Despite early troubles, Josh Beckett (6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) kept the Sox in the game as the offense pounded Shields for the 7-3 win.
The Sox and Rays did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard. The Red Sox jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by way of a Gonzalez single that scored Nava in the first. Josh Beckett gave it right back, and some, in the bottom of the inning. Beckett surrendered 3 straight singles, one by way of a deflection off of his own glove, followed by a pair of strikeouts, HBP, and another single. All resulted in a 3-1 Rays lead after 1, and surprisingly, that was all of the scoring the Rays would do. The Sox answered immediately in the 2nd with a 2-run homer off the bat of Mike Aviles. Daniel Nava added a solo homer in the 5th, accompanied by a 2-run single by Will Middlebrooks. Ellsbury scored on a Cody Ross sac-fly in the 6th to cap off the scoring. Alfredo Aceves made things interesting in the 9th with the 4-run lead. Aceves walked the bases loaded and ultimately got Hideki Matsui to fly out to deep right to end the game.
Josh Beckett was tough to watch at the beginning of the game, but settled down after the 3-run, 3 hit first. Beckett scatters 5 hits in the remaining 5 innings to earn his 5th win of the season. The Sox exceeded all expectations and racked up 11 hits and 6 runs on James Shields to give Beckett a nice cushion.
Jacoby Ellsbury continues to look better in his return to the lineup. Ells went 3-for-5 with a run scored from the top spot. Gonzo made a surprising return after being doubtful for the game, and he looked pretty good, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. In addition to Ellsbury and Gonzalez, Ortiz, Middlebrooks, and Aviles had multiple hits.
A series victory against the Rays...not a bad way to start the second half.