for this game

Beckett strong as Red Sox top Tigers

May 9, 2008 - 3:44 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- The Detroit Tigers earned a rare win on Wednesday. Josh Beckett made sure it wouldn't be two in a row on Thursday.

Beckett pitched seven strong innings and Kevin Youkilis homered to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the Tigers on Thursday.

Coco Crisp recorded three hits and Jason Varitek had two RBI and scored a run for the Red Sox, who pounded out 13 hits en route to their sixth win in seven games.

The Red Sox took the first two games of the four-game set before losing a heartbreaker in the ninth inning Wednesday.

"This was an important win for us," Beckett said. "You don't want to win the first two and just come away with a split."

Beckett (4-2) allowed one run and six hits while striking out eight without a walk. The ace righthander struck out Curtis Granderson four times and reached 1,000 for his career when he set down Brandon Inge leading off the seventh.

"He pitched very well tonight," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It was a good pitched game. He made all his pitches and got stronger as the game went on.

"It was a super effort against a very strong lineup. He did what he was supposed to do."

Beckett retired the last nine hitters he faced, allowing just one ball to leave the infield - a flyout by Placido Polanco in the fifth.

"I made the pitches when I had to," Beckett said. "I had all my pitches working and I was able to keep them off base when the big thumpers came to bat."

Youkilis, who leads the American League in OPS and ranks second in extra-base hits, hit a two-run homer in the fifth to provide the final margin of victory. Boston's first baseman has five blasts in the last five games.

"I couldn't give you a reason for the homers," said Youkilis, who has eight career homers at Comerica Park - six more than at any other road venue. "I was just swinging the bat very good and had good success in this park."

The Red Sox got to struggling Tigers starter Justin Verlander (1-6) in the second, plating three runs to take an early lead. Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew started the rally with back-to-back singles and moved up on a wild pitch before Varitek's two-run base hit made it 2-0.

Crisp followed with a bunt single and Julio Lugo was hit by a pitch before Jacoby Ellsbury capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to center field.

"Well, first of all, (Verlander's) probably not executing pitches good enough," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "But I really believe that one of the things is that it looks to me like on off-speed pitches he's rushing his body and he's trying to deceive the hitter with the speed of his body rather than the arm action and let the delivery and arm speed fool the hitter. ... I don't know how much it's been a factor over the course of the season, but it definitely was very visible tonight."

Youkilis' blast in the fifth pushed the lead to 5-1, putting the game out of reach.

"I thought we had good at-bats off Beckett," Leyland said. "I thought we battled him hard. I think I was adamant that we held it to 3-1. If we do that, you really think you have a chance. I think the two-run homer (in the fifth) took a little sting out. If you keep it to 3-1, you've got a shot."

Verlander was pulled after the sixth and charged with all five runs and nine hits while striking out six and walking one.

"We had talked about some of the adjustments I've been making the last couple starts and I felt like I took two steps forward and one back today," Verlander said. "I felt like I was kind of in and out and flying off the ball a little bit. That's one of the things I've always fought throughout my career thus far. I just have to look forward and take that into this next four or five days and work on that."

Verlander has allowed at least four earned runs in seven of his eight starts this season.

"It's pretty close," Verlander said. "I feel like I'm right there on the cusp of turning this thing around and doing something special for us and running off a few in a row."

Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen each tossed a scoreless inning to close it out for Boston.






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    Red Sox 5, Tigers 1  FinalMay 9 1:45 AM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 5 13 0
    DETROIT 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JOSH BECKETT, CRAIG HANSEN (8TH), MANNY DELCARMEN (9TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    DET - JUSTIN VERLANDER, FREDDY DOLSI (7TH), CLAY RAPADA
    (8TH), AQUILINO LOPEZ (9TH)

    May 8 10:00 PM
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    Red Sox 5, Tigers 1  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 8 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (7) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF JUSTIN VERLANDER SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5, DETROIT 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.271, 2-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 5, Tigers 1  Top 5, 0 OutsMay 8 8:39 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAMON SANTIAGO SCORED MARCUS THAMES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R SANTIAGO ON FIRST, B INGE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    DETROIT 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.263, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 3, Tigers 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 8 8:24 PM
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    Red Sox 3, Tigers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 8 7:41 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JACOBY ELLSBURY SCORED JASON VARITEK.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J LUGO ON FIRST, C CRISP ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    DETROIT 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.302, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 3, Tigers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 8 7:38 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON VARITEK SCORED MIKE LOWELL AND J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J VARITEK ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    DETROIT 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.290, 0 HR, 6 RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Tigers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsMay 8 7:34 PM
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    Red Sox vs. TigersMay 8 3:13 PM