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

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Friday, Jan. 20: Canes’ Bickell tries to carry on after MS diagnosis

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.

*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.

*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.

*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.

*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.

*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.

*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.

*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.

*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.

 

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

Patriots have perfect attendance at final practice of AFC Championship week

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week. 

Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room. 

The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.

Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).