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Josh Beckett offered another not-so-subtle reminder

05.27.12 at 7:57 am ET

Josh Beckett was surprised by the question ‘€¦

‘€œAre you pleased that you’€™ve pitched so well in your last three starts?’€

‘€œHow many bad starts did I have in a row? One. How many bad ones in a row did I have? One,’€ Beckett responded after the Red Sox‘€™ 3-2 win over the Rays Saturday night. ‘€œYou can’€™t have one bad start in a row? [Expletive] tough crowd, huh? I feel good. I lived down in the zone today and it worked out.’€

He had a point.

After turning a seven-inning outing against Tampa Bay in which he allowed two runs, Beckett’€™s ERA over his last three starts has been 1.25, having struck out 19 and walked four.

In nine starts this season, Beckett has had two in which he has allowed more than three runs.

In fact, since the beginning of the 2011 season, among American League East starters, only Tampa Bay’€™s Jeremy Hellickson (34) and Toronto’€™s Ricky Romero (32) have managed to pitch in more games while giving up three or fewer runs.

Beckett has allowed three or less 31 times, tying the Rays’€™ James Shields and eclipsing CC Sabathia of the Yankees (29).

Of Beckett’€™s 39 starts over the past two seasons, take away the last two in Baltimore in ‘€™11 and his two worst this season and the righty’€™s ERA stands at 2.43.

Also of note is Beckett’€™s success against the Rays since the beginning of ‘€™11, having totaled a 1.18 ERA in five starts, striking out 25 and walking two.

‘€œHe started off throwing that curveball to strike out [Carlos] Pena to start the game. That was in the back of their minds most of the game,’€ said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine of his pitcher’€™s latest outing. ‘€œHe threw some other good curveballs during the game. He got another strikeout with it later. His ball was moving in and out. It had really good location. Very good competitiveness. He was willing a lot of those outs. He looks great out on the mound right now.’€

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