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Boston at Toronto

Scoreboard
Boston (21-10) «1340000109130
Toronto (13-19)100000010260

Beckett first to 7-0, pitches BoSox past Jays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Changing speeds more often has made Josh Beckett unbeatable this season.

Beckett (7-0) gave up a home run on his first pitch, then settled down to become the first seven-game winner in the majors as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 Tuesday night.

"We've been saying all along he's matured," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He's a better pitcher. He feels good about himself."

Beckett was tagged for a home run by Alex Rios on the first pitch, and Adam Lind followed with a double. But Beckett retired Vernon Wells on a popup, struck out Frank Thomas and induced Troy Glaus to ground out.

"To his credit, he reeled it back in in a hurry," Francona said. "He got down in the zone and made adjustments real quick, which was really good to see."

The Blue Jays lost their seventh in a row.

"One win right now would do wonders," manager John Gibbons said.

Mike Lowell and Dustin Pedroia each hit three-run homers for Boston, while Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis added solo home runs. Youkilis later was hit by a pitch above the left knee and left with a bruise.

"There's going to be some tightness," said Youkilis, who was hit on the same leg on Sunday. "Hopefully I'll get through it and be all right."

Beckett worked seven innings, setting down 14 in a row at one stretch. He allowed one run on five hits, walked one, struck out five and lowered his ERA to 2.51.

"To give up one run to that lineup, that's a feat in itself," Beckett said.

Youkilis said Beckett is succeeding by throwing more off-speed pitches.

"He's using his sinker and not trying to overpower guys as much," Youkilis said. "He's using his curveball and throwing that for strikes, using his changeup and throwing that for strikes. His off-speed stuff is the key to his success. A lot of power pitchers want to throw it by guys. He's finally understanding that off-speed is the key to being a power pitcher."

Beckett said he made an effort to mix up his pitches even with the seven-run cushion.

"When you get a bigger lead you're throwing more fastballs, trying to get ahead in the count, but you definitely don't forget about your secondary stuff," Beckett said.

Beckett is the first Red Sox pitcher to win his first seven starts of a season since Roger Moret won eight in a row in 1973. Babe Ruth (1917), Dave Ferriss (1945) and Moret share the Red Sox record with wins in each of their first eight games.

Youkilis got the Red Sox started with a home run in the first inning, and Boston led 8-1 by the third.

Varitek singled with two outs in the second, Coco Crisp walked and Pedroia hit his first home run of the season.

"I've been working a lot and it's paying off now," Pedroia said. "I always had confidence in my ability, it's just a matter of showing it. It's tough starting off slow, but once you get going it's fun to come out if it like this."

In the third, Manny Ramirez singled and J.D. Drew walked before Lowell and Varitek both homered.

Thomas, Toronto's designated hitter, said the pair of three-run blasts were "dagger killers."

"When they go in your chest, they hurt really bad," Thomas said. "We're struggling and that was not what the doctor ordered."

It was the first time Boston connected for consecutive homers since it hit four in a row against the Yankees on April 22. Varitek's homer finished Victor Zambrano (0-2).

Varitek finished 4-for-4 with a walk and scored three runs.

Julio Lugo hit an RBI double in the eighth off Toronto reliever Jason Frasor.

Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs singled home a run in the Toronto eighth off reliever Devern Hansack. The Blue Jays later loaded the bases, but the inning ended when J.C. Romero struck out Lyle Overbay.

Notes

  • Youkilis was replaced by Eric Hinske.
  • The win was Francona's 300th as Boston manager. He's the 10th manager in team history to reach that mark.
  • Rios hit his third leadoff homer of the season.
  • Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh attended the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Josh Beckett improves to 7-0, yielding just one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five.  (AP)
Josh Beckett improves to 7-0, yielding just one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Varitek
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 1
RBI 1
Boston

J. Beckett
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
 
Boston Red Sox
Julio Lugo, SS5021001 .229
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3131000 .306
    Eric Hinske, PR-1B0000100 .240
David Ortiz, DH3000201 .291
Manny Ramirez, LF5110015 .243
    Wily Mo Pena, LF0000000 .270
J.D. Drew, RF4100110 .255
Mike Lowell, 3B5113000 .289
Jason Varitek, C4341100 .284
    Doug Mirabelli, C0000000 .333
Coco Crisp, CF4100112 .226
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4123001 .254
Totals37913963  
Batting
2B - Julio Lugo (7, Frasor)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (3, Zambrano), Mike Lowell (5, Zambrano), Jason Varitek (3, Zambrano), Dustin Pedroia (1, Zambrano)
RBI - Julio Lugo (14), Kevin Youkilis (11), Mike Lowell 3 (24), Jason Varitek (12), Dustin Pedroia 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Lugo (3), Mike Lowell 3 (11), Jason Varitek (6), Dustin Pedroia 3 (4)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pedroia-Lugo-Hinske
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (W,7-0) 7511151 2.51
Devern Hansack 0.2111310 13.50
J.C. Romero 0.1000010 3.86
Kyle Snyder 1000000 2.00
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 89-59, Devern Hansack 33-15, J.C. Romero 4-3, Kyle Snyder 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 6-9, Devern Hansack 1-0, Kyle Snyder 2-1
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 26, Devern Hansack 6, J.C. Romero 1, Kyle Snyder 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF-CF2111200 .269
Adam Lind, LF4010012 .241
Vernon Wells, CF3010001 .281
   a- Matt Stairs, PH-RF1011000 .289
Frank Thomas, DH4000024 .250
Troy Glaus, 3B3000001 .333
    Jason Smith, 3B0000100 .200
Lyle Overbay, 1B4010013 .237
Aaron Hill, 2B4010011 .276
Jason Phillips, C4000022 .269
Royce Clayton, SS3100101 .260
Totals3226247  
a-singled for V. Wells in the 8th
Batting
2B - Adam Lind (4, Beckett), Aaron Hill (11, Beckett)
HR - Alex Rios (6, Beckett)
RBI - Alex Rios (19), Matt Stairs (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Adam Lind 1
DP - Hill-Overbay, Hill-Clayton-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Victor Zambrano (L,0-2) 2.2888204 10.97
Shaun Marcum 2.1200130 6.06
Casey Janssen 1100000 1.10
Brian Tallet 1.1011100 6.75
Jason Frasor 0.2100200 6.08
Jeremy Accardo 1100000 0.00
HBP - Youkilis (by Casey Janssen)
WP - Jason Frasor (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Victor Zambrano 57-30, Shaun Marcum 39-28, Casey Janssen 15-8, Brian Tallet 26-16, Jason Frasor 34-17, Jeremy Accardo 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Victor Zambrano 2-4, Shaun Marcum 2-2, Casey Janssen 1-1, Brian Tallet 1-3, Jeremy Accardo 1-2
Batters Faced - Victor Zambrano 16, Shaun Marcum 10, Casey Janssen 4, Brian Tallet 5, Jason Frasor 5, Jeremy Accardo 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41203
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Paul Nauert