Beckett, Sox fall flat, 6-1

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Beckett, Sox fall flat, 6-1

BOSTON Josh Beckett continued his first-inning struggles, giving up two runs against the Blue Jays Friday night at Fenway Park.

That was all Toronto would need on its way to a 6-1 victory.

Beckett went six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. His record fell to 5-8 as his ERA rose from 4.44 to 4.53.

Beckett now has an ERA of 10.69 in the first inning this season, giving up a total of 19 earned runs in his 16 starts. He has also allowed an opponents batting average of .343 (23-for-67) in the first inning.

With one out in the first Colby Rasmus tripled to right field. Rasmus scored when Edwin Encarnacion, the next batter grounded to third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who attempted to throw out Rasmus at the plate. While replays appeared to show Rasmus missed the plate and catcher Kelly Shoppach tagged him, Rasmus was called safe with the Blue Jays first run. Adam Linds double to right put runners on the corners, with Encarnacion scoring on J.P. Arencibias single to left, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead.

Yunel Escobar led off the second with a double. With two-outs Anthony Gose walked and Rasmus double scored Escobar and Gose, giving Toronto a 4-0 lead.

Toronto added a run in the fifth when Encarnacion singled off Middlebrooks glove, advancing to second on Middlebrooks throwing error. Linds single drove in Encarnacion, putting Toronto ahead, 5-0.

Left-hander Aaron Laffey earned the win, improving to 2-1, with a 2.77 ERA. He went seven scoreless innings, giving up eight hits with no walks, and four strikeouts.

The Sox had runners on in every inning except the second against Laffey, but couldnt score. Their best chance came in the third when Mike Aviles led off with a single, taking second on Jacoby Ellsbury's one-out single, and advancing to third on Carl Crawfords fly out to right. But Aviles was stranded there when Dustin Pedroia flied out to right to end the inning.

The Sox squandered another opportunity in the seventh when Middlebrooks and Shoppach led off with singles. But, Mike Aviles was called out on strikes, Pedro Ciriaco grounded into a fielders choice, and Jacoby Ellsbury popped out in foul territory to end the threat.

Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless seventh. Mark Melancon pitched 1 13 innings, giving upa run on two hits and two walks with a strikeout, before Junichi Tazawa finished the ninth.

The Sox finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth. With runners on the corners and one out against Jays closer Casey Janssen Mike Aviles fielders choice scored Middlebrooks for the Sox lone run.