returned to face the franchise he helped win the 2004 World Series and ran into the ace of the '07 title.
allowed just five singles for his first shutout since joining the
doubled twice against his ex-batterymate to lead Boston to a 3-0 victory over the
on Saturday night.
Lowe received a loud ovation when he left in the seventh, but Beckett's came at the end of the game, and it was even louder.
''A nice gesture by the fans. They clearly didn't have to do it. They didn't come to watch me,'' said Lowe, who spent 7 1/2
years with the
and earned the victory in the clinching games of all three 2004 postseason rounds. ''They're great fans. They're very loyal.
But you tip your hat to Beckett. It was a great game, but it was a loss.''
Beckett (8-3) rebounded after giving up a season-high 11 hits in his last outing, throwing just 94 pitches for his first complete
game of the year and the sixth of his career. He struck out seven, walked none and only allowed one runner to reach second
base to win for the sixth time in seven decisions.
''I thought he did everything,''
said. ''He was economical. That was fun to watch.''
It was Boston's second shutout of the season the first shutout for a
pitcher ever in interleague play. The Braves lost for the seventh time in 10 games.
In his first appearance at Fenway since the 2004 AL championship series - and his first-ever game against the
- Lowe (7-5) allowed three runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out two. Boston scored single runs in the fifth and
sixth and again in the seventh to chase Lowe, but the Fenway crowd rose to give him a standing ovation as he walked to the
visitor's dugout and he waved his cap in appreciation.
''The Boston fans - they don't forget their guys,'' Braves manager
And Francona is among them.
''He was the guy we remembered when he was going good,'' the
manager said. ''When guys are here and they go to the Yankees, they're probably not going to cheer them. But fans here remember
what guys have done and I think that was good. So often we forget.''
Varitek and Lowe came to the
in 1997 a lopsided trade for heartbreak closer
, and together they became the core of the team that would lead the franchise to the '04 World Series title. Lowe was bounced
rotation after struggling down the stretch but was pulled back out of the bullpen as Boston and the
New York Yankees
engaged in an epic, seven-game AL championship series.
Lowe and Beckett were locked in a scoreless game until the fifth, when Varitek doubled off center fielder
's glove and scored on
's double. J.D. Drew doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on
' single to make it 2-0. Varitek doubled and scored again in the seventh.
''My buddy, Varitek, who I've never pitched against before,'' Lowe said.
got the day off and might get another on Sunday because he's ''feeling beat up,'' Francona said. ... The game lasted a brief
2 hours, 11 minutes. ... Both center fielders made diving catches:
's liner before sliding short of the Green Monster in the third. McLouth caught
's sinking liner just off the grass in the second. ... It was Beckett's first shutout since Aug. 13, 2005, when he was with