The Red Sox take the series with a 5-1 victory behind Josh Beckett and a strong 7 2/3 inning pitching performance. The Sox have won their second straight and 8 of their last 10.
This game was far from a pitching duel, as the Sox were not fooled by anything Cliff Lee delivered (7 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K). Josh Beckett on the other hand, pitched 7 2/3 innings, giving up 7 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks and struck out 5. Everyone was wondering if Beckett could carry over the momentum of his last start, and he did it very well as he improved to 4-4 this season.
Mike Aviles lead off the game with a home run, and Lee recorded the next 4 outs via the strikeout with some walks and hits in between. The Sox scored a run in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd inning off of a 466 ft. Saltalamacchia homer to center.
The Phillies scattered their 7 hits against Beckett, but could not figure out how to drive them home. They finally scored a run on a sac fly in the 8th, and that was the extent of their offense.
As mentioned, Mike Aviles lead off the game with a home run, making it two straight game with a home run to lead off the game and the third straight game with a home run. Aviles has 33 career home runs, 8 have been hit this season, accounting for 1/4 of his total. I think Bobby (or Ben...or Larry) made a good decision to make Mike the shortstop this season.
Gonzo came into this game with a .538 career average against Lee and he improved that number after going 2-for-3 against Lee today. Gonzalez now has a .563 career average against Cliff Lee. Too bad we won't see him again this season, or will we? Probably not.
David Ortiz went 0-for-4, but he tagged the ball a couple of times into the ridiculous over-shift. The Phillies had their second baseman, Freddy Galvis, in mid-right field. What would have been singles, possibly doubles, turned into very loud outs. Time to lay down the bunts.
The Sox are in a much better position than the last time leading into an Orioles series. Baltimore is playing some damn good baseball and the Red Sox have a tough test to begin the week.