for this game

Crawford bats BoSox over Tigers

May 20, 2011 - 5:43 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Carl Crawford knocked in the game-winning run during the ninth inning as the Boston Red Sox escaped with a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers to sweep the two-game series at Fenway Park.

With the bases loaded and one out, Crawford took an Al Alburquerque (0-1) offering over center fielder Austin Jackson's head, allowing pinch-runner Darnell McDonald to easily touch home for the win.

Crawford finished with two hits while David Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a home run for Boston, which has won a season-high six straight games.

"It's always nice to come through in those situations," Crawford said. "Whenever I get a chance to do something good like that, it definitely feels good."

Boston starter Josh Beckett had another impressive outing, allowing five hits and one run with three strikeouts and two walks. However, he went only six innings because of neck tightness and was taken out for precautionary reasons after throwing just 83 pitches.

Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera had solo shots for the Tigers, who have dropped three straight contests since a seven-game win streak.

Detroit had a great chance to set up starter Justin Verlander for his fifth win of the season in the ninth, when it loaded the bases. Verlander had pitched eight innings, yielding just three runs on six hits while striking out nine.

Brandon Inge and Jackson had one-out singles to get the rally started, and Jonathan Papelbon (2-0) walked Scott Sizemore to fill the bases. But the closer got out of a jam for a second night in a row when he fanned Boesch and Cabrera.

"It was a great matchup and we figured runs would be stingy, and they were," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We just have to do a better job at making contact in good situations."

Instead, it was Boston that capitalized on a bases-loaded situation in its last at-bat.

Kevin Youkilis drew a lead-off walk and his pinch-runner, Jose Iglesias, scurried to third on Ortiz's single through the right side. After J.D. Drew was intentionally walked to load the bases, Jed Lowrie lofted a ball into short left field that allowed Andy Dirks to throw out Iglesias at home. The decisive run was not held off for long, though, as Crawford delivered his game-winning single three pitches later.

Trailing 3-1 in the eighth, the Tigers' bats finally came alive with back-to- back homers off reliever Daniel Bard.

Boesch made it a one-run game, wrapping a lead off home run around Pesky's Pole, and then Cabrera tied it with a blast over the Green Monster.

During the second inning, Dirks slapped an opposite field single to plate Cabrera. It was the first run Beckett had given up in the month of May, and snapped his streak of 19 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Tigers kept attacking Beckett during the inning, filling the bases with just one out. However, Inge flied out to shallow left field and Jackson popped out in foul territory to end the potential big rally.

After limiting the Tigers to just one run, the Red Sox knotted the game during the home half of the inning. Youkilis, who had a leadoff single and moved to third on Ortiz's base hit, scored on Drew's sacrifice fly to left field.

Drew came up big again for Boston in the fourth with a two-out homer into the right field seats for a 2-1 lead.

Ortiz then made it a two-run game with a towering shot over the fence in right field to lead off the bottom of the seventh.

Game Notes

Beckett cut his AL-best ERA to 1.73...Jackson had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 11 games...Inge turned 34 on Thursday...Boston is 11-4 in the past 15 encounters with Detroit.