Beckett, Martinez work well together

September, 24, 2009
9/24/09
9:46
AM ET

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If Wednesday night's game was any indication, the Victor Martinez and Josh Beckett battery is an experiment the Red Sox will continue as October nears.

Martinez, acquired at the trade deadline, had only caught Beckett once this season, when Jason Varitek had neck spasms in Toronto on August 18. The results were not good: Beckett gave up nine runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Against the Royals -- who entering the game, Beckett was 4-0 with a 1.90 ERA against -- Beckett actually gave up more hits, 12, but only two runs.

He was pleased, more than anything, that he was able to escape the jams. The 12 hits he allowed tied a season high, and is only one away from his career high.

"I think I did a good job of damage control today with all the hits," Beckett said. "It's just making pitches when you need to."

Beckett, now 16-6, kept the ball down, he kept it in the park, and he was able to stay mostly in sync with Martinez.

"It was good; we were on the same page," Martinez said. "He didn't really bring his best stuff, he was missing location a little bit but that shows you what kind of pitcher he is. He was able to hang in there and give us a chance to win the game."

The win was the 90th of the season for the Red Sox, the third straight year they've reached that mark. Their magic number is now five games, and while they won't be able to clinch a playoff spot here in Kansas City, they could this weekend in New York against the Yankees. Beckett is slated to start on Monday at Fenway, and it would appear Martinez will once again be behind the plate. With Varitek slumping (hitting only .156 since the All-Star break), and Martinez on a 22-game hitting streak, the team seemed to be setting up the possibility of limiting Varitek even more.

"It was fine," Beckett said of working with Martinez. "We're still feeling each other out. Obviously you can't expect to go out there [and have it be] like me and Jason had that for three years now."

If Beckett is able to keep throwing quality starts, maybe it will be enough.

Quick hits ...

David Ortiz crushed a 418-foot, 3-run homer to right field in the ninth inning. It was the 25th homer of the season for Ortiz, his sixth season in Boston with 25 home runs. ... While Martinez extended his hitting streak to 22 games, Dustin Pedroia is on a 15-game hitting streak. ... Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth inning, his first appearance since notching his 37th save against the Orioles on Friday. ... Chris Woodward singled in the ninth inning, his first hit as a Red Sox. ... Lefthanded reliever Hunter Jones was added to the roster on Wednesday. "Another guy in the pen who can give us two innings," Francona said.

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