By Danny Picard and Maureen Mullen
BOSTON --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Josh Beckett cant win.
After picking up his sixth no-decision on Saturday, he nowonly has two wins and three decisions in his last nine starts. Beckett has a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts this season, but only four wins to show for it.
Beckett allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in a9-8 win over the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. But the six-plus innings hepitched werent enough, even after leaving the game with a 5-2 lead.
I just kind of wore myself down, said Beckett, who threw102 pitches. We always talk about our lineups wearing pitchers down. I feltlike I kind of did that to myself today.
Later in the game, I thought he started to lose his command a littlebit, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. But hes been good, hes been solidevery time out.
As tough as it is to see a starting pitcher not get rewardedfor solid outing after solid outing, all of the no-decisions dont seem tobother Beckett.
I dont give two expletive who gets the win, saidBeckett, referring to his pitching staff. I do not have an arbitration case inFebruary. So that doesnt matter to me.
The win instead went to Alfredo Aceves, who is now 3-1 on the season. He pitched the final four innings for theRed Sox, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out two.
That run came on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th his first inning of the game and gave the Athletics an 8-7 lead. But afterthe Red Sox tied it on a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI double in the bottom of the 11th,Aceves settled down and earned the win.
He comes in his first inning, and walks a guy that scores,said Francona. And then after that, he was lights out. As the game progressed,it gets hard to see the ball. You could tell. Guys were taking some funnyswings, on both sides, with the shadows and everything.
He did a really good job. Were fortunate. He stretchedout. Hes on one day short, but he stretched out where he could do somethinglike that, and ended up saving us the game.
Saturdays 14-inning marathon lasted 5 hours and 17minutes. But perhaps it could have been ended in the ninth, as the Red Sox tooka 7-3 lead into the top of the ninth.
With the game still 7-3, Jonathan Papelbon put runners onfirst and second with one out. He then forced Coco Crisp to hit a ground ballto Dustin Pedroia up the middle.
It was a perfect double-play ball that would have ended thegame, but it went through Pedroias legs and into the outfield, scoringOaklands fourth run of the game.
It marked Pedroias third error of the season.
If I field that ball, I mean, were out of here four hoursago, said Pedroia. Thats just the way it goes. But we found a way.
He just didnt make the play, said Francona. Maybe Illgo buy a lottery ticket.
John Lackey isscheduled to start Sunday in the series finale against the As. It willbe his eighth start of the season and first start since a May 11 lossin Toronto. Francona expects Lackey to throw about 90 pitches, butwould not overdo the right-hander.
Shortstop MarcoScutaro, on the disabled list since May 8 with a left oblique strain, started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday. ThePawSox are in Durham for a 12:05 p.m. game Monday, facing the RaysTriple-A affiliate. Scutaro is expected to play in threegames with the PawSox then join the Red Sox Monday night in NewYork.
The New Kids on theBlock and the Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB to those in the know) were atFenway before the game doing promotions for their upcoming concert atthe park.
With the Bruins inhe Stanley Cup Finals, former B's Ken Hodge, Sr., and Ken Hodge, Jr., wearing their Bruinssweaters, threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen