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Beckett (11-1) outduels Peavy

June 25, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — While Jake Peavy got dirty, Josh Beckett's stuff was simply filthy.

Beckett topped Peavy in a matchup of two of baseball's top pitchers, becoming the first 11-game winner in the majors and leading the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 victory Sunday over the San Diego Padres.

The Red Sox were patient against Peavy (9-2), making him throw a lot of pitches and collecting nine hits off the ace in five innings. Boston scored three runs and had five hits in the third, when Peavy threw 38 pitches.

"He's obviously, if not the best, one of the best in the game, and we did make him work hard," Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. "And fortunately for us, one of the other best is on our team, and he was great."

The Beckett-Peavy matchup was only the third in which two opposing starters each had nine or more wins against one or fewer losses.

Throwing a fastball while mixing in a curveball and an effective changeup, Beckett (11-1) held San Diego to two runs and six hits in eight innings while striking out eight and walking one. He improved to 5-1 against the Padres, with the previous decisions coming while he was with Florida. The Red Sox ended Peavy's streak of six straight wins.

"He did well -- won the game, got through the eighth. Good performance in my book," said Peavy, who gave up three runs and nine hits in his shortest outing this season.

Jason Varitek tripled and homered for the AL East leaders, who have baseball's best record (48-26). The Red Sox took two of three from the Padres, who yielded the NL West lead to Arizona.

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