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Beckett, Papelbon two-hit Yankees, 4-0

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett pumps

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett pumps his fist after the Red Sox turned a double play against the New York Yankees. (April 10, 2010) Credit: AP

BOSTON -- The bats that produced a season-high 13 hits and four home runs Saturday fell silent Sunday night for the Yankees.

As a result, they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Red Sox that allowed their rivals to look rejuvenated. Boston won two of three in the series after entering the weekend 0-6.

Afterward, the Yankees to a man credited Josh Beckett, who allowed only two hits in eight innings. He also walked one, hit a batter and struck out 10, retiring the last 14 batters to face him.

The Yankees routinely pounded Beckett in 2010 as the righthander went 1-2 with a 10.04 ERA against them. This time he resembled the pitcher who pitched a two-hit shutout for the Marlins in the sixth and final game of the 2003 World Series.

"He was probably as good today as we've seen him in quite some time," said Derek Jeter, whose average dropped to .206 after he went 0-for-4. "It's always a challenge when you face him. It's never comfortable. Today he was as good as I've seen him."

Joba Chamberlain helped losing pitcher CC Sabathia out of a jam in the sixth inning but couldn't extricate himself from the one he created in the seventh, turning a 1-0 game into a 3-0 contest. Freddy Garcia allowed David Ortiz's RBI double in the eighth to make it 4-0.

That was more than enough for Beckett, who rebounded from a poor season debut against the Indians to allow only four baserunners in eight innings, including singles by Eric Chavez and Robinson Cano. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth; the two Boston pitchers retired the final 17 Yankees and totaled 12 strikeouts.

"We didn't have many opportunities," Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees had only two minor threats in the game.

In the third inning, Chavez singled with one out and Russell Martin was hit by a pitch. Brett Gardner grounded a shot up the middle, but Dustin Pedroia went to his right to glove it, stepped on second and fired to first for a double play.

With the score 1-0 in the fourth, Mark Teixeira walked and Cano singled to put runners on first and second with one out again. But Curtis Granderson struck out and Nick Swisher grounded out.

"We just didn't swing the bats as well as we've been swinging them tonight," Girardi said. "Beckett threw the ball well."

The Red Sox had 12 hits, eight walks and a hit batsman against four Yankees pitchers but left 16 runners on base.

Sabathia pitched in and out of trouble from the start, putting at least two runners on base in every inning but the fourth. He didn't have close to his best stuff but managed to limit the Sox to one run -- on nine hits, four walks and a hit batsman -- in 52/3 innings. After three starts, he has a 1.45 ERA and an 0-1 record.

"He's pitched well for us all year long," Girardi said. "He had the four-run lead in the one game and we let that get away. And tonight we just didn't get any runs. That's going to happen. CC a lot of times is going to be matched up against aces and they're going to be tight ballgames, but you feel like he pretty easily could be 3-0."

Said Sabathia: "You want to go out and be sharp and pitch the best you can. I did what I could today but the stuff just wasn't there."

No. 9 hitter Marco Scutaro, who entered the game 3-for-21 for the season and went 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs, and Pedroia, who was 3-for-4 with a walk and ended up 9-for-13 in the series, did most of the offensive damage for the Red Sox. Scutaro doubled home two runs off Chamberlain in the seventh to give Boston a 3-0 lead.

Boston got on the scoreboard in the third after a bizarre sequence. Pedroia singled to center and went to third on Adrian Gonzalez's single down the rightfield line, and Kevin Youkilis walked to load the bases with none out. Ortiz followed with a grounder to second and Cano began the process of what looked like a standard 4-6-3 double play. Youkilis, however, slid far enough out of the basepath in an attempt to take out Jeter that second-base umpire Mark Wegner called runner's interference.

It became an automatic double play, and because of the interference call, the ball was dead, sending Pedroia back to third and Gonzalez to second. Youkilis and Red Sox manager Terry Francona argued, but the call stood.

But the Red Sox took a 1-0 lead when Chavez, starting at third in place of the ill Alex Rodriguez, couldn't get to Mike Cameron's dribbler up the third-base line in time to make a play.

Chamberlain walked Ortiz to start the eighth, then issued a one-out walk to J.D. Drew and a single by Jason Varitek that loaded the bases. Scutaro then doubled to left to drive in two runs for a 3-0 lead.

Garcia started the eighth for the Yankees and quickly allowed a run on a walk to Youkilis and an RBI double by Ortiz.


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