Beckett Bags 20th, BoSox Stop Slide

Boston ace shows a bit of Cy, helps widen the gap over Yanks
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2007 7:21 AM CDT
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, left, congratulates pitcher Josh Beckett after retiring the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the sixth inning during a baseball game Friday night Sept. 21, 2007 in St. Petersburg,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Red Sox ace Josh Beckett won his 20th game last night, pulling Boston out of a four-game losing streak and becoming the first pitcher to reach 20 wins since 2005. The 27-year-old Cy Young contender struck out eight and gave up one run in six innings in Boston's 8-1 win over Tampa Bay, reports the Boston Globe.

David Ortiz, who had planned to sit out the game, belted a home run and had four RBI. Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell added homers of their own, bringing some confidence back to an ailing—and recently flailing—Red Sox dugout. The Yankees' 14-inning loss last night boosts the Sox back to a 2½-game lead in the division.