Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

Schilling's hard-earned streak is finished

NEW YORK -- One of the more remarkable, if not particularly relevant, streaks in baseball history ended last night.

Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had made 69 consecutive starts without an unearned run being scored against him. In the second inning, a throwing error by shortstop Julio Lugo on an attempted force play allowed the Yankees' Robinson Cano to advance to third base, from where he scored on an infield hit by Derek Jeter. That went into the books as an unearned run.

The last time an opponent had scored an unearned run against Schilling was June 16, 2004, in Colorado, where an error by shortstop Nomar Garciaparra led to two unearned runs. Schilling gave up seven in a 7-6 loss.

The 12 hits by the Yankees during his six-inning stint in the 8-3 loss were the most Schilling has allowed since he gave up 13 April 22, 2004, at Toronto.

Jeter's hit, his second of the game, earned him a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd. The hit was No. 2,215 of Jeter's career, pushing him ahead of Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio into fifth place on the Yankees' all-time list.

Jeter is putting up some numbers reminiscent of the Yankee Clipper's 56-game hitting streak. Since his 20-game hitting streak ended May 4, Jeter has hit safely in his last 18 games.

He has reached base safely in 43 of his first 44 games this season; he also reached base in 39 of his last 40 in 2006, meaning he has reached base in 82 of his last 84 games.

Player option
The Red Sox gave J.D. Drew the option of not playing last night, even though he has good numbers against Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte (6 for 14, two home runs).

Drew, mired in a .161 slump (14 for 87) over his last 25 games and hitless in his last 10 at-bats, elected to bow out of the starting lineup, yielding to Wily Mo Peña (who came in 3 for 8 against Pettitte).

Drew has not played in six games this month, missing some time after running into the bullpen wall at Fenway Park last week. Manager Terry Francona stressed it was not a benching.

"We wanted him to know if he wanted the day to go work with [hitting coach Dave Magadan] and take a little bit of a mental health day, that's OK," Francona said. "J.D. has been working so consistently with Mags, and I think every once in a while, taking a deep breath might do him some good. Especially if he feels that way."

Progress report
Josh Beckett's five-inning session in the bullpen proceeded without a hitch, though he left a bandage on the middle finger of his throwing hand. Including warm-ups and long toss, in which he threw some breaking balls with the finger uncovered, Beckett said he threw 120-130 pitches. "We're doing everything we can to test it and make sure it will be OK," Beckett said of the torn skin on his finger. Beckett, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to May 14, plans to test the finger again in a side session Saturday, and if all goes well, he'll start Tuesday night at Fenway Park against the Cleveland Indians . . . Mike Timlin (shoulder tendinitis) also did some throwing yesterday and will fly back to Boston, according to Francona, before beginning a rehab assignment with Pawtucket tomorrow . . . Lefthander Jon Lester is scheduled to pitch for the PawSox tonight in McCoy Stadium in the second start of his rehab.

Robinson chimes in
Add Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to those criticizing Roger Clemens for receiving preferential treatment from the Yankees in his $28 million deal. "I think it's wrong because if you sign a contract to play baseball and you are given a clause like that, I just don't think it's fair to your teammates," Robinson said yesterday on ESPN. "Why should one person on your ball club get special treatment? I think it's going to create some friction there on that ball club. And it may not be publicly, but it's going to be friction in that clubhouse, and that's not good for a ball club, especially a ball club that's struggling to right the ship over there and start winning and get their season turned around." . . . Carl Pavano, a colossal disappointment as a Yankee, will go ahead with Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, which likely will spell the end of his career in pinstripes. Pavano, who signed a four-year, $39.5 million deal before the 2005 season (the Sox offered him $40 million), has made just 19 starts for the Yankees, winning just four games, in '05.

Next question
Francona, who has become increasingly peeved at the proliferation of cellphones that go off during his pregame and postgame meetings with the media, abruptly ended his postgame session last night after a testy exchange with Worcester Telegram reporter Bill Ballou. Francona objected to Ballou throwing his hands up after the manager told him he'd already answered Ballou's question. He was not mollified when Ballou explained the press elevator had been delayed. Francona walked off the stage and muttered a curse at Ballou, according to the reporter. Francona has admonished the media several times that he is put off by the inherent rudeness of phones ringing while he is attempting to speak. In Boston, there is a sign posted advising media members to shut off their phones . . . More than 100 members of the Groton-Dunstable Regional High Class of 2007 braved Sections 21 and 23 last night as part of their class trip. Before it morphed into a regional school, Groton was the alma mater of Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who contrasts his own high school days (Class of '71) with those of his son, Sam, in his new book, "Senior Year." . . . Condolences to Brian Mullen, the longtime press box attendant at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla., and Chain O' Lakes Park in Winter Haven, on the death of his mother.