonzalez has homered in each of his last four games (five total HR).