Here are some notes and quotes from the Red Sox 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals today:
The Sox won back-to-back 1-0 games for the first time since Aug. 26-27, 1990, when they did it against the Toronto Blue Jays. Greg Harris and Jeff Gray followed a shutout by Roger Clemens by combining to blank the Blue Jays. The Sox hadn't tossed consecutive shutouts at Fenway since 1916.
-- While Boston won, there should be some concern about the Sox offense, which scored just seven runs in the Royals series. Over the last 15 games, the Sox are hitting just .247 as a team.
"Back-to-back 1-0 [wins], it's tough to do and we're fortunate because we haven't swung the bats like we know we can, but we still won and that's why we showed up. So, it's very gratifying," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
-- Lost in the Sox sweep of Kansas City was the outstanding effort of Royals starter Mark Redman. Redman went the distance and allowed only Manny Ramirez's solo homer in the fourth. Over eight innings, he struck out a season-high nine and allowed seven hits, including two bunt singles and an infield single. Francona was impressed. "We didn't do a whole lot. If it wasn't for the bunting we wouldn't have had much to show."
-- With eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball, Beckett tied Roy Halladay for the major league lead in wins (12) and lowered his ERA from 5.12 to 4.78. Francona said the difference was that Beckett utilized all his pitches.
"He pounded the strike zone with all his pitches and that's what we've talked about when it hasn't been right and we've kept saying, 'If he does this, he'll be dominate,' and he was today. He had to be."
-- For all those who knock Manny Ramirez's outfield defense, here's what Beckett had to say when asked about a diving stab Manny made to end the second. "Manny's not a bad outfielder at all," said Beckett. "He's played this year like he wants to win a Gold Glove and he has the talent to do that."
-- When Theo Epstein came to the podium to address Beckett's new contract, he turned to the pitcher and said, "Way to make us look good."