NEW YORK -- If the Boston Red Sox want to play the role of spoiler in the American League East, they started off the weekend in the Bronx on the right track.
While the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Seattle Mariners, the Red Sox banged out 14 hits en route to a 10-8 victory over the New York Yankees. The Rays now have sole possession of first place in the division and Boston remains seven back.
NOT THE BEST FOR BECKETT: Red Sox starter Josh Beckett was hoping his last couple of starts of the 2010 season would be good ones. Even though he improved to 6-5, the right-hander was good early but struggled in the late innings Friday. He worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits, including four home runs.
It’s the fourth time in his career he’s allowed four homers in a game, the first since Aug. 23, 2009 against the Yankees. The Sox got the win in the first of a three-game set here, but Beckett wasn’t pleased with his performance and couldn’t describe what happened.
“I don’t know. I don’t have any words that aren’t four letters,” Beckett said. “We needed a win. I’d rather pitch like that and win than pitch like that and lose. It was good for the team to win the game.”
LOWRIE HITS THE MARK: Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie set a career-high in hits, going 4-for-4. He hit a three-run homer in the second inning and added three more singles. He has hit safely in seven of his past eight games, batting .400 with 9 runs, 3 doubles, 3 homers and 7 RBIs during this stretch.
“He swung the bat great tonight,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He swung at strikes, and this ballpark plays small to right field. I’m not taking anything away from Jed, it was a good swing, but if he hit that ball at Fenway, it’s an out. He had really good at-bats all night.”
CLOSE CALL FOR LOWELL: The Red Sox witnessed a scary moment in the bottom of the fifth inning when Mike Lowell was struck in the temple by a hard ground ball off the bat of the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson. With two outs in the inning, Granderson hit the ball down the first-base line when Lowell went to glove it for any easy play. But the ball took a bad hop and hit Lowell in the head.
He went down and was quickly attended to by team trainer Mike Reinold and Francona. Lowell finished the inning, but was later removed for precautionary reasons.
“He’s OK. He’s just a little bit sore,” Francona said. “The ball hit him in the temple. His eye was twitching, but he didn’t show any signs of a concussion. I’m sure his jaw will probably be a bit sore tomorrow.”
Lowell was seen walking out of the clubhouse with no visible ill effects.
THE SEASON’S OVER FOR SALTY: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will miss the remainder of the season with ligament damage in his left thumb. Hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham will examine Saltalamacchia in Cleveland early next week. He said he doesn’t know yet if he’ll need surgery.
“It’ll be decided when we get there and what [the doctor] thinks,” Saltalamacchia said. “Nobody wants to make a decision right now until we figure everything out. There is definitely some damage in there, but nothing threatening. It’s just one of those things where we just got to see how far it is.”
“I did it originally in Oklahoma City," Saltalamacchia added, "but like anyone else in here, you would have kept on playing. Actually, playing through it kind of got some scar tissue that helped it heal a little bit. It’s been giving me some fits, but I wanted to finish the season and finish it strong. I felt like the smart decision was to shut it down and see where we’re at.”
If he does need a procedure, it’ll be done as soon as possible to have him ready for spring training.
“Regardless of which way it goes, that’s the reason they’re shutting me down, because this is the best way to have a normal offseason, he said. “I’ll work with [Gary] Tuck and be ready for spring training.”
CSNNE.com first reported the story.