Beckett tosses four hitless innings against Astros

Posted March 30, 2011, at 11:28 p.m.

HOUSTON — Josh Beckett threw four hitless innings and the Boston Red Sox blasted Houston starter Nelson Figueroa for an 10-0 victory against the Astros on Wednesday night.

Beckett, trying to rebound from a 6-6 season, hit Angel Sanchez, the second batter of the game, with a pitch and then retired the next 11 in a row until Brett Wallace led off the fifth with a single past second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Beckett allowed one hit over five innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.

Dan Butler hit a two-run homer off reliever Gustavo Chacin in the ninth to complete Boston’s 12-hit attack.

Figueroa, the Astros fifth starter, was rocked for five runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth. He gave up nine hits, eight earned runs, four walks and had two strikeouts overall.

Giants 2, Athletics 1

SAN FRANCISCO — Dallas Braden pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Oakland before the San Francisco Giants rallied for two runs in the ninth.

Mark DeRosa singled home the winning run as the Giants swept the annual, two-game Bay Bridge Series.

San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner also had a solid performance, giving up one run in six innings. He stuck out six and walked three.

The World Series champion Giants begin their title defense Thursday at Dodger Stadium against Los Angeles. Oakland opens the regular season at home against the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

The Giants put closer Brian Wilson on the disabled list because of a strained muscle on his left side. Wilson, who led the majors with 48 saves last year, is eligible to come off the DL on April 6.

Pirates 4, Phillies 1

PHILADELPHIA — Charlie Morton allowed one hit in five innings, Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the final exhibition game for both teams.

Morton, the Pirates’ No. 4 starter, allowed just a single to Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies’ only other hit came against Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan.

Alvarez connected off Cole Hamels for his second home run this spring. The Phillies’ lefty gave up four hits in three innings.

Twins 2, Braves 0

ATLANTA — Brandon Beachy pitched four scoreless innings for Atlanta and Scott Baker was just as strong for the Minnesota Twins in their win over the Braves.

Beachy gave up five hits and no walks. He posted a 0.90 ERA for the spring to beat out Mike Minor and Rodrigo Lopez for the fifth spot in the Braves’ rotation.

The Twins scored two runs in the eighth off Lopez. Jason Kubel drove in Jason Repko with a double, and Kubel scored on Brian Dinkelman’s single.

Baker gave up three hits with a walk in five innings.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Evan Longoria homered and B.J. Upton snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single to help the Tampa Bay Rays finish their exhibition schedule with a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Elliot Johnson also hit a solo homer for the Rays. Jose Bautista had a RBI single and Adam Lind drove in two runs with a third-inning double for the Blue Jays.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said before the game at Tropicana Field that star Manny Ramirez was given permission to leave the club to take care of a personal matter.

Mets 6, Marlins 3

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Chris Young pitched five innings and the New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins in the final game of spring training for both teams.

The clubs meet Friday night in Florida on opening day.

Young, set to be the Mets’ fourth starter, gave up two earned runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out four.

Rangers 4, Express 3

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Derek Holland pitched five innings and allowed one run and six hits against Texas’ Triple-A affiliate.

Josh Hamilton had one hit and one run and Nelson Cruz had a run and an RBI for the Rangers.

Drillers 5, Rockies 3

TULSA, Okla. — Top prospect Christian Friedrich and four relievers carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning for Tulsa.

The Drillers are the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate.

Friedrich pitched six innings and had seven strikeouts. Catching prospect Wilin Rosario went 3 for 3 with a home run for Tulsa.

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