Red Sox 8, Phillies 4

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—The Boston Red Sox are used to getting big hits from their designated hitter—not their pitcher.

Josh Beckett hit a solo homer, an RBI single and pitched seven solid innings to lead the Red Sox over the struggling Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 on Saturday night.

Beckett (6-1) allowed four runs and six hits to win his third straight start and give AL East-leading Boston its 10th victory in 13 games. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to go deep since Marty Pattin on Sept. 26, 1972.

“You never expect to hit a ball off a guy like that,” Beckett said, referring to Brett Myers. “You’re just happy to put the bat on the ball. He happened to throw where I was swinging.”

Because the designated hitter isn’t used in National League parks during interleague play, the Red Sox have to alter their lineup. Regular DH David Ortiz has started at first base for two straight games, while regular first baseman Kevin Youkilis sat out Friday night and played third base Saturday. Starting pitcher Matt Clement had a key single in Friday’s win.

“We don’t count on it, but we’ll take everything we can get,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “It doesn’t seem feasible because these guys haven’t batted in two months. It shows they are great athletes.”

Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer, Chase Utley had a solo shot and Myers (2-2) was a hard-luck loser for the Phillies, who have lost five consecutive games after winning 13 of 14.

“It’s amazing. We’ve got to get the opposing pitcher out. It’s been killing us the way they hit us,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

A victim of poor run support this season, Myers was outstanding while giving up just one hit in the first five innings. But an error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins led to four unearned runs in the sixth and Myers unraveled in the seventh.

Myers struck out Wily Mo Pena to start the sixth, then ran into trouble. Alex Gonzalez hit a grounder to shortstop, but reached second base when Rollins’ throw to first base sailed high and wide. Beckett followed with a run-scoring single that tied it at 1.

Youkilis had an infield single and Mark Loretta singled to load the bases. Ortiz drove in Beckett with a sacrifice fly to give Boston a 2-1 lead. After Manny Ramirez walked, Trot Nixon singled beyond second baseman Utley’s reach to score two more runs.

Beckett ripped a drive into the left-center seats for his second career homer in the seventh inning to give the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. Youkilis tripled and scored on Loretta’s sacrifice fly.

Gonzalez made it 8-1 in the eighth inning when he broke an 0-for-17 slump with a two-run homer to straightaway center off reliever Aaron Fultz.

Howard, who exchanged words with Beckett during a game in spring training, chased the pitcher with an opposite-field homer that cut Boston’s lead to 8-4 with none out in the eighth.

“The pitch was where I wanted it, but he’s a strong kid,” Beckett said.

Julian Tavarez entered and allowed two hits, but escaped the jam. Mike Timlin pitched a scoreless ninth.

Myers allowed six runs—two earned—and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his nine starts, but hasn’t won since April 23 because the Phillies have averaged just 3.1 runs when he pitches.

“I made good pitches. They just found a hole,” Myers said.

Utley gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third inning with his ninth homer.

Notes

A small fire broke out in a trash bin on the concourse of the stadium beyond left field during the game, but it was put out in a few minutes, a team spokesman said. … The Phillies have lost six straight interleague games. … Phillies RF Bobby Abreu has just 10 homers in 115 games since his record-setting performance in the Home Run Derby during All-Star week last season. He hit 41 homers in the contest, including 24 in the first round. … The Phillies are 73-90 in interleague play, while the Red Sox are 79-80 against NL teams. … Boston leads the all-time series 15-12, including six straight wins against Philadelphia.

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