ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox are happy with
their post All-Star game start.
Josh Beckett overcame early struggles to pitch six effective
innings, Will Middlebrooks drove in a pair during a tiebreaking
three-run fifth, and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on
Boston took two of three from the Rays after dropping six of
seven before the All-Star break.
“We’ve got to win series now,” Beckett said of the Red Sox,
who are 45-44.
Beckett (5-7) allowed three runs _ all in the first _ and eight
hits. The right-hander, 5-0 over his past eight games against Tampa
Bay, struck out seven and walked two in stopping a personal
six-start winless streak.
“He’s battling this flu a little, and I think he just had to
get his feet on the ground a little,” Red Sox manager Bobby
Valentine said. “But did one…
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