A strong pitching effort from Josh Beckett and the bullpen led the Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Astros on Tuesday.
Beckett’s first start wasn’t entirely encouraging. Follow that up with getting hit in the head by a ball in the outfield, and it’s just been an all-around bad spring so far for the starting pitcher.
So when things got dicey in the first inning, it was just more of the same. Good thing, then, that he turned it around quickly.
Josh Beckett opened looking awfully shaky with a leadoff walk and a two-out double scoring a run in the first inning, but turned things around quickly. By the end of his 3.2 innings, he had picked up four strikeouts while allowing only two more hits—largely thanks to an unfriendly scorer. One scout told Ken Rosenthal that Beckett “looks like he’s on a mission,” flashing an impressive curveball with well-placed fastballs.
The rest of the pitching was no less impressive, with the Sox getting good innings from some of their most important arms.
Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard both recorded perfect innings to maintain the tie, with Bard picking up two strikeouts along the way. Dennys Reyes added another scoreless inning, albeit with a walk, to bring the Sox into the eighth.
Still, the team’s offense had been anemic all game. Only scoring on a double play and a groundout, the Sox headed into the eighth inning stuck in a 2-2 tie.
After Bubba Bell flew out to start the inning, Paul Hoover smacked a double into left. With two outs, Nate Spears came to the plate with a chance to put the Sox in the lead, and capitalized on it, providing an infield RBI single. Matt Fox provided the exclamation mark in the ninth by striking out the side in order.
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