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Saltalamacchia's big hit sends streaking Red Sox past Tigers

May 19, 2011 - 5:52 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit an RBI double in the eighth, backing seven shutout innings from Clay Buchholz, and the Red Sox squeezed out a 1-0 win over the Tigers in the rainy opener of a two-game series.

Saltalamacchia's hit, off the Green Monster, scored Carl Crawford from first base and was the only time the Red Sox had a runner reach second in the game.

"I got in a count where I could look fastball," said Saltalamacchia. "I was looking for a heater. I wasn't trying to do to much with it. The way things were going, you hit the ball and it was going right to somebody."

Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out seven and giving up just four hits. But Daniel Bard (1-3) earned the win by throwing a perfect -- and rain-interrupted -- eighth.

Jonathan Papelbon gave up a leadoff double to Victor Martinez in the ninth and pinch-runner Andy Dirks made it to third on a ground out, but the Red Sox closer fanned two batters to escape with his eighth save.

The Red Sox pushed their winning streak to five games despite scratching out just five hits and hitting into three double plays.

The Tigers went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and have dropped two in a row since their seven-game winning streak. They had just five hits, wasting seven shutout innings from starter Phil Coke.

"It's just a shame we didn't get him a win tonight," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

Bard relieved Buchholz to start the eighth inning, but threw just one pitch to Scott Sizemore before they rolled the tarp on the field as a steady rain turned into a downpour.

Bard set the Tigers down in order when play resumed after a 26-minute delay, and Ryan Perry relieved Coke to start the bottom of the eighth. He got two quick outs, but was pulled for Daniel Schlereth (0-1), who walked Carl Crawford.

Saltalamacchia then hit a 2-1 sinker high off the Monster in left-center field and Crawford raced around to score the game's only run.

Until then, it was a game of wasted opportunities for both teams.

The Red Sox had a baserunner in the first and second innings, but both were erased by double plays. David Ortiz hit into an unassisted double play in the second when Miguel Cabrera snagged his line drive and stepped on first base.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a diving stop on Austin Jackson's sharp liner in the third inning, throwing him out, and the Tigers didn't have a hit against Buchholz until Miguel Cabrera doubled to right with two outs in the fourth. Mike Cameron made a sliding catch in right field on Martinez's soft liner to end the inning.

The Red Sox hit into another double play in the bottom of the fourth and Detroit stranded a runner at second after Alex Avila doubled in the fifth.

The Tigers left a runner at third in the sixth after Jackson led off with a double. They loaded the bases in the seventh -- Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Inge were hit by pitches and Avila singled -- but Buchholz struck out Jackson to end the threat.

Kevin Youkilis walked with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Ortiz popped out.

After Saltalamacchia doubled in the eighth, Schlereth threw one pitch that sailed past a ducking Jacoby Ellsbury and beaned him in the shoulder with another. Al Alburquerque came in and got a force out to end the inning.

Game Notes

The weather was nothing new for these two clubs. Both teams had games rained out on Tuesday -- and the Tigers had two of their previous three postponed...After this series, the teams begin interleague play. The Red Sox will host the Cubs and the Tigers will play in Pittsburgh.