Notes: Beckett shines, Reddick climbs

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Notes: Beckett shines, Reddick climbs

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The game ended hours after he left the mound, but there was no overlooking the start turned in by Josh Beckett.

Making his first start since suffering a hyper-extended knee in his last start before the All-Star break, Beckett was masterful, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing only one baserunner.

Beckett gave up a two-out infield single off his shoe, then retired the final 22 hitters he faced. It was nearly as brilliant as his last start here, June 15, when he tossed a complete-game one-hit shutout.

"This was a pretty wild one," said Beckett. "It was fun to be a part of."

Beckett said the knee wasn't an issue Sunday night. Only five days earlier, he had pulled himself out of a scheduled inning of work in the All-Star game when the knee was stiff and he felt some inflammation.

In 17 innings against the Rays this season, he's faced 53 batters and given up only two hits: both infield singles.

Had Beckett pitched one more inning without allowing a hit, he would have become the first pitcher since Sam McDowell to toss back-to-back complete-game one-hitters against the same opponent.

Dustin Pedroia was the offensive hero, but he might not have had the chance had it not been for Josh Reddick.

In the bottom of the tenth, Tampa Bay's Justin Ruggiano hit a ball to left center. Reddick, pursuing the ball with center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, timed his leap perfectly and snared the ball, taking away extra bases from Ruggiano.

"He got a good swing on the ball," said Reddick. "Luckily, we work on that kind of stuff in BP and you keep an eye of where you're at on the (warning) track and time your jump right. That's all you can do.

"Once it came off the bat, I saw it real well. I got a good jump. I figured I had it all the way with Ells being where he was.

Luckily, we communicate real well out there. The good thing for me is I've been able to scale the wall pretty good. I played basketball in my day, so I've got a little bit of ups."

Reddick's playing time is likely to be reduced when Crawford returns, but Reddick will still get some opportunities in right field over J.D. Drew.

"At some point, when he's hot like this, the kid's got to play," said Francona prior to the game. "It's kind of like (Jed Lowrie) earlier in the year. You're doing your team a disservice (if he's not in there). He's been terrific.

"Until we're there, I don't know how to make that work perfectly. But we're just going to try to win. Whoever we think will help us win will play."

Alfredo Aceves got credit for the win with three scoreless innings, helping to save the bullpen. He then gave way to Jonathan Papelbon for the save in the bottom of the 16th.

"It's kind of a unique thing he can do," said Francona. "He goes out there in a game like that and he kind of saves you because he can go out and pitch multiple innings -- and get them out.

"He was tremendous. That was invaluable."

Aceves, 5-1, has thrown two or more innings of relief 11 times this year, including each of his last five appearances. Over his last four appearances, he's thrown 10 13 scoreless innings.

The Sox must make a roster move to make room for Crawford's activation. It's widely expected that Drew Sutton will be sent back to Pawtucket to make room for the outfielder's return.

Yamaico Navarro would still give the Sox a second shortstop on the roster behind Marco Scutaro and while both Sutton and Navarro can play the outfield, Navarro's bat is far more potent.

David Ortiz expressed hope that there's no carryover this week from last week's dust-up with the Orioles.

"Hopefully, not," said Ortiz, who is appealing a four-game suspension for charging the mound after Kevin Gregg pitched him inside on July 8. "MLB is paying attention to all this stuff. I'm not a pitcher. I can't tell you anything about that. I don't throw no balls. Hopefully, they're smart and put that away and play the game the way it's supposed to be."

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

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

BOSTON -- Twins rookie lefty Adalberto Mejia is feeling more comfortable each time he takes the mound.

Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and Minnesota rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

"He did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Mejia. "He had to kind of battle. It's kind of becoming a little bit of his MO to burn through pitches, but similarly to his last start, he kept walking off the field with zeros."

Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.

Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in his 11th career start. On Friday night at Cleveland, he held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.

"I feel calmer every time I'm out there," he said through a translator. "I think that's why I did better."

Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.

"It's not like they're beating the cover off the ball," Porcello said. "It's just a couple things here and there that I've got to clean up. I'm not making excuses for myself. I definitely hold myself accountable for the loss tonight."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.

The Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners, and at least one in every inning. Farrell thought his team may have been pressing a bit.

"I thought there were times we might have expanded the strike zone a little bit, trying to make something happen," he said.

With Minnesota leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kepler lined his homer off the back of Boston's bullpen.

In the first, the Twins scored a pair of two-out runs when Sano hit his RBI double down the third-base line and scored on Kepler's broken-bat single.

Xander Bogaerts drove in Boston's run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins resumed throwing Tuesday after a setback last week following offseason shoulder surgery. Molitor said the club is still formulating a plan for him. He's been sidelined all season and pitched in just two games last year.

Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee Sunday. "He'll go through a full workday today," Farrell said. "He's feeling improved."

MATCHES OWN RECORD

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia played his 98th consecutive error-less game, matching the best mark in club history he set for a second baseman from 2009-10.

LOOKS FAMILIAR

This season has started like 2015 for Porcello, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Two years ago when he struggled badly, the righty lost nine of his initial 13 decisions and finished 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

ROSTER MOVE

Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes was activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Craig Breslow was put on with rib cage soreness.

Hughes had been on the DL since complaining of a "dead feeling" in his pitching shoulder on May 21. He allowed one run in three innings during three rehabilitation appearances in Triple-A.

Molitor plans to use him out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.23 ERA) looks to continue his success in Fenway Park in the series finale Thursday. He's allowed only one run over 15 innings in two career starts.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2, 4.76) has won his last five decisions against Minnesota, posting a 1.84 ERA.