It doesn’t happen that often, but on Monday night Josh Beckett was out pitched at Fenway Park. Dan Haren tossed seven shutout innings of two hit baseball to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Boston Red Sox 2-1 in a good old fashion pitchers duel. With the win, Arizona has now won the last five games Haren has taken the mound.
Haren, now 8-4 on the season, was acquired by the D-Backs through an eight player trade last winter with the Oakland Athletics. In the yesterdays win, he was able to use a plethora of fastballs to keep Sox hitters at bay for most of the evening.
“I was pretty aggressive with my fastball, probably more fastballs than I usually do,” he said. “It really wasn’t the game plan coming in. I was just able to keep it down and away.”
Over the first six innings, the Sox were held to only one hit which came on a double by Jason Varitek in the third. The only other runner to reach base during that time was Jacoby Ellsbury who drew a two-out walk in the third inning as well.
“He’s tough. It doesn’t matter who he’s pitching against,” Beckett said of Haren. “There are a few pitchers in the big leagues today that I enjoy watching and pitching against … Haren’s obviously one of them.”
Beckett’s line through six was equally as impressive, allowing only three hits and no runner to reach past second base. It was in the seventh inning that gave the Red Sox ace a little trouble.
To begin the inning, Beckett issued a walk to Connor Jackson. Mark Reynolds followed it up with a one out single to left field. With runners on first and second and only one out, Chris Young belted a wall-ball double scoring Jackson and moving Reynolds to third. Chris Snyder then pushed a ball to the right side of the infield to drive in the second run of the game putting Arizona ahead 2-0.
The Sox were happy to see Haren stay in the dugout to begin the eight inning and were able to produce a run off of relief pitcher Tony Pena. Julio Lugo walked with one out and then Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia connected on back-to-back singles which loaded the bases for J.D. Drew. Drew just got under a Pena fastball, hitting a sac-fly to center field which knocked in Lugo from third to cut the lead to 2-1. Up next, Manny Ramirez had a chance to put the Sox on top with two runners in scoring position but lined out to third base to end the threat.
Former Sox farm hand Brandon Lyons worked the ninth inning for Arizona and retired the side in order on only five pitches to record his 16th save on the season. Lyons was dealt from Boston to Arizona in the Curt Schilling deal prior to the 2004 season.
Boston is currently 1-3 on their homestand after having won 19 of their previous 22 games at Fenway. They still have the best home record in the American League at a 29-10 mark.
Looking ahead, Justin Masterson will try to get the Sox back into the win column tonight going for his fifth win on the season. The rookie has been a nice surprise filling in for the injured Clay Buchholtz. Masterson is 4-1 on the year with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. He has not allowed more then four runs in any of his outings.
Doug Davis will hurl for the D-Backs and attempt to pick up his third win on the year. Davis, who has not won a game since May 23rd, is coming off of two impressive outings that both ended in no-decisions but Arizona wins. Over his last 13 innings of work, Davis has allowed only one earned run while striking out 15.
Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.