|Beckett impressive in return for Boston; Blue Jays steal one from Yankees|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2007 22:52|
Not that the Red Sox have needed him lately.
``It's not about one player. It's not about one pitcher,'' first baseman Kevin Youkilis said after his homer helped Beckett win his eighth consecutive decision, a 4-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
Boston has opened an 11 1/2-game lead in the AL East - even without Beckett, who missed two starts with a torn flap of skin on his right middle finger.
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are finding different ways to lose every night.
Aaron Hill stole home, helping the Toronto Blue Jays send the Yankees to their fifth straight loss with a 3-2 victory. The Yankees (21-29) have lost 13 of 18 to fall eight games under .500 for the first time since they were 11-19 on May 6, 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
``It seems like we're losing every way possible, and tonight was no different,'' Johnny Damon said.
In other AL games, it was: Detroit 14, Tampa Bay 2; Baltimore 6, Kansas City 2; Minnesota 9, Chicago 2; Texas 4, Oakland 0; and Los Angeles 4, Seattle 1.
At Boston, Beckett (8-0) faced the minimum number of batters in the first six innings before allowing two runs in the seventh.
``He looks like a guy who hadn't missed a game,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said. ``We were hoping to make him work a little harder and maybe get him out of there a little earlier, but he had it all going tonight.''
Beckett struck out seven and walked one to become the first Red Sox starter to win his first eight decisions since Roger Clemens opened the 1986 season 14-0. Hideki Okajima pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Beckett won his first seven starts before a no-decision on May 13, when he lasted four innings because of the finger injury.
``It made it a lot easier knowing that we were playing as well as we were,'' Beckett said. ``I think we were smart with this thing. Dr. (Thomas) Gill and those guys, they stopped at nothing to make sure that we nipped this thing in the bud.''
Jeremy Sowers (1-5), coming off his only win of the year, allowed four runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings.
Youkilis doubled and homered - his ninth consecutive multihit game, the most by a Red Sox since Jim Rice in 1978. He extended his hitting streak to 21 games. Youkilis hit an RBI double in the first and led off the sixth with a homer.
Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2
At Toronto, Alex Rios hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the Blue Jays, who have won three of four.
Adam Lind led off the eighth with a double off Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on Rios' fly ball to center off Scott Proctor.
But all the talk was about Hill's steal of home. With the count 1-1 to Royce Clayton, Hill took a walking lead, then broke for the plate. Facing away, Pettitte didn't notice until catcher Jorge Posada stepped out and waved his right arm. Pettitte threw home, but Hill slid in safely ahead of the tag.
Hill said third base coach Brian Butterfield told the Blue Jays before the game that Pettitte was vulnerable to a steal of home.
``I definitely felt my heart beating,'' Hill said. ``I've never done it before and I didn't know what was going to happen. I just pictured the umpire calling me safe to hopefully give me a little better boost.''
It was Toronto's first steal of home since Shea Hillenbrand did it Aug. 6, 2005, against the Yankees.
Pettitte (3-4) allowed three runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings. Jeremy Accardo (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win.
Tigers 14, Devil Rays 2
Gary Sheffield homered twice and drove in five runs, and Jeremy Bonderman (4-0) won his fourth straight start for visiting Detroit.
Sheffield's 34th multihomer game helped the Tigers stop a four-game losing streak. He has 467 homers, moving him past Dave Winfield into sole possession of 29th place on the all-time list.
Orioles 6, Royals 2
Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven strong innings and Ramon Hernandez drove in two runs as visiting Baltimore handed Kansas City its sixth straight loss.
Guthrie (3-1) allowed two runs and three hits as the Orioles won their fourth in a row after losing four of five.
Jorge De La Rosa (4-5) gave up eight hits and five runs in five-plus innings.
Twins 9, White Sox 2
Justin Morneau homered and drove in four runs for host Minnesota in its third straight win.
Jason Kubel added a two-run homer for the Twins (26-25), who have won six of seven to move over .500 for the first time since May 9.
Boof Bonser (4-1) won his fourth straight, allowing two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. John Danks (3-5) lasted just 3 1-3 innings for the White Sox, allowing six runs and nine hits.
Rangers 4, Athletics 0
Sammy Sosa lined a two-run single that got by charging left fielder Shannon Stewart, breaking a scoreless tie in the sixth and helping visiting Texas end a season-worst six-game losing streak.
Marlon Byrd singled in a run during that four-run sixth for one of his three hits and Mike Wood (1-1) pitched five innings in an impressive spot start against his former club.
Lenny DiNardo (1-2) allowed four runs - one earned - and four hits in 5 1-3 innings in his first start this season.
Angels 4, Mariners 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Ervin Santana allowed one run over seven innings, Shea Hillenbrand hit a two-run homer for Los Angeles.
Santana (4-6) gave up four hits and walked two as the Angels extended their AL West lead over the second-place Mariners to 4 1/2 games.
Ryan Feierabend (0-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in his third big league start and first since Sept. 29, 2006.