With the victory, Beckett took control of the race for the AL Cy Young Award—he improved his record to 14-4 while lowering his ERA to 3.10. He had won seven of his previous eight decisions (over 10 outings).
The baseball world was his oyster as he made his scheduled start in Toronto on Aug. 18...and that’s when it all came crashing down.
The native of Spring, TX, hadn’t allowed a home run in five outings entering the Tigers game, but he allowed only three hits in that game and no one seemed worried that the homers were a harbinger of things to come. In Toronto, the CY Express got derailed - he allowed seven runs on nine hits (three home runs) in five-and-one-third inning.
Tonight was supposed to be the night he would get back on track. He was facing the NY Yankees and southpaw CC Sabathia...he would once again lay claim as the front-runner in the Cy Young chase.
Think again. Instead, the Yankees turned Fenway park into the Homer Dome and made Beckett look like a batting practice pitcher.
The right-hander has all but kissed the Cy Young Award goodbye after allowing eight runs on nine hits, including FIVE home runs, in the Sox 8-4 loss to the NY Yankees this evening at Fenway Park. Derek Jeter hit his first offering into the Red Sox bullpen...Hideki Matsui hit the first pitch of the second inning over the Red Sox bullpen.
And so it went.
The Yankees scored in each of their first five at-bats—it was the first time in Beckett’s career that had happened. The five home runs he surrendered were a career high.
In addition to the home runs hit by Jeter and Matsui, Robinson Cano hit a solo home run in the third inning, Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run shot in the fifth inning, and Matsui added another solo shot in the eighth inning.
Beckett has now allowed ten home runs in the last three games—as many home runs as he allowed in his first 22 starts. After the game, he commented: “These are humbling deals. That was a whupping I got today. That’s the only words I’ve got to sum it up”.
CC Sabathia won his fifth straight start (he has now won 11 straight decisions in the month of August, dating back to 2007). His ballclub has won 16 of its last 20 games and now leads the second place Red Sox by seven-and-one-half games in the AL East.
After New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the solo home runs, the Red Sox tied the ballgame in the bottom half of the second inning on an RBI-single by Rocco Baldelli and a run-scoring double down the right field line by Jason Varitek.
The Yankees made it 4-2 in the third on Mark Teixeira’s RBI single and Rodriguez’s run-scoring groundout. The Red Sox scored a run in the fourth inning when Varitek’s popup bounced off Cano’s left arm after the second baseman overran the ball. Cano and A-Rod made it 7-3.
A Baldelli sacrifice fly in the sixth inning made it 7-4. Matsui’s second home run accounted for the final score.
Jeter’s leadoff homer was the 21st of his career, placing him three shy of Rickey Henderson’s all-time Yankees mark. It was the 2700th hit of his career, leaving him in second place in career hits for the Yankees, just 21 behind Lou Gehrig. [That's right, no Yankee has ever had 3,000 hits]
The teams combined for 58 runs in the three-game series, the most ever in a three-game series between the two clubs.