Papi gave the Sox a 1-0 lead with his 46th HR leading off the fourth. Boston got a second run with a bases-loaded grounder from Doug Mirabelli in the seventh. Orlando Cabrera thought he could get an inning-ending DP at second and ran to the bag rather than toss to Adam Kennedy (big mistake). Alex Cora beat him to the bag (so the play on Mirabelli at first was only the second out), Mike Lowell scored, and Boston took a 2-0 lead.
The Angels scored in bottom of the 7th, but Wily Mo Pena threw out Juan Rivera at the plate -- Mirabelli stood there, not moving, dekeing Rivera until the last second when he grabbed Pena's throw on the fly and quickly applied the tag.
Josh Beckett was superb (6-4-1-2-3, 71) but had to leave after walking the leadoff batter in the seventh because of a small cut on his right middle finger. Mike Timlin (20th hold) and Jonathan Papelbon (34th save) set the Angels down after that.
5.5 GB. Get on the bus!
The Globe reports that the MRI on Manny Ramirez's knee was negative (no structural damage) and diagnosed as patella tendonitis. ... Jason Varitek says he's a week away from playing, either on a minor league assignment or with the Red Sox.
Josh Beckett (5.35) / Jered Weaver (1.95), 10 PM
Weaver is 9-0; no AL rookie has ever begun a season 10-0. He scattered three hits over seven shutout innings on Friday against Seattle.
Beckett has gone five straight starts without getting a win. Last time out, he allowed seven hits, nine walks and nine runs to the Yankees in only 5.2 innings. Was that the start that finally pushes Beckett to get his head on straight and start pitching? We'll see.
35 games remain. The Red Sox are 6.5 games back in the East and 4.5 back in the wild card (the White Sox pounded the Tigers 10-0 this afternoon).
No word on Manny's status for tonight.