Found May 21, 2012 on New England Sports React:

Josh Beckett throwing a pitch Sunday against the Phillies.  Beckett threw 7 2/3 innings and allowed just one run in the victory.

Mike Aviles hit three home runs this past weekend in Philadelphia, including leadoff bombs the past two games, and the Boston Red Sox took two-out-of-three from the Phillies to claim the series victory.  Winning by scores of 7-5 and 5-1, the Sox were led by their offense which was obviously fueled by Aviles’ power display at the top of the lineup.  First, it was Joe Blanton that Boston hitters touched up, getting to the righty for seven runs (six earned) on four big flies.  Then, they got to southpaw Cliff Lee for five runs, four coming on a solo dinger by Aviles and a three-run shot by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Including Sunday’s victory, the Sox have now won back-to-back games and eight of their last 10.

Besides Aviles breaking out the lumber, Salty also had an impressive weekend swinging the bat.  The catcher hit two homers, one from each side of the plate, both of which left the yard over the center field fence.  His blast off of Lee was particularly impressive, traveling an estimated 445 feet before landing into the fans to the left of the brick wall in dead center.  It was a weekend of homers for the Sox in the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, the team compiling nine total in the three-game series.

Loooking beyond the hitting, I’d like to notice the start of Josh Beckett yesterday as a sign that he is most definitely turning things around.  After an effort in which he allowed no runs in seven innings to the Mariners on Tuesday, Beckett went seven and two-thirds while allowing just one run and looked sharp throughout with his control.  His breaking ball looked especially lethal, dropping off the table as is typical with the 12-6 action of the pitch and making hitters’ knees buckle.  I was certainly happy to see Beckett put together another good outing, and now that his pitching mechanics seem to have gotten smoothed out maybe this will be something to be counted on week-in and week-out.  One can only hope, but looking at the past two starts I’d say the Sox have some pretty promising signs.  So take a deep breath, Red Sox Nation: our boys are almost at .500, and like the bullpen the starters and offense seem to finally be coming around.  All seems well; for now, that is.

-Ryan Hartley


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