Tigers-Red Sox Preview
Josh Beckett doesn’t have a no-hitter under his belt this season
like counterpart Justin Verlander, but he continues to dominate
hitters in his own right.
He’s been just as successful against the Detroit Tigers in
Beckett and Verlander oppose each other Thursday night as the
surging Boston Red Sox host Detroit.
Beckett (3-1, 1.75 ERA) hasn’t lost since his April 5 season
debut, slowing the opposition in nearly every subsequent outing.
The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks in six innings of
Saturday’s 6-0 victory over the New York Yankees. It marked the
third straight start without allowing a run for Beckett, who
extended his scoreless streak to 18 1-3 innings.
“That’s probably the best cutter I’ve seen him have in a while.
Changeup – he used all his pitches,” manager Terry Francona said.
“We have a lot of confidence in him. We always have. He worked hard
and said last year he was going to come back with a vengeance, and
I think he has.”
Beckett should have plenty of confidence taking the mound
against Detroit. He’s 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last three starts
against the Tigers, though he hasn’t faced them since 2009.
Another victory over Detroit would give the Red Sox (22-20) a
season-high six-game winning streak. Boston has gone 20-10 since a
2-10 start that’s becoming an increasingly distant memory.
The Red Sox fought through a 26-minute rain delay Wednesday to
win 1-0. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s double in the eighth inning drove
in Carl Crawford with the game’s only run.
“We certainly didn’t bludgeon them to death (Wednesday), but
Salty took a terrific swing. He’s a big strong kid,” Francona
said. “Carl put it in another gear because, off the bat, I don’t
think that’s … sure that he’s going to be able to score and we
made it hold up.”
The Tigers (22-20), who went hitless in 10 at-bats with runners
in scoring position, have lost two straight following a seven-game
Verlander (4-3, 2.91 ERA) won twice during that run, including
his second career no-hitter against Toronto on May 7.
Attempting to match Johnny Vander Meer’s feat of pitching
back-to-back no-hitters in 1938, Verlander held Kansas City hitless
Friday until a two-out single in the sixth inning ended his chance
of duplicating the mark.
The right-hander wound up allowing one run and two hits through
eight innings of a 3-1 victory.
“If I can maintain this rhythm, the stuff I’ve got right now,
it’s going to be pretty tough for hitters,” Verlander said.
Verlander is 2-2 with a 3.89 ERA in five career starts against
the Red Sox, including 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA in four outings in
The Red Sox have won six of the last eight meetings between
these clubs at Fenway Park.