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Beckett dominant as Red Sox blank Braves

Jun 20, 2007 - 5:35 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Josh Beckett continued his dominance of the Atlanta Braves.

Beckett hurled six scoreless innings and helped his own cause by driving in a run in the fourth to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 4-0 blanking of the Braves on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old Beckett (10-1) has pitched quite well against Atlanta, allowing just two earned runs over his last four starts coming into Tuesday. The righthander has been even better at Turner Field, sporting a miniscule 1.88 ERA over five starts.

But despite his solid numbers, the Boston hurler had been victimized by poor run support, winning just twice in five decisions here.

On a night when Boston ace Curt Schilling was sent back to Boston to have a precautionary MRI performed on his right shoulder, the 6-5 Beckett gave the Red Sox and their throngs of fans at Turner Field something to smile about.

The righthander scattered four hits in six rain-shortened innings to join the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's John Lackey as the major league's second 10-game winner. Beckett walked one and struck out three in an 88-pitch performance.

"I'm just looking to get to (win) No. 11," Beckett said. "It's nice to get a win anytime. We scored plenty of runs tonight."

"He got his fastball down and in the zone, threw some good breaking balls and some changeups," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That's the Beckett we've seen all year. He was tremendous."

Atlanta's best chance against Beckett came in the first.

With one out, Willie Harris laced a double off the top of the right-center field wall for a double and advanced to third on a groundout. Chipper Jones followed with a walk, but Beckett induced Brian McCann to fly out to end the threat.

Beckett, who needed 17 pitches to get through the first, settled down thereafter, allowing singles in the third, fifth and sixth, respectively. The righthander would have gone longer, but a 48-minute rain delay after the bottom of the sixth cut his night short.

"It was too much Beckett, period," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "The guy pitched a great game. We didn't rough him up at all."

Three Boston relievers hurled three scoreless frames to preserve the shutout.

David Ortiz gave Beckett all the run support he would need in the first. The Red Sox slugger, who was making a rare appearance as a first baseman in this interleague matchup, launched his 12th homer of the season off Atlanta starter Tim Hudson (6-5) in the fourth to give Boston a 1-0 edge.

"It was a good pitch," Hudson said. "He's so close to the plate right now. It was a sinker that was up in the zone. It was probably a ball away. But a ball away to him is outside corner."

Beckett gave himself a little more breathing room in the fifth.

Alex Cora began the frame by blasting a triple past diving center fielder Andruw Jones in right-center field and scored when Beckett smashed a double into the left-center field gap.

"When the infield's in, first of all (as a pitcher) you're trying to get ahead," said Beckett, who batted .429 with a homer and three RBI in seven interleague games last season. "That ball hit me as much as I hit it."

"He seems to always swing the bat well in interleague," Jason Varitek said. "He has a powerful stroke."

Beckett advanced to third on a J.D. Drew flyout and scored when rookie Dustin Pedroia laced a single through the middle of a drawn-in Atlanta infield.

Braves starter Tim Hudson continued to struggle against Boston. The 31-year-old righthander allowed four runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out one in 5 1/3 frames to fall to 3-9 with a 6.26 ERA in 12 starts against the Red Sox.

The righthander, who was 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in six April starts, has wilted in with the summer Atlanta heat, allowing 15 runs and 21 hits in 20 2/3 frames to drop to 0-2 in four June starts.

"I felt pretty good," Hudson said. "I made a couple of bad pitches in the fifth and sixth innings. I just lost control a little bit and got a little bit in the hole."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 4 10 0
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JOSH BECKETT, KYLE SNYDER (7TH), HIDEKI OKAJIMA (8TH),
    JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    ATL - TIM HUDSON, OSCAR VILLARREAL (6TH), CHAD PARONTO
    (8TH)

    Jun 19 11:21 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ALEX CORA SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRISP ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J BECKETT (.167, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. BravesJun 19 9:22 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DUSTIN PEDROIA SCORED JOSH BECKETT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D PEDROIA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.333, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. BravesJun 19 8:55 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH BECKETT SCORED ALEX CORA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BECKETT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    ATLANTA 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.239, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox vs. BravesJun 19 8:53 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAVID ORTIZ (12) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF TIM HUDSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.293, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. BravesJun 19 8:40 PM