With the Red Sox trotting out a lineup behind him that was less than intimidating, Josh Beckett needed to be on top of his game last night, and he was, going eight innings, giving up a single run and striking out eight. When he left the game, the score was 2-1, and Boston tacked on three more in the top of the ninth for the 5-1 victory.

Amalie Benjamin has Beckett winning the pitching duel – something of a rarity this season. John Tomase has the Sox once again avoiding getting no-hit, and this time managing to come out with the win. Sean McAdam says that it was better late than never for the Red Sox offense. Jeff Goldberg has Beckett finally finding himself on the winning end of a gem performance. Bill Ballou has Beckett looking sharp last night.

Brendan McGair has the long awaited call finally coming for Charlie Zink, who will make his major league debut tonight for the Red Sox. Joe McDonald has more on the call finally coming for the “other” knuckleball pitcher in the Red Sox organization. Joe Haggerty also looks at Zink getting the call. Daniel I. Dorfman has White Sox starter John Danks carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning, and a no-hitter into the seventh before seeing it fall apart for him. Michael Silverman has the Red Sox talking about the team they are chasing in the division, the Tampa Bay Rays, who show no signs of fading.

McAdam has a note on David Ortiz, who was given last night off to rest his wrist. Silverman has J.D. Drew enjoying his one night stint at DH. McAdam has Terry Francona and John Farrell meeting with Clay Buchholz yesterday to encourage the young righthander.

In the Olympic section, Marc J. Spears has former Sox outfielder Reggie Smith, who is serving as the hitting coach for the US team talking about the Games, and about his time and feelings for Boston. Lenny Megliola has Barry Bonds shamelessly stealing the spotlight from Willie Mays at AT&T Park on Saturday night.

Benjamin’s notebook has more on Zink getting the call tonight, and also has Clay Buchholz getting a pep talk from pitching coach John Farrell. Tomase’s notebook has more on Zink, as the Sox replace one knuckleball pitcher with another. McAdam’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia’s road hitting streak coming to an end last night. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Zink getting the call tonight. Ballou’s notebook also has the Sox replacing Wake’s knuckler with Zink’s.


Christopher L. Gasper has a look at Pierre Woods, who appears ready to break into the rotation at outside linebacker for the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young says that Woods has developed into a viable option at outside linebacker for the Patriots. Karen Guregian has another young linebacker, rookie Jerod Mayo, proving himself to be a student of the game, spending all his free time in the film room. Mark Farinella says Mayo was not satisfied with his play in the preseason opener, which is why you should like this kid. David Brown has Mayo not taking it easy after his big hit and all around performance from last Thursday night.

Rich Garven has the Patriots entering Phase II of training camp this week. Jeff Horrigan has Richard Seymour putting his injury woes behind him. Christopher Price has Seymour feeling fully recovered after struggling through all of 2007. Horrigan has newly signed cornerback Jeff Shoate keeping his Giants Super Bowl ring under wraps in Patriots camp. Glen Farley says that at this point, Shoate merely brings a healthy body to the secondary. Farinella has Shoate hoping to stick around and contribute more to a Super Bowl winner this season.

Gasper’s notebook has Seymour feeling good about his physical condition, and looking good on the field against the Ravens. Guregian’s notebook has Woods talking about his passion for the game, and his development in the Patriots defensive system. Farley’s notebook has people still talking about Mayo’s performance in the opener. Garven’s notebook has more on Shoate and his ring.