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Friday, April 22, 2011

Red Sox win in first extra innings game of the 2011 season

On a night when the Bruins worked overtime in an incredible win over the Canadiens, it was only fitting that the Red Sox went to extra innings for the first time in 2011.

Sure the 4-2 win in 11 innings against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim didn't mean much relative to the instant classic playoff hockey game but it was a start.

Josh Beckett was superb once again but he got a no decision for his troubles. Beckett had a no-hitter going until the sixth inning and ended up lasting eight innings. He allowed three hits, two earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts.

Boston (7-11) was able to win its second straight road game and fifth game out of its last five thanks to the biggest hit so far in Adrian Gonzalez's Red Sox career.

Gonzalez (2 hits) had an RBI double which put Boston up 3-2 in the 11th and scored J.D. Drew. Jed Lowrie added some insurance with a sacrifice fly that scored Dustin Pedroia (3 hits, 2 walks, stolen base).

Beckett cruised until Torii Hunter crushed a two-run homer in the seventh, tying it at 2. Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the sixth with a broken-bat, two -run single which scored David Ortiz and Lowrie.

In only his third career MLB start, Angels (12-7) rookie Tyler Chatwood acquitted himself well. He went six innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs, five walks and three strikeouts.

Boston's bullpen was flawless and lined up exactly like Terry Francona wanted, despite the extra frames. With 125 pitches, Beckett got the team through the eighth then Daniel Bard (ninth), Bobby Jenks (1-1, tenth) and Jonathan Papelbon (fourth save, eleventh) combined to allow only one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.

Tonight figures to be a nice pitcher's duel as Jon Lester takes on red-hot Dan Haren (4-0).

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