Indians 8, Red Sox 3
For Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox, getting jeered at
Fenway Park has become par for the course.
The embattled starter did nothing to help restore his reputation
Thursday night, getting booed off the field in the third inning of
Boston’s 8-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
It was Boston’s 11th loss in its last 12 home games and it
happened to come a day after word surfaced that Beckett was playing
golf last week a day after he was scratched from his scheduled
start with a sore lat muscle in his back.
That angered Red Sox fans, who got in plenty of taunts before
Beckett was pulled after 2 1-3 innings with Cleveland leading
”I think it was directed at me,” Beckett said. ”Smart
Beckett was unrepentant about his golf outing, saying what he
does on his day off is his business. But what he failed to
understand, it seemed, was that fans were upset about him golfing
when he was supposedly too sore to pitch rather than about him
simply hitting the links on a normal off day.
Jack Hannahan hit a two-run homer and Jason Kipnis had a solo
shot off Beckett (2-4), who gave up seven runs on seven hits and
”You never want to get booed at your home stadium,” said
Indians left fielder Johnny Damon, a former Red Sox star very
familiar with being booed at Fenway Park. ”He’s a great pitcher.
Had a bad night. He helped bring another championship here, but as
we all know that can get lost in time.”
Michael Brantley went 4 for 5 with two RBIs for the Indians.
Derek Lowe (5-1) pitched six effective innings against his
former team, allowing two runs and nine hits with one walk and
three strikeouts. He was as solid as he needed to be with the
Indians’ offense taking full advantage of Beckett’s struggles.
”He knows how to pitch with a lead,” Cleveland manager Manny
Acta said. ”He had a lot of traffic throughout his outing, but he
always seemed to make that pitch when he had to.”
Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 11 with a leadoff
homer in the seventh, cutting Cleveland’s lead to 7-3. But that did
little to lift the somber mood at Fenway Park. Boston, last in the
AL East at 12-19, has dropped eight of nine overall.
Beckett, who has a 5.97 ERA, was booed just a few hours after
manager Bobby Valentine downplayed the uproar over the pitcher’s
In his postgame interview, Beckett grew more terse each time his
golf outing was mentioned.
”We get 18 off days a year,” he said. ”I think we deserve a
little bit of time to ourselves.”
It’s not the first time Beckett’s off-the-field decisions and
commitment to the team have come into question.
After last season, it was revealed that he was among a group of
pitchers who ate fried chicken and drank beer in the clubhouse
during games on days they didn’t pitch.
The first homer was Hannahan’s two-run shot into the Boston
bullpen, where a few relievers got up and started stretching their
arms as it became apparent Beckett would not be out there for
It got worse in the fourth when Kipnis led off with a homer,
Asdrubal Cabrera singled and Travis Hafner walked. Beckett got a
mock cheer when Carlos Santana flied out for the first out of the
inning, but the boos came right back when Shin-Soo Choo followed
with a double.
Brantley was up next and one fan yelled ”FORE!” when he lined
a foul ball down the right-field line, but all the chuckles quickly
subsided when Brantley doubled to left-center. It was the second
straight double for the Indians, ending Beckett’s night.
Fans cheered when Valentine came out of the dugout and
immediately signaled to the bullpen for lefty Andrew Miller.
”It’s challenging every night,” Valentine said. ”The guys are
doing a great job and I tip my cap to them and the offense. We were
a bloop away from getting back into this game four different
There wasn’t much to cheer for again until Pedroia came up with
the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, but he popped out to
second on the 41st pitch of the inning by Vinny Pestano.
NOTES: The Red Sox paid tribute before the game to public
address announcer Carl Beane, a day after he died after having a
heart attack while driving. The Red Sox went without a PA announcer
for their game against Cleveland as part of the tribute, which also
featured a moment of silence after a series of still photos were
shown on the center-field monitor. … RHP Clayton Mortensen was
optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Daniel Nava, who
started in left field. ”He pitched plenty well to stay on this
staff, but he has an option and we needed a spot and luckily he’s
the kind of professional guy that understood totally,” Valentine
said. … Valentine said 3B Kevin Youkilis (back) was expected to
start throwing again Thursday or Friday, but there was no word on
when he could return. … It was Brantley’s fourth four-hit game,
tying his career high. … Lowe made his second appearance at
Fenway since he helped Boston win the 2004 World Series.