It feels so good to see Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell back in action.
After injuries have sidelined both players, they made their return last night and looked fantastic. Beckett, who had numbness in his arm, pitched 5 innings of scoreless work against the best offense in baseball. And Lowell, making his debut off the disabled list, went 3 for 5 with four runs batted in to fuel the offense to a 8-1 win.
Beckett allowed just four hits, no walks and struck out seven Rangers. He would have definitely pitched a few more innings had his pitch count not been limited. Seven Ks against the best offense in baseball? That's money.
Lowell homered (2nd inning), singled and doubled to knock in the runs. The bottom of the order did most of the rest of the damage, as Jason Varitek went 2 for 4 with a run and Coco Crisp went 3 for 5 with three RBI.
The lineup was a little whacky yesterday: Mark Kotasy in the cleanup spot? Awkard. But I'm sure that was just to keep the pressure off of Lowell and Jason Bay, who seems to be doing fine in the 5-spot. If everyone gets healthy (that means Youuuk), this lineup is going to be killer.
Manny Delcarmen and Justin Masterson combined for three innings of scoreless work. Manny D has been great lately, dropping his ERA to 3.77. He hasn't allowed an earned run since Aug. 18. Hideki Okajima allowed a run in the 9th.
Oh, and Dustin Pedroia went 1 for 4. What a slouch.
I'm really excited for this team. They don't seem to be making up ground on the Rays, but they are still performing well. It's crunch time and it looks like the Red Sox are going to perform.