BOSTON (AP)—Not since Babe Ruth was pitching for Boston had the Red Sox won a pair of games like this.
“Has that ever happened here?” asked Royals coach Buddy Bell, well aware of Fenway Park’s history of high-scoring, no-lead-is-safe slugfests.
Not for a long time.
The last time the Red Sox won two straight 1-0 games at Fenway was 1916, when the ballpark was only 4 years old and Boston was on its way to its second World Series title in a row. Ruth beat the New York Yankees on June 22 and Ernie Shore edged the Philadelphia Athletics on June 23, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“Ninety years, huh?” said Beckett, who agreed to a $30 million, three-year contract extension that was announced after the game. “Mark Redman pitched a great game. There’s no way he deserved to lose.”
A day after two Red Sox rookies combined to one-hit the Royals, Beckett (12-5) struck out seven and walked none to join Toronto’s Roy Halladay as the AL’s only 12-game winners. Beckett, who hit two batters with pitches, retired his first six hitters before Angel Berroa doubled to start the third and end the Royals’ streak of 29 consecutive outs without a hit.
After the game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona joked that Beckett got the extension in the fifth inning. His deal includes a club option for 2010 that could bring the total value to $40 million.
“It is something that has definitely been weighing on me this week,” Beckett said. “Nice to get it over with and move on.”
Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched the ninth on Tuesday night after Jon Lester threw eight innings of one-hit ball, got three outs for his 29th save. With a runner on second, Papelbon retired Berroa on a shallow popup to end the four-hitter.
Redman (6-5) allowed just one run and seven hits with nine strikeouts in eight innings—yet his six-game winning streak came to an end. He threw 123 pitches for his first complete game since May 2005, but Kansas City couldn’t avoid a three-game sweep.
“It was wasted,” said Bell, whose team has the worst record (32-62) in baseball. “Three good pitching performances and we wasted them.”
According to Elias, the last consecutive 1-0 games at Fenway came in 1961, when Cleveland beat the Red Sox on May 17 and Boston shut out Detroit a day later.
Ramirez homered on the first pitch of the fourth inning to pass Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr for sixth on the team’s all-time list with 224. Counting his time in Cleveland, Ramirez has 460 career homers.
“I can’t even say it was a mistake. It was a good pitch that he hit,” Redman said. “You can look at it as being frustrated, but we’re right in it.”
Ramirez also made a backhanded, tumbling catch on Paul Phillips’ sinking liner to end the fifth inning. The Royals also threatened in the eighth, when David DeJesus doubled to left with one out and was at third when Doug Mientkiewicz flied out.
It was the second time in Beckett’s last 10 starts that he didn’t give up a homer. … Royals CF Joey Gathright went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and has two hits in his last 19 at-bats. … David Ortiz bunted safely against a shift in the first inning. It was his second bunt single of the year; the other one came on April 23 at Toronto. … Boston LHP David Wells, on the disabled list since May 27 with a right knee bruise, threw 45 pitches in a simulated game against Wily Mo Pena and Alex Cora. “I’ve got to get my work in,” Wells said. He’s scheduled to pitch another simulated game in Seattle this weekend.