Final

Playoff Series: Game 1 of 3

Boston won 3-0

Game 1: Wednesday, October 3
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Game 2: Friday, October 5
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Game 3: Sunday, October 7
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    6:30 PM ET, October 3, 2007

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    LAA 000000000 0 4 0
    BOS 10300000 - 4 9 0

    W: J. Beckett (1-0)

    L: J. Lackey (0-1)

    Beckett gets another playoff shutout as Red Sox take 1-0 lead

    A CLOSER LOOK
    Josh Beckett
    Beckett
    • Summary: Josh Beckett showed his familiar postseason form, retiring 19 consecutive batters after a leadoff single. He allowed just four hits and ran his postseason scoreless streak to 18 innings. It was the first shutout by a Red Sox pitcher in a postseason game since Luis Tiant (who accomplished the feat in Game 1 of the 1975 World Series).

    • More on Beckett's feat: This was Beckett's second consecutive postseason shutout. The last pitcher with two straight shutouts was Curt Schilling. Only two pitchers have thrown a shutout for Boston in first game of a postseason: Beckett and Babe Ruth (in Game 1 of the 1918 World Series).

    • Figure this: Boston's David Ortiz homered, improving the Red Sox to 7-2 when he hits a homer in a postseason game. Ortiz has hit safely in 16 of 18 postseason games since the start of the 2004 postseason. Eight of those 16 games have been multihit games, and he's homered in seven of the 16 games.

    • Quotable: "He's a guy that wants to be great. He doesn't want to be pretty good. He wants to be the best guy that takes the mound. That's what you want from your ace." -- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell on Beckett

    -- ESPN.com news services

    Red Sox 4, Angels 0

    BOSTON (AP) -- Josh Beckett waited four years between postseason starts. When he got back on the mound, nothing much changed.

    Joining History
    Josh Beckett's shutout against the Angels in Game 1 of the ALDS moved him into elite company in Red Sox history. Here's a look at the other Boston pitchers to record a postseason shutout.
    Pitcher Playoff round Opponent
    Josh Beckett 2007 ALDS Angels
    Luis Tiant 1975 World Series Reds
    Jim Lonborg 1967 World Series Cardinals
    Boo Ferriss 1946 World Series Cardinals
    Babe Ruth 1918 World Series Cubs
    Bill Dinneen 1903 World Series (2 shutouts) Pirates

    He's still Mr. Zero when October rolls around.

    The 2003 World Series MVP pitched his second consecutive postseason shutout Wednesday night, backed by a two-run homer from David Ortiz that helped the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 in their AL playoff opener.

    Beckett retired 19 consecutive batters after a leadoff single, allowing just four hits to run his postseason scoreless streak to 18 innings. His three postseason shutouts tie Whitey Ford and Mordecai Brown for second on the career list, one behind Christy Mathewson.

    "He's a guy that wants to be great," said Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, who came to Boston from the Marlins in the same trade as Beckett. "He doesn't want to be pretty good. He wants to be the best guy that takes the mound. That's what you want from your ace."

    It was Beckett's first postseason appearance since blanking the New York Yankees on three days' rest to clinch the '03 Series for Florida. The last pitcher with consecutive postseason shutouts was current teammate Curt Schilling, who accomplished the feat with the Phillies in 1993 and Arizona in 2001.

    Angels Playoff History
    Indians
    The Angels are a perfect 1-0 in the World Series but don't have a good playoff history against the Red Sox.
    WORLD SERIES (Won 1, Lost 0)
    2002Beat Giants, 4-3
    LCS (Won 1, Lost 4)
    2005Lost to White Sox, 4-1
    2002Beat Twins, 4-1
    1986Lost to Red Sox, 4-3
    1982Lost to Brewers, 3-2
    1979Lost to Orioles, 3-1
    LDS (Won 2, Lost 1)
    2005Beat Yankees, 3-2
    2004Lost to Red Sox, 3-0
    2002Beat Yankees, 3-1
    "You don't change a lot of things just because now you're in the postseason," Beckett said. "You do what made you successful to get here."

    Boston rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka will face Kelvim Escobar in Game 2 on Friday.

