Beckett continues domination of Yankees, 6-0

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Beckett continues domination of Yankees, 6-0

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

NEW YORK -- A year ago, Josh Beckett couldn't do anything right against the New York Yankees. This year, it's all changed around.

Beckett dominated the Yankees for the second time in 2011 Saturday night, tossing six shutout innings to help the Red Sox blank the Yankees, 6-0. In 14 innings this year, the Yankees have yet to score a single run off Beckett and have struck out 19 times.

The win was the second straight for Boston and fourth in five tries against the Yankees.

Adrian Gonzalez broke the game open with a three-run homer in the seventh, chasing CC Sabathia. For Gonzalez, it marked the fourth straight game in which he's homered, with five homers in that stretch. The first baseman has eight homers in his last 11 games.

A two-run double by Jacoby Ellsbury had opened the scoring for the Sox in the fifth, providing Beckett with a least a little run support.

Beckett, 3-1, won for the first time since April 16. He had been stuck with no-decisions in his previous two outings. Beckett is unscored upon in his last 17 13 innings.

STAR OF THE GAME -- Josh Beckett

Beckett was masterful again, limiting the Yankees to four hits over six scoreless innings.

His biggest test may have come in the first when the Yankees nicked him for half of the four hits before Beckett could retire a hitter. But he settled down and got the next three, stranding two.

He later worked himself out of two other mini-jams: two on and two out in the third, then two on with one out in the fifth.

Beckett now has a scoreless streak of 18 13 innings.

HONORABLE MENTION -- Adrian Gonzalez

Ho hum -- another game, another homer for the white-hot Red Sox first baseman. He has eight homers in his last 11 games.

His four other at-bats resulted in a strikeout, a broken-bat grounder and two double plays, but in the seventh, he broke the game open with a three-run homer to right, giving him 34 RBI in 39 games.

GOAT OF THE GAME -- Alex Rodriguez

ARod's troubles began in the first inning when he popped up to first with two on and one out. They continued in the third when he fanned for the final out, stranding two more baserunners.

Finally, in the fifth, he ended another inning -- this one with a strikeout, too, and coming with two more teammates on base.

He added a meaningless single in the eighth when the game was out of reach, but when it counted, he was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts while stranding six.

TURNING POINT --

The Red Sox had gone up 2-0 on Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run double in the top of the fifth, but the Yankees were threatening with two on and one out in the bottom of the inning.

Beckett, however, dug in and got Curtis Granderson to pop-up and struck out Mark Teixeira to end the threat and preserve the lead.

BY THE NUMBERS --

Josh Beckett's six shutout innings marked the 10th time this season that a Red Sox starter had held the opposition scoreless, tops in the majors

QUOTE OF NOTE --

"The Yankees are doing that guy wrong.'' David Ortiz on Jorge Posada's dispute with the Yankees.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

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Celtics-Sixers preview: Road has been kind to C's lately

Celtics-Sixers preview: Road has been kind to C's lately

BOSTON – For most teams in the NBA, road games are a necessary evil. 
 
Not for the Celtics. At least, not lately.
 
The Green Team hits the road for its next three games, and that has been a good thing – a real good thing – lately. 
 
Boston (11-8) has won its last four road games, the kind of success that breeds a heightened level of confidence heading into this current trip which begins tonight at Philadelphia. 
 
And it only helps that they hit the road coming off a 97-92 win over Sacramento on Friday. 
 
“We have to carry that momentum with us,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “You know how...anytime in this league, the momentum, you have to stay with it. We’ve been having success away from home. It was big for us to get this win (over the Kings) to start the road trip off.”
 
A big part of Friday’s victory was the play of Al Horford who finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, and six blocked shots. The points and rebounds for Horford were both season-highs.
 
Horford’s breakout performance came on the heels of a 121-114 loss to Detroit, a game in which Boston’s $113 million man (Horford) only took five shots.
 
“Coach [Brad Stevens] didn’t say anything about going to him just specifically,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “We just found him and made the right play and when he got it he was very aggressive.” 
 
Part of Horford’s success was that he was in more of an attacking mentality. But he also benefited from a Kings defense that didn’t double-team him nearly as much as the Pistons did. 
 
“I got a lot of early looks in the game and like I said [following the Pistons loss] I think the Pistons did a good job defending and doubling and forcing me to pass the ball. [Friday night] I had more opportunities to be aggressive.”
 
Facing a Sixers team that ranks among the NBA’s worst in several defensive categories, Horford and the rest of his Celtics teammates should have ample opportunities to make plays offensively. 
 
And in doing so, they will be able to add on to what has been an already impressive stretch of play this season away from home.
 
“I think it will be good,” Horford said. “[Tonight] it’s a Philly team that plays hard and we just want to keep building on [Friday night’s win over Sacramento] and just try to be better.”