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Beckett earns league-leading 17th win against Blue Jays

Sep 5, 2007 - 4:04 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Josh Beckett registered his 17th victory of the season as the Boston Red Sox edged the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3, on Tuesday.

Beckett (17-6) set a personal record for wins in a season as he outpitched Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay, allowing three runs and five hits over eight innings.

The righthander struck out seven and walked two as the Red Sox remained atop the American League East Division, seven games in front of the New York Yankees (77-62).

The 27-year-old Beckett faced just three batters over the minimum before allowing a home run to Matt Stairs in the fifth inning. The blast was the only mistake Beckett made, as he allowed just one hit, a single to Frank Thomas in the sixth, over his final three innings.

"I executed pitches when I needed to," Beckett said. "All of them, except one. The defense played awesome on the pitches that I didn't execute. Mikey (third baseman Lowell) made four grabs coming in, (shortstop Julio) Lugo made a couple and he made one in the hole. Beckett, who beat Yankees righthander Chien-Mien Wang by approximately one hour in becoming the first pitcher to 17 wins in baseball, came out after eight innings and 117 pitches.

"My job is to execute pitches until somebody takes the ball out of my hands or the game is over," Beckett said. "I already am coming in there thinking that I am going back out there (for the ninth) until Tito tells me that I am not."

Beckett also saved the bullpen a night after five relievers had to preserve a Red Sox win.

"He sure has been everything we ever hoped for," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Other than leaving a changeup up to Stairs, he was really good. Even after that, he settled back down and got him out. He stayed out there through eight, which was huge on a night when obviously we don't want to pitch Okajima. For him to get through those guys again was really impressive."

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 33rd save of the season. Papelbon has made appearances in the last three games, the first time he has done so this season.

Halladay (14-7) surrendered five runs on nine hits over eight innings. The righthander struck out seven and walked two but fell victim to a lack of run support again, as the Blue Jays have scored just 15 runs over his last five starts.

The 2003 AL Cy Young winner also had a close call go against him, when Coco Crisp avoided an inning-ending double play and was ruled safe on a fielder's choice, scoring J.D. Drew with the first run in the fourth.

"It's just a break that didn't go our way," Halladay said. "Unfortunately, I think I let it bother me a little bit and I didn't make as good of pitches after that. That's probably more important than whether he's out or safe. You get caught up in the moment sometimes and I just didn't do a good job of settling myself down."

"Then they dropped four on us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons added. "It was a tight ballgame. We had that big home run (by Stairs) and got three. Beckett was great tonight. And then you get to Papelbon. But that (fourth inning) was the inning."

Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, coming a double short of the cycle, and Kevin Youkilis hit his 16th home run of the season, a solo blast in the eighth, to give the Red Sox a much-need insurance run.

Neither team got a runner past second base until the fourth inning, when Drew, who led off with a walk, advanced to third on Youkilis' single. Crisp beat out the double-play attempt after hitting a ground ball to second baseman Aaron Hill, as Drew crossed the plate to open the scoring.

Ellsbury followed Crisp with a two-run home run, his second of the season.

"He has filthy pitches," Ellsbury said of Halladay. "Tonight, I was seeing the ball real well and put three good swings on the ball."

Lugo and Dustin Pedroia capped off the inning with back-to-back doubles, as the Red Sox finished the inning with a 4-0 lead.

The Blue Jays responded in the fifth inning when Matt Stairs belted his 19th home run of the season, a three-run blast, narrowing Boston's lead to one, but didn't get any closer as they had no answer for Beckett.

Youkilis' solo blast in the eighth gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead before Papelbon slammed the door on the Blue Jays in the ninth.

In addition to the fourth inning home run, Ellsbury singled to lead off the third inning and tripled in the sixth. The 23-year-old was left on deck in the bottom of the eighth inning, never getting his chance for the cycle.

"It would have been nice," Ellsbury said of nearly becoming the first Red Sox rookie since Leon Culberson in 1943 to hit for the cycle. "I was next up, but most important we got the win. But it would have been nice to have gotten that fourth AB."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 5 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 x 5 9 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - ROY HALLADAY AND GREGG ZAUN
    BOS - JOSH BECKETT, JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON
    VARITEK

    HOME RUNS: TOR - MATT STAIRS (19) OFF JOSH BECKETT IN THE 5TH, 2 ON

    Sep 4 9:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (16) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF ROY HALLADAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, BOSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.259, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 4 9:29 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT STAIRS (19) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF JOSH BECKETT SCORED AARON HILL AND JOHN MCDONALD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A RIOS (.311, 1-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 4 8:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.317, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 4 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JACOBY ELLSBURY (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF ROY HALLADAY SCORED COCO CRISP.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, BOSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.238, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 4 8:21 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY COCO CRISP SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J ELLSBURY (.414, 1-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 4 8:20 PM
  • 5
    roots
    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. Red SoxSep 1 8:26 PM