    The only 20-game winner in the majors this year, Beckett struck out eight and walked none to improve to 3-2 with a 1.74 ERA in the postseason. He threw 83 of his 108 pitches for strikes and started 21 of the last 23 batters with first-pitch strikes, including 15 in a row.

    "He was throwing the ball better than he has at any point in the season. He was in control of himself," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "That was a great performance."

    Beckett has two shutouts in 166 regular-season starts -- and three in six postseason starts. He became the first Boston pitcher to toss a postseason shutout since Luis Tiant beat Cincinnati 6-0 with a five-hitter in the opener of the 1975 World Series.

    The victory was Boston's seventh straight in the postseason over the California-Anaheim-Los Angeles Angels, having come back from a 3-1 deficit to win in the 1986 AL playoffs and then sweeping them in the 2004 best-of-five first round.

    It was Ortiz who eliminated the Angels with a 10th-inning, series-ending homer in the first round of the 2004 playoffs.

    He hurt them again this year.

    Red Sox Playoff History
    Red Sox
    The Red Sox broke through in 2004 and have the league's best record this season.
    WORLD SERIES (Won 6, Lost 4)
    2004Beat Cardinals, 4-0
    1986Lost to Mets, 4-3
    1975Lost to Reds, 4-3
    1967Lost to Cardinals, 4-3
    1946Lost to Cardinals, 4-3
    1918Beat Cubs, 4-2
    1916Beat Dodgers, 4-1
    1915Beat Phillies, 4-1
    1912Beat Giants, 4-3-1
    1903Beat Pirates, 5-3
    LCS (Won 3, Lost 4)
    2004Beat Yankees, 4-3
    2003Lost to Yankees, 4-3
    1999Lost to Yankees, 4-1
    1990Lost to A's, 4-0
    1988Lost to A's, 4-0
    1986Beat Angels, 4-3
    1975Beat A's, 3-0
    LDS (Won 3, Lost 3)
    2005Lost to White Sox, 3-0
    2004Beat Angels, 3-0
    2003Beat A's, 3-2
    1999Beat Indians, 3-2
    1998Lost to Indians, 3-1
    1995Lost to Indians, 3-0

    Kevin Youkilis homered in the first off Los Angeles ace John Lackey, then doubled with one out in the second. Ortiz, who needed a cortisone shot in his ailing right knee on Saturday, followed with his ninth postseason homer to make it 3-0.

    "This is his time of year, too," Youkilis said. "For David to come out and have a big hit is always good. Because when David's confidence is high, this team succeeds."

    Lackey won 19 games in the regular season -- second only to Beckett -- but he couldn't keep up Wednesday. Lackey allowed four runs, nine hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings.

    "With Beckett pitching that way, it's going to be tough," Lackey said. "You've got to hold down that kind of lineup with not getting much from your side."

    Indeed, Beckett was on top of his game -- just like last time against the Yankees.

    He gave up a leadoff single to Chone Figgins and then retired the next 19 batters. The 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed a single to Vladimir Guerrero with one out in the seventh and the crowd applauded politely, as if a no-hitter had been broken up.

    Howie Kendrick singled in the seventh and Guerrero had another hit with two outs in the ninth. But Beckett got Garret Anderson to fly out to center field, and the Red Sox were celebrating another playoff victory over the Angels.

    Lackey had some October success of his own, winning Game 7 of the '02 Series as a rookie to clinch the title for the Angels. But this right-handed Texan also had a more ominous history to live down: He is 1-7 against the Red Sox and 1-5 at Fenway Park, and on Wednesday his struggles continued.

    After Ortiz's homer in the third, Lackey walked Manny Ramirez and put him on second with a wild pitch before Lowell's single made it 4-0.

    Game notes


    Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera played on Boston's 2004 World Series team. ... Ramirez has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 postseason games. ... The scoreboard showed a video of baseball highlights from the year, and the clip of Barry Bonds hitting his record 756th homer was booed. ... Boston led the AL with 13 shutouts in the regular season. ... L.A. is 0-4 in Game 1 of a division series. ... Since winning their 2005 AL championship series opener against the Chicago White Sox, the Angels have lost five straight postseason games, totaling just eight runs and 24 hits. ... Ortiz tied Jason Varitek for the franchise record in postseason homers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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