NY Post & NY Daily News Sports covers for Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Josh Beckett has faced off against the New York Yankees, he’s pretty much owned them. In his four starts before last night’s game for the Boston Red Sox against them this season, he was 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA.

While the ERA will go up a little after allowing five runs (four earned) last night, Beckett became the first pitcher since Al Nipper in 1987 to beat the Yankees four times in a season in the 9-5 win.

Beckett certainly has his batterymate Jason Varitek to thank as well as Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz on the offensive side of things.

Varitek was clutch last night at the plate especially in the 6th inning. With Josh Reddick on at first and one out, Yankees starter Phil Hughes had two strikes on the captain. And as manager Terry Francona likes to do, he put the hit-and-run on with Tek and it worked out to perfection as he perfectly placed a ball down the left field line that would score Reddick and tie the game up at five.

Two batters later, Hughes was out of the game and Yanks skipper Joe Girardi brought in the only lefty he has in the bullpen, Boom Boom Boone Logan to face Ellsbury. But the move backfired on him and the Yankees as Ellsbury hit the first opposite field home run of his career to put the Red Sox out front 7-5.

In the bottom of the 8th with the Red Sox still clinging to the lead, Reddick led off the inning against Luis Ayala with a ground rule double to left. With the Captain coming up, this prompted discussion in the NESN booth from Jerry Remy about whether Tek would bunt him over. But before Remy could even get all of the words out of his mouth, Tek had taken an Ayala fastball out of the park to put the Red Sox comfortably ahead at 9-5.

Jonathan Papelbon would make sure that’s how the final score stood as he struck out two of the three batters he faced, needing just seven pitches to get the job done.

If it weren’t for a bad 6th inning from Beckett, the Yankees might not have even scored five runs. The offense had staked him to a 4-1 lead before that on Dustin Pedroia groundout and Jed Lowrie single in the 3rd inning after they had intentionally walked Big Papi. It was then Big Papi who burned Hughes with a 2-run johnson in the 5th inning.

Before that fateful 6th, Beckett was dealing. He featured probably the best curveball we’ve seen him from ever and used it effectively. Because of that curveball, he was able to use his pitches to his advantage. While he hit the bump in the road, he was doing what we’re accustomed to him doing.

And that’s dominating out on the mound.

The win last night was huge for the Red Sox in the sense that IF they lose tonight, they’ll still be in first place. The win pushed their lead to 1.5 games so at worse they’ll have a ½ game lead and at most a 2.5 game lead. You definitely want to see them win tonight though as we don’t need to see the Yankees winning a series at our park.

We’ll be back later with tonight’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. But for now, enjoy the overnight links below by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Beckett’s mastery of foe continues [Boston Globe]

Youkilis goes out with a bang in his rehab assignment [Boston Globe]

Jackson obtained from A’s [Boston Globe]

Epstein bears up amid Cub rumors [Boston Globe]

No scraps for us to nibble on [Boston Globe]

Leading role [Boston Globe]

Jacoby Ellsbury delivers as Sox get even with Yankees [Boston Herald]

David Ortiz calms waters, defends Jarrod Saltalamacchia [Boston Herald]

Beckett battles as Red Sox watch his back [Boston Herald]

Opposite field attracts [Boston Herald]

Theo Epstein rebuffs rumors [Boston Herald]

Managers agree: No time like present [Boston Herald]

Sox’ three homers top Yanks, 9-5 [CSN New England]

1-2-3 Inning: Matt Albers [CSN New England]

Red Sox right Tuesday night’s wrongs in win [CSN New England]

X-factor Beckett continues to thrive [CSN New England]

Nation STATion: Quantifying Lackey’s awfulness [CSN New England]

Rapid reaction: Red Sox 9, Yankees 5 [ESPN Boston]

Theo not biting at Cubs’ speculation [ESPN Boston]

Video: Edes and Marchand on Game 2 [ESPN Boston]

Video: Vega’s analysis of Red Sox-Yankees [ESPN Boston]

Video: Francona, Beckett on win [ESPN Boston]

Theo Epstein takes stock of Red Sox roster options [Full Count]

Closing Time: Red Sox go deep to beat Yankees [Full Count]

Jason Varitek proves he still the most trusted on the Red Sox [Full Count]

Josh Beckett continues to be AL East difference-maker [Full Count]

Video: Jacoby Ellsbury Relishing MVP Chants, Says Red Sox Feed Off Fans During Games With Yankees [NESN.com]

Video: Dustin Pedroia Says Red Sox Did ‘Little Things’ in Win Over Yankees, Praises David Ortiz’s Impact on Lineup [NESN.com]

How Can Andrew Miller Best Contribute to Red Sox? [NESN.com]

Josh Beckett’s Shutdown Seventh Inning Against Yankees Symbolic of His Clutch Season [NESN.com]

Jacoby Ellsbury Surprises Even Himself With Opposite-Field Home Run [NESN.com]

Mark Teixeira Complains That Long Red Sox-Yankees Games Are ‘Brutal’ and ‘Ridiculous’ [NESN.com]

Ellsbury’s Monster blast sinks Yanks [Providence Journal]

Postseason pitching rotation remains bit of a mystery for Sox and Yanks [Providence Journal]

Ex-Sox slugger Vaughn has some advice for Papi [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Surgery ends a lost season for Kalish [Providence Journal]

How Conor Jackson (and others) might factor into Red Sox postseason run [Rob Bradford – WEEI.com]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSNNEESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Times and The Journal News websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brother, NYY Stadium Insider.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.