ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Josh Beckett
Friday night became the first major league pitcher to reach 20 wins this year, as the Boston Red Sox rolled past Tampa Bay, 8-1.
Beckett helped stop Boston's four-game losing streak by winning for the seventh time in nine starts. The Red Sox began the night with only a 1 1/2-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.
David Ortiz had three hits and drove in four runs -- one of them with a solo homer in the ninth -- while Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek contributed solo home runs as well.
Beckett (20-6) gave up four hits and a run while striking out eight over six innings. This is his first 20-win season, and he became the first Boston pitcher to reach that plateau since Curt Schilling won 21 three years ago.
Scott Kazmir (13-9) took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits in five innings.
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