Beckett gets a chance to slay some demons

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Beckett gets a chance to slay some demons

Considering we're only two months into a six-month season, it's a little early to start talking about guys coming "full circle." But tonight at Fenway, Josh Beckett can take a large and rather symbolic step towards keeping his once-disgusting season trending in the right direction.

The last time Beckett took the mound against the Detroit Tigers, it was a downright disaster.

You ever wonder what it would be like if John Wasdin and Mark Melancon had a baby together? Of course you have. We all have. And on April 7, we found out.

As you remember, it was Beckett's first start of the season, his first start since September's collapse, and to celebrate, he was absolutely horrendous.

4 23 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and . . .

the poisonous-cherry-on-his-feces sundae . . .

Five home runs.

He'd given up five homers in a start only once before in his career. In 2011, he hadn't give up his fifth home run until July 28. And considering how last season had ended, it was really the worst possible way for him to kick off the 2012 campaign. (Thankfully, the local media was calm and cool, and didn't overreact in the slightest.).

But since then, Beckett's been solid. In fact, save for one ugly start against Cleveland, he's been the Sox best pitcher.

He's pitched into the seventh inning in six of his subsequent eight starts. He's gone at least seven innings in his last three starts, while giving up no more than two runs in any of them not surprisingly, the Sox are 3-0.

And the most impressive stat of all: After giving up those five homers in his first 4 23 innings, Beckett's surrendered only four homers in his last 51 23 innings. He's no more likable than he was back in April, but you can't deny that he's finally righted his tubby ship, and almost ALMOST looks ready to re-claim his title as ace of this Red Sox staff. Can he do it?

We'll see what happens tonight, when Beckett takes the mound against the team that got his season off to such an inglorious start.

But just to be safe, I wouldn't park you car in the lot behind the Monster.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Price tries to nail down A.L. East clincher in Bronx

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Price tries to nail down A.L. East clincher in Bronx

The Red Sox can clinch the A.L. East title for the first time since 2013, and do it at the home of their arch rivals, with a victory at Yankee Stadium tonight. 

Left-hander David Price (17-8, 3.91) takes the mound with the Red Sox magic number at 1. A Sox win, or a Toronto Blue Jays’ loss to the Baltimore Orioles, will give Boston the division title.

Brock Holt gets the start at third and Andrew Benintendi is in left field against Yankees right-hander Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.30).

The Red Sox (92-64) have the best record in the A.L., just ahead of the Texas Rangers (92-65), who have clinched the A.L. West title. 

The lineups:

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Brock Holt 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Sandy Leon C

Andrew Benintendi LF

David Price LHP

 

YANKEES

Brett Gardner LF

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Gary Sanchez DH

Starlin Castro 2B

Chase Headley 3B

Didi Gregorius SS

Aaron Hicks RF

Austin Romine C

Tyler Austin 1B

Luis Cessa RHP