Beckett pitches 3-hitter to end strong first half

BOSTON (AP) - Josh Beckett capped a brilliant first half of the season with a three-hitter, joining teammate Tim Wakefield as the only 11-game winners in the AL and helping the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-0 on Sunday.

Beckett (11-3) retired the first nine batters, five on strikeouts, and picked up his 100th career victory. It was his second shutout and complete game of the season following his 3-0 win over Atlanta on June 20.

He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks and threw just 94 pitches. It was a fitting end to a stretch in which he went 9-1 with a 2.14 ERA after struggling at 2-2 with a 7.22 ERA through April.

Bruce Chen (0-4) and five Royals relievers walked nine batters.

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