CHICAGO (AP) -- When Josh Beckett watched three of his pitches
sail over the fence, he needed some help Saturday to get his 11th
It came from all directions.
From David Ortiz's 31st homer. From clutch two-out hits from
players at the bottom of the batting order. And from Boston's
bullpen, which bailed him out of a no-out, bases-loaded situation
in the seventh with the heart of Chicago's order at the plate.
Add it all up and the Red Sox had a 9-6 victory Saturday over
the White Sox, their second straight win in the matchup between the
last two World Series winners.
"I can't say enough of those guys coming in and getting out of
that situation without giving up any runs," Beckett said of
relievers Javier Lopez and Craig Hansen. "That's phenomenal to
come in with no outs and Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye
coming up. That's unbelievable."
Beckett, who had earlier given up two homers to Dye and one to
Thome, left with an 8-5 lead after the White Sox loaded the bases
on a single and two walks.
But Lopez, traded from the White Sox to the Red Sox on June 15
for David Riske, struck out Thome. And Hansen got Konerko on a foul
fly to right and Dye on a soft liner to short.
"It was nice to be able to come in and get the ball in that
kind of a situation," Lopez said.
"The game was won with Lopez and Hansen," Red Sox manager
Terry Francona said. "If they have a hiccup or don't command,
we're in a boat load of trouble. They executed pitches very well to
Thome also credited Boston's bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon got the
final out of the eighth and worked the ninth for his 26th save in
"They kept scoring and we really couldn't with their bullpen,"
Thome said. "They kind of really shut the middle of our lineup
Ortiz, who on Friday night became the first Red Sox player to
reach 30 homers before the All-Star break, continued his tear with
a two-run shot to center off Freddy Garcia that broke a 3-3 tie in
the fifth. It was his eighth homer in eight games over a span of
just 27 at-bats.
"I don't want to stop," Ortiz said. "Hopefully I'll go like
that the rest of the way."
Beckett (11-4) allowed five runs and 10 hits. The hard-throwing
right-hander gave up three homers for a second straight start and
has surrendered a major league-high 26.
Trailing 5-3 after Ortiz's drive, the White Sox tied it in the
bottom of the fifth as Scott Podsednik scored from third on a wild
pitch and Thome connected to center for his 30th of the season.
But the Red Sox won the game with clutch two-out hits in the
sixth and seventh innings, especially from the bottom of their
With two outs in the sixth, Alex Cora drew a walk from Riske
(0-2), stole second and scored on Kevin Youkilis' single. In the
seventh, Boston got consecutive two-out singles from Mike Lowell,
Coco Crisp, Doug Mirabelli and Cora to make it 8-5.
The RBI singles by Mirabelli and Cora, the eighth and ninth
batters in Boston's lineup, came off Jon Garland, a member of the
White Sox's starting rotation who was brought in to relieve.
"Anytime you get two-out runs, it's kind of a crusher to the
other team," Beckett said. "You're one out away from getting out
of a jam and you get some two-out hits."
Trot Nixon, who made two nice catches in right, hit a
bases-loaded sacrifice fly to give the Red Sox a four-run cushion
in the eighth. Podsednik's RBI single cut it to 9-6 in the bottom
half before the Red Sox called on Papelbon.
"The kid has a great future," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen
said of Papelbon, who's given up only two runs all season. "What
he has done for the Boston Red Sox is amazing. They needed a closer
the last couple of years and they have found one."
Dye's second homer of the game and 24th of the season, a two-run
shot, tied it at 3 in the fourth after the Red Sox had scored three
in the top half.
Garcia went five innings, giving up eight hits and five runs.
Ortiz's homer was his 150th with the Red Sox, good for 15th
place on the team's career list. ... Podsednik stole his 200th
career base. ... Manny Ramirez, who withdrew from the All-Star game
Friday because of a sore knee, had two doubles, a single and a
walk. ... Garland made his first relief appearance since Sept. 7,