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Beckett, Lowell spark BoSox to fifth straight win

 

BOSTON (AP) -- After throwing 36 pitches and walking home a run in his first inning at Fenway Park, Josh Beckett was looking at a short outing and a short honeymoon with the Boston fans.

 

"It's not exactly the first impression you want to make," he said Tuesday.

 

But Beckett settled down in Boston's home opener and held Toronto to three hits over seven innings, combining with fellow Florida castoff Mike Lowell to beat the Blue Jays 5-3 and give the Red Sox their fifth consecutive victory.

 

"He wanted to destroy the dugout after that first inning," said Lowell, who went 4-for-4 with three doubles. "But the way he threw, to be down one run after that inning, I'd take that."

 

Boston took advantage of the Marlins' latest salary purge to acquire Beckett in the offseason. But the Red Sox also had to take Lowell and his $9 million salary and hope that he bounced back from the worst season of his career.

 

For one game, Lowell was far more than a throw-in.

 

"Any time you're in a new situation, a new team, I think it's only natural" to want to make a good impression, he said.

 

Does he think he did?

 

"I hope so," he said with a laugh. "If I need to go more than 4-for-4, I'm in trouble."

 

A year after an epic ceremony to celebrate their first World Series title in 86 years, the Red Sox held a more downscale event. In addition to the usual fighter jet flyover and ceremonial first pitch, the team asked for a moment of silence in memory of longtime broadcaster Curt Gowdy.

 

Fenway was sold out, as it had been for the previous 226 games.

 

"Coming from Florida, Opening Day is sometimes the only day you have like that," Beckett said.

 

The fiery right-hander allowed one run in his Red Sox debut last week to win at Texas and start Boston's winning streak. His Fenway premiere started poorly but turned out just as good.

 

Beckett (2-0) walked three in the first inning -- along with Vernon Wells' single to left -- before falling behind Shea Hillenbrand 3-1 and the bases still loaded. Hillenbrand moved toward first on a pitch that was called strike two, irking Beckett, and then hit into a double play to end the inning.

 

He didn't throw more than 15 pitches in any of the next six innings. In the sixth, he needed just five.

 

"I felt like we let him off the hook," Blue Jays outfielder Frank Catalanotto said. "To his credit, he settled down."

 

Beckett walked four and struck out two, getting a cushion when Lowell, Adam Stern and Kevin Youkilis all doubled in the four-run second. David Ortiz homered in the seventh, a solo shot into the right-field corner for his second of the year.

 

Josh Towers (0-2) gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out three in six innings. Catalanotto hit a two-run homer in the eighth, a long drive that went off substitute outfielder Wily Mo Pena's glove and into the Toronto bullpen.

 

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

 

Beckett also gave up a double to Aaron Hill in the third, when Trot Nixon fell while diving, and Bengie Molina's single in the seventh.

 

Nixon left after three innings with a mild left groin strain and said he would be out five to seven days. Pena entered the game as his replacement.

 

Game notes

Toronto right-hander A.J. Burnett allowed two runs and six hits over four innings in his last rehab start for Class-A Dunedin. He struck out four and retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced. Burnett is scheduled to pitch Saturday against the White Sox. ... Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay was supposed to go Saturday, but he will miss his next turn with a forearm injury, general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. ... Boston College and Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie was at the game. ... The Red Sox completed an odd 4-6-3 double play to end the fourth: Mark Loretta leaped to catch Molina's liner, but the ball went off his glove toward shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who picked it up, stepped on second and threw to first.

 

 

 

Their stat lines from the day:

 

Hitters AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG

M Lowell 3B 4 1 4 1 0 0 0 .320

 

Pitchers IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA

J Beckett (W, 2-0) 7.0 3 1 1 4 2 0 105-66 1.29

 

All I have to say is wow Mikey, welcome back! Way to show those scouts they didn't know jack crap when they said your bat speed was down and you were washed up. You can expect games like this from Beckett then he'll get shelled and pulled by the 5th in his next outting. You never know w/ Josh.

 

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Guest Jack1

Mike Lowell was 4-4 with three doubles? Way to go Mike....Eat your heart out Loria. I really can't stand the Red Sox but I'll have to start tuning in to their games and watch the former Marlins do well!!

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Of course no one has mentioned that coming into yesterday's game Mike was batting .190 with four hits in 21 at bats. Or that Alex Gonzalez is hitting an embarrassing .173 having gone 0-4 yesterday.

 

I'm happy Mike finally had a good day but let's notproclaim him back after a miserable spring and up to yesterday an atrocious first week of the season.

