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Game 88: Beckett caps first half with CG over Royals

Final - 7.12.2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Boston Red Sox 1 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 X 6 10 0
WP: Josh Beckett (11 - 3)
LP: Bruce Chen (0 - 4)

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Royals vs Red Sox recap
Royals vs Red Sox boxscore

That, my friends, is what we call a "gem."

Josh Beckett led the charge in the Red Sox's 6-0 win over the Royals Sunday by throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout. It is Beckett's 11th win of the season, tied for the best in the AL with teammate Tim Wakefield.

Beckett walked none and fanned seven in the outing.

"Oh, he was good," Terry Francona said after the game. "He attacked the strike zone with his fastball and it was very obvious they wanted to hit his fastball."

Jason Varitek said he "struggled" during parts of the game, but the end result doesn't show that. Beckett put an exclamation mark on the end of the Red Sox's first half of the season and puts them in a great position -- alone atop the AL East -- heading into the second half.

Aaron Bates led the offense by going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a run and an RBI. Jason Bay pulled off a ridiculous game: he walked three times and was hit by two pitches. His final line was 0 for 0, but his OBP is loving him.

Dustin Pedroia (.303 on the year now), Kevin Youkilis (.298) and Rocco Baldelli (.282 -- not bad!) each had two hits on the game. Youk, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Baldelli each had an RBI. Nick Green also walked three times.

And now let's all exhale -- wooo. It's All-Star break time. Let's enjoy the festivities and hope for an even better second half by the Sox.