Josh Beckett pitched seven strong innings on Sunday, and allowed just two solo homers, and the Red Sox went on to a 3-2 win over the Orioles, and took three of the four in the series.
Mike Lowell singled in two runs in the third, and Coco Crisp singled in the eventual winning run in the eighth to give the Red Sox the lead. Hideki Okajima looked sharp after taking over for Beckett in the eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon got his 35th save.
Beckett is now the second 18-game winner in the majors, as Chien-Ming Wang won his 18th yesterday also. Beckett will go for number 19 next weekend against the Yankees. Today he allowed seven hits, struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He is now the leading candidate in the American League for the Cy Young Award.
The Sox now return home to play three with Tampa Bay, and then after that, the Yankees come to town.
The Magic Number dropped another number today (the Yankees won in Kansas City), and the picture is of a man, who if there is any justice in the world, will be elected to the Hall of Fame next year. He was the American League MVP in 1978, and that same year was the last man in MLB to get 400 total bases in a season.
Good luck next January to Jim Rice.