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Of course no one has mentioned that coming into yesterday's game Mike was batting .190 with four hits in 21 at bats. Or that Alex Gonzalez is hitting an embarrassing .173 having gone 0-4 yesterday.

 

I'm happy Mike finally had a good day but let's notproclaim him back after a miserable spring and up to yesterday an atrocious first week of the season.

 

/hates the Red Sox

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Of course no one has mentioned that coming into yesterday's game Mike was batting .190 with four hits in 21 at bats. Or that Alex Gonzalez is hitting an embarrassing .173 having gone 0-4 yesterday.

 

I'm happy Mike finally had a good day but let's notproclaim him back after a miserable spring and up to yesterday an atrocious first week of the season.

 

/hates the Red Sox

So I guess the stats lie then? Guess Mike Lowell wasn't hitting .190 before yesterday's game and the talk in Beantown has been how long to go with him before being forced to make a decision about benching him or worse.

 

I grew up with the Red Sox. They were my team for forty+ years. And no I don't hate the Red Sox or any other team, but they aren't my team now, the Marlins are.

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It's just not suprising to me that you would post ill will towards Lowell since he is on the Sox (which you have publicly trashed on here now that Henry is the owner). He batted .190, sure....but it was in 6 games and non of which were in the park where he will play 81 games. He also is tweaking his swing something I don't think he did last year, and I think the combination of Fenway and Papa Jack's teachings are gonna make him a big suprise this year

 

Tito gave A-Gon a huge boost in confidence after the game yesterday and I think David, Manny, and again...Jack are going to be a confidence booster and his defense hasn't suffered at all so far, something that will allow him to stay in the line-up even if he can't keep up offensively.

 

I don't blame you for being a bit angry. I would be sick to my stomach if a player who was struggling for my team was able to turn it around in a big way on a team I dislike.

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It's just not suprising to me that you would post ill will towards Lowell since he is on the Sox (which you have publicly trashed on here now that Henry is the owner). He batted .190, sure....but it was in 6 games and non of which were in the park where he will play 81 games. He also is tweaking his swing something I don't think he did last year, and I think the combination of Fenway and Papa Jack's teachings are gonna make him a big suprise this year

 

Tito gave A-Gon a huge boost in confidence after the game yesterday and I think David, Manny, and again...Jack are going to be a confidence booster and his defense hasn't suffered at all so far, something that will allow him to stay in the line-up even if he can't keep up offensively.

 

I don't blame you for being a bit angry. I would be sick to my stomach if a player who was struggling for my team was able to turn it around in a big way on a team I dislike.

 

You forget, or perhaps it fits your purposes to ignore that this thread was started on the Marlins board. And any anger seems to be coming from you, not me. I said I was happy for the guy and I meant it, so while it's your way to frequently put words in someone's mouth and then damn them for them, don't as far as it pertains to me.

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It is his first time around the league, he will likely have an outstanding first half, with a good second half, think he will win 20 this year.

 

Why would he go down? He only has 3 AL starts ever and he had never pitched in Fenway before yesterday. If anything I'd expect more along the lines of once he gets used to the AL parks and opponents he will be better.

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I, for one, like the Red Sox. I've always liked them, but even more this season with Lowell, A-Gon, Beckett, and J.T Snow... I'm hoping Beckett wins 20 and Lowell hits 30 homeruns again... You can't base a guy's performance on 6 games. Maybe he was hitting .190, but a ton of all star caliber players are hitting around the same thing at this time of the season. It's nice to see him turn it around... Go Sox !!

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It is his first time around the league, he will likely have an outstanding first half, with a good second half, think he will win 20 this year.

 

Why would he go down? He only has 3 AL starts ever and he had never pitched in Fenway before yesterday. If anything I'd expect more along the lines of once he gets used to the AL parks and opponents he will be better.

Not really, Beckett has such good stuff, his first time around will be outstanding, once hitters work out his arm slot/mechanics/pitch selection, he will have to make some adjustments, probably meaning his numbers may suffer slightly. As I said I think he will win 20 games and have a great season, just that the first half will be better than the second.

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I hope all the ex-Marlins do well.

 

Except for Mike Lowell, screw him. He gets a nice contract from a cash-strapped team and what does he do? Lays an egg with us for a season and half and negates the Delgado signing and NOW he wants to give the potent Red Sox lineup needless offensive production. Bah.

 

Yeah because he was struggling on purpose...

 

Good to see the Red Sox ex-fish doing well thus far

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