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Hinske helps Red Sox complete doubleheader sweep

May 18, 2007 - 4:22 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- A double dose of Eric Hinske propelled the Boston Red Sox to a doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

Hinske belted a two-run home run in the seventh inning to lift the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers and a sweep of a Thursday day-night doubleheader.

Earlier in the day, Boston beat Detroit, 2-1, and took three of four from the defending American League champions.

Hinske's blast, his first of the year, came off lefthander Wilfredo Ledezma and landed in the Red Sox bullpen.

"I have not faced that guy very much and was just looking for a pitch over the plate that I could handle and got into a hitter's count," Hinske said. "I put a pretty good swing on the ball and got it in the air and the wind was doing some crazy things out there tonight. so I was not sure if it was going to get out. But it went over the fence and it was a big two runs for us."

As big as the home run is, it was Hinske's glove that saved the game for Boston.

With Boston trailing, 2-1, and a runner on second base, rookie Mike Rabelo laced a shot off starter Curt Shilling into the right field corner that had extra bases written all over it, only to see Hinske make a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.

"Unbelievable, one of the best catches I have ever seen anywhere," Schilling said.

Hinske stretched out fully and slammed his face into the ground but managed to hold onto the ball as his neck snapped back.

"They told me I'm going to have whiplash symptoms tomorrow, but the adrenaline is going now so I'm happy and it was a big win for us," Hinske said. "I took a good route to the ball and realized that I was going to have to dive to try to catch it and you lay out and hope it goes in the glove.

"Most of the time your head doesn't hit the ground like that and I looked up and the ball was in my glove, so if you are going to lay out like that you better catch the ball."

Ironically, Hinske was playing only because right fielder J.D. Drew was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his back, a result of crashing into the wall on Tuesday night.

"He just willed himself to catch that ball," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

Brendan Donnelly (2-1) got the victory with 1 1/3 innings of relief, Javier Lopez got two outs before Japanese import Hideki Okajima finished up for his second save, extending his scoreless streak to 19 2/3 innings.

"He's been such a huge part of our success and facing the heart of that order. He did an excellent job," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said of Okajima.

Ledezma (3-1) continued a string of poor performances. In his last seven outings spanning 8 1/3 innings, he had allowed 10 runs, 15 hits and walked 12.

It spoiled a solid effort by starter Chad Durbin, who allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I thought we was very, very good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Durbin.

Schilling clearly did not have his best stuff, working out of bases-loaded situations in the first two innings.

Sean Casey ended the opening frame with a long flyball to deep right field, barely missing a grand slam, as Schilling was forced to throw 30 pitches.

"It was a monumental struggle and one of the weirdest games I have ever pitched in," Schilling said.

Schilling escaped unscathed in the second by retiring Gary Sheffield on a groundout to end the inning, but the Tigers bounced back with single runs in the next two innings.

Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen had back-to-back doubles in the third to pulled the Tigers even at 1-1.

In the fourth, Brandon Inge led off by lining a shot that just cleared the wall in left for a home run. It initially was ruled a single before the umpiring crew conferred and awarded Inge his second homer of the series to put Detroit ahead, 2-1.

"He pitched out of the stretch for what seemed like the whole game," Francona said. "He never gave in, and he pitched probably with as much heart as you can, pitched out of a couple bases-loaded jams and when he left the game he gave us a chance to win."

After Schilling was bailed out by Hinske's catch in the fifth, he completed his high-wire act in the sixth, retiring Sheffield and Ordonez with two runners aboard.

"We had Curt on the ropes," Leyland said. "Combination of we couldn't get a hit of him and he's the type of pitcher who can make some pitches even though he is not at his best."

The 40-year-old righthander, who had not lost since Opening Day, allowed two runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking four. He threw 118 pitches.

"He had some misfortune and then he had some good fortune like on Hinske's catch but at a couple of different times he just lost the (strike) zone a little bit," Varitek said.

The Red Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the first when leadoff batter Coco Crisp singled, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Kevin Youkilis' single, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

Boston loaded the bases in the second on three walks by Durbin, who averted further damage by retiring Youkilis on a shallow fly to right field.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1
    BOSTON 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 x 4 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - CHAD DURBIN, WILFREDO LEDEZMA (6TH), TODD JONES (8TH) AND MIKE
    RABELO
    BOS - CURT SCHILLING, BRENDAN DONNELLY (7TH), JAVIER
    LOPEZ (8TH), HIDEKI OKAJIMA (9TH)

    May 17 10:15 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ERIC HINSKE (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF WILFREDO LEDEZMA SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: W PENA (.250, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 17 9:45 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY ALEX CORA SCORED ERIC HINSKE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CORA ON FIRST, C CRISP ON SECOND, W PENA
    ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.338, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 17 9:28 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON INGE (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF CURT SCHILLING.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.277, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 17 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED MAGGLIO
    ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUILLEN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.227, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 17 8:10 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE (2ND GAME)
    SINGLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.255, 6 HR, 25 RBI)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 17 7:30 PM