Josh Beckett pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only 6 hits to lead Boston past the Cincinnati Reds 9-0 yesterday at Great American Ballpark. Not only was Beckett phenomenal, but the Red Sox bats came to life even without sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez in the lineup. The Sox were able to produce nine runs on 12 hits including four homeruns on the afternoon.
Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia all went yard in the rubber game of the three-game series. The win improves the Sox overall record to 44-28 and the team has now won 9 out of their last 12 games.
“We swung the bats early real well, we spread it out and had a good day at the ballpark,” manager Terry Francona said.
Besides his homerun in the3rd inning, Ellsbury also made a little history stealing his 32, and 33 base of the season which is good enough for a Red Sox rookie record. Kenny Lofton holds the American League rookie record of 66 stolen bases back in 1992 and many believe that if he stays healthy, Ellsbury will have a chance to top this mark.
“It’s pretty neat to do something that hasn’t been done in Red Sox history for 100 years,” Ellsbury said. “Still, it’s all about getting momentum in the game. I wouldn’t say it’s deflating to steal second and third then score, but it does establish momentum with Josh on the mound.”
Homer Bailey took the loss for the Reds. Bailey, now 0-3 on the season, was once considered the Reds top pitching prospect in over a decade and has struggled in all three of his major league outings this season. In 12 1/3 innings of work Bailey has allowed 12 earned runs, walked 10 and surrendered six home runs to opponents. Manager Dusty Baker was hesitant to comment about the young pitchers future with the team or if he’d be demoted to the Triple-A club.
“There’s got to be some discussion,” Baker said. “If you’re not making pitches, and that’s your job, you’ve got to figure out what’s up and why. They hit him pretty good.”
David Aardsma and Mike Timlin pitched scoreless 8th and 9th innings to preserve the win for Beckett, whose record improves to (7-4) on the season.
Since losing Ortiz to the DL, Drew has provided a much needed spark from the middle of the lineup. During the month of June, he is batting .447 with seven homer runs and 16 RBIs.
The Sox will now travel to Philadelphia for a three game series against the Phillies. Bartolo Colon pitches tonight for Boston while Cole Hamels will hurl for the Phills. Tonight’s first pitch will be at 7:05pm at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.