The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 4-1 Saturday thanks to another impressive start by Josh Beckett and a big day from Jed Lowrie.
With Carl Crawford and Marco Scutaro on the bench for the day, the Red Sox made good on Terry Francona's promise to give Jed Lowrie more playing time, giving him the start at short and batting him in the leadoff position. Entering the game with a batting average over .400, Lowrie quickly showed he was not content with such a figure, grabbing a leadoff single that only stayed in the infield thanks to a strong play by Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar.
That was just the start of the first rally the Sox would mount against Toronto starter Jo-Jo Reyes. Dustin Pedroia walked before Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis drove in a run a piece with a single and a double respectively. Still, the inning showed signs of old weaknesses, as the Sox couldn't add any more runs despite loading the bases with zero outs.
Having recorded a quick 10 pitch first, Josh Beckett had Sox fans excited that they might be getting more of the dominance they had seen him deliver against the Yankees. But in the second, that hope began to fade. After striking out Adam Lind to start the inning, Beckett allowed a wall-ball double to Aaron Hill, who was quickly driven in by Travis Snider.
That was about all they would get all day. Beckett sat down the next two batters on strikes, then proceeded to shut the Blue Jays offense down for the next five innings. When he left the game after the seventh, he had picked up nine strikeouts while allowing just three hits, two walks, and the one run. His fastball was sitting at 93, and not only was his curve absolutely filthy, but it was falling in for strikes. This was Beckett at his best, and for the second straight game.
Meanwhile, Jed Lowrie's legend continued to grow. With Jacoby Ellsbury drawing a leadoff walk in the second inning, Lowrie stepped to the plate and worked the count to 2-2, seeing only fastballs. When Reyes attempted to switch it up, throwing him a changeup, Lowrie made him pay in the best way possible, collecting the first homer over the Green Monster of his career.
The Red Sox' offense continued to plug away for the rest of the game, finishing with eight walks and nine hits. But thanks to some great defensive plays by John McDonald at third, they just couldn't push across any more runs. Lucky, then, that they wouldn't need any. Daniel Bard's outing was marred only by a single baserunner who ended up being thrown out at second, and while Aaron Hill reached against Jonathan Papelbon (Kevin Youkilis was charged with a very tough error), the closer got Travis Snider to hit a pop up that Mike Cameron slid under for the win.