Josh Beckett brought back some very pleasant memories of the 2007 ALCS with a terrific performance over the Indians in Cleveland, as the Red Sox went on to a 4-2 win. It was the first Red Sox win over the Tribe in Cleveland this year after four straight losses there.
Beckett went 6 2/3 innings, allowed just one run. The Tribe had runners on in every inning but one, but Beckett was his steely self and allowed just a single run in the second. He struck out six and walked three.
The big blow of the game was Jason Varitek's home run in the seventh. It was a line shot that hit the foul pole and scored David Ortiz in front of him. Tek also had a fine night behind the plate, as he threw out two runners attempting to swipe second. (Haven't seen that in a mighty long time.)
Rich Hill was solid in relief of beckett, going 1 1/3 innings and allowed just one baserunner. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a solo home run in the ninth, but got his ninth save of 2011.
The Sox have now won 9 of 11 and remain 1/2 game back as New York won, but Tampa Bay's loss puts the Sox now in second place.
Dustin Pedroia sat out tonight's game but figures to play in the series finale against the Indians on Wednesday.
And Dennis Eckersley, never one who is shy about expressing his opinions, had some choice words for A's closer Brian Fuentes, who did a big time rip job on Oakland manager Bob Geren.