David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez set the pace for the Red Sox offense who reached base a combined 10 times and Josh Beckett earned the win pitching for 6 innings with seven strikeouts beating the Cleveland Indians 10-3.
Ortiz was 2-2 with two walks and Ramirez was 2-2 with three RBIs and three walks as every other starter in the Red Sox lineup reached base safely in the game resulting in the early exit of C.C. Sabathia who lasted only 4 1/3 innings (7 hits, 8 runs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts) in what was supposed to be a pitchers duel.
Sabathia had not given up eight runs or more in a game since June 21st, 2006 against the Chicago Cubs.
Boston put together a four run third inning scoring on a Ramirez bases loaded walk, a Mike Lowell ground rule double which scored two runs, and a Jason Varitek ground out to third base that scored Ramirez from the back door.
Unlike Sabathia in this pitcher’s duel, Beckett, held up his end of the bargain.
Only allowing four hits over 6 innings pitched, Beckett allowed a solo-homerun to Travis Hafner in the first inning that seemed wind aided. After getting a run back in the bottom of the first inning on a Ramirez RBI single, Beckett put it in into cruise control.
Beckett retired the next nine batters until giving up a hit to Kenny Lofton on a double to deep left field in the top of the fifth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera drove home the second and last run off of Beckett in the sixth inning on an RBI single to center field to score Casey Blake scratching home a run making the score 8-2.
Ramirez drew another bases loaded walk and Lowell notched a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to put more insurance runs on the board giving the Red Sox an eight run cushion bumping the score to 10-2. Cabrera pushed home a run in the top of the eight on a sac-fly, but Boston clearly had the game locked down.
Well at least until Eric Gagne gave Red Sox Nation another scare.
A Jhonny Peralta single, a Lofton double, and a walk to Blake set up the jam but Gagne managed to slide out of the bases loaded ninth inning jam striking out Grady Sizemore to end the Indians’ late rally.