Red Sox Give Francona His 1,000th Win
Boston Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett was finished with another strong outing and then he watched Daniel Bard put on his own performance.
Bard, who came in after Beckett went seven solid innings, loaded the bases with no outs before retiring the next three batters in Boston's 3-1 win over Seattle on Saturday night, sending the Mariners to a club-worst 14th consecutive loss.
"That was pretty impressive what Daniel did out there," Beckett said. "I think he was trying to prove something to himself."
It's a formula that's worked well for Red Sox manager Terry Francona this season: Get the lead after seven innings and turn it over to Bard and closer Jonathan Papelbon.
"He got himself into a bind and got himself right out of it," said Francona, who earned his 1,000th career win as a major-league manager. "Not many guys can do that."
Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 24 chances, improving Boston's record to 53-2 when it leads after seven innings and 54-0 when it holds an edge after eight.
Bard increased his scoreless innings streak to 24 over 23 outings, the longest active shutout streak in the majors.
But it didn't happen before he put himself in a rough spot.
"I've been fortunate. I haven't had a lot of long innings and a lot of jams and guys past first base," he said. "To go out and do that and get through a tough one, I was happy about it."
Dustin Ackley began the inning with a single and took second on a walk to Justin Smoak. Adam Kennedy then bunted, and Bard fielded it and threw to third baseman Kevin Youkilis, whose foot was off the base. Then Bard retired Mike Carp on a shallow fly to left, Jack Cust on a strikeout and Franklin Gutierrez on a groundout.
Papelbon came in and closed it out, allowing only a leadoff single to pinch hitter Miguel Olivo. He fanned Ackley to end it.
Francona became the 57th manager to reach 1,000 wins - the eighth still active. Boston moved a season-high three games ahead of the New York Yankees for the lead in the AL East.
Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh for Boston, which won for the sixth time in seven games.
Seattle's 14 straight losses matches a stretch from September 1992.
Beckett (9-3) allowed seven hits and one walk and struck out seven. The only run he allowed came on a homer in the seventh by Carp, his second in two nights since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma last Monday.
Seattle starter Blake Beavan (1-2) retired the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh then allowed three straight hits, including the single by Ellsbury, who scored on a wild pitch by reliever Aaron Laffey.
Both teams had five hits through six innings. The Mariners had left four runners in scoring position through six innings before Carp's homer.
Cust was stranded at second after a two-out double in the second. Smoak also was left at second in the fourth after grounding into a forceout and advancing on a wild pitch by Beckett. And Seattle stranded runners at second and third in the sixth after the first two batters, Ichiro Suzuki and Brendan Ryan, singled.
The Red Sox got a one-out double in the first from Dustin Pedroia, but the next two batters struck out. The hit extended Pedroia's career-best hitting streak to 20 games.
Boston nearly scored in the second when David Ortiz led off with a double and took third on a single by Carl Crawford. Josh Reddick popped out to second base before Jason Varitek hit a flyball to center field. Gutierrez made the catch, then threw home on a fly to double up Ortiz, who had tagged.
The Red Sox got another runner to third in the third. Ellsbury started the inning with a single and kept going to second when the ball got by left fielder Carp for his second error in two days. Ellsbury took third on a groundout, but was stranded when Adrian Gonzalez flied out.
Gonzalez got a one-out double in the sixth, but was tagged out when Youkilis grounded to third.
This program aired on July 24, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.