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Red Sox keep rolling at home

Jun 5, 2008 - 4:15 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Boston Red Sox used their home-field advantage to leapfrog back into first place in the American League East.

J.D. Drew continued to swing a hot bat, collecting another two hits, while Josh Beckett allowed just one run in six innings as the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-1, on Wednesday for their 12th straight win at Fenway Park.

Drew, batting third in place of the injured David Ortiz, also scored twice while Kevin Youkilis and Coco Crisp chipped in with two hits apiece for Boston, which improved to a major league-best 23-5 at home and moved into first in the AL East by a half-game over Tampa Bay.

"I don't know if we can," Red Sox manager Terry Francona answered when asked to explain the success at home. "Obviously, we like playing here, we're used to our ball park."

The Red Sox are just 14-20 away from their friendly confines this season.

"The good news is our home record outweighs some of our troubles on the road and when it comes time to get back on the road, we'll have to do better," Francona said. "We like playing here, we'd be crazy not to. We have the craziest fans in the world."

On the flip side, the Rays lost their hold on first place for the first time since May 24.

"It's way too early to get overly concerned about that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We've talked about it. We're playing a very good team. We have not done well here this year. And we have to do well here to end up in first place. You just can't do it any other way. We have to do better here."

Without a hit in the first two innings against Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson (3-5), Crisp opened the third with a sharp single to right. He moved to second on a groundout and score the game's first run on Jacoby Ellsbury's single to center.

"One through nine, we have really good hitters," Crisp said. "Some are considered great. Other people have to step up in different facets of the game. Fortunately, lots of people are playing well. J.D. is playing some great defense. You can go down the list and we're playing good ball right now."

After Ellsbury moved to second on a pickoff throw that eluded Rays first baseman Eric Hinske, the Red Sox made it 2-0 on an RBI ground-rule double from Drew.

Manny Ramirez capped the three-run rally in the third with an RBI single to center that extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Rays got a run back off Beckett in the fourth when Hinske singled home rookie Evan Longoria. But the Red Sox restored their three-run lead in the bottom of the inning when Crisp plated Youkilis with a sacrifice fly.

The three-run lead proved enough for Beckett (6-4), who was hit hard at times but managed to keep the Rays in check by scattering seven hits and with five strikeouts and no walks.

"We won and that's the big part," Beckett said. "I threw some good pitches, threw some not-too-good pitches, but all in all, it was a pretty good outing."

"He was pretty good," Francona added. "Not always as crisp as we've seen but we did see the side of Beckett competing and not giving in. I think he got frustrated a few times not making pitches, or not following it up with another pitch, but he was good enough."

The game was played in a steady drizzle and fog. Beckett's mud-filled spikes slipped on the wet mound while making a pitch in the sixth and he came out after completing the inning.

"It was just one of those deals," Beckett said. "It scares you more than anything. A lot of bad things can happen when you do that."

Once Beckett came out, the Red Sox bullpen allowed just one hit and one walk over the final three innings, including Manny Delcarmen striking out the side in the seventh.

"Our bullpen has been great," Beckett said. "You can't really leave anybody else out either. It was a team effort today."

Jackson allowed six hits and four runs over five frames, walking three, striking out four and tossing a wild pitch.

"I thought our guys pitched pretty well tonight, even Jackson," Maddon said. "I thought he had good stuff. That one three-run inning obviously hurt him but, overall, I thought he threw the ball well."

The Rays struck out 10 times while working just one walk in falling to 0-5 this year at Fenway.

"We're striking out way too often," Maddon said. "It's not the umpire's fault. It's our fault. We have to do a better job. It was one of our goals this spring, to really cut down on the strikeouts because we struck out way too often last year."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
    BOSTON 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 x 5 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - EDWIN JACKSON, JASON HAMMEL (6TH), TREVER MILLER (8TH) AND
    DIONER NAVARRO
    BOS - JOSH BECKETT, MANNY DELCARMEN (7TH), HIDEKI
    OKAJIMA (8TH), CRAIG HANSEN (9TH)

    Jun 4 10:21 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K YOUKILIS ON FIRST, M LOWELL ON SECOND, M
    RAMIREZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    BOSTON 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.270, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 1, Red Sox 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 4 9:45 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RmSvc Added 5 roots

    Rays 1, Red Sox 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 4 9:12 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY COCO CRISP SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J VARITEK ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    BOSTON 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.274, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Red Sox 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 4 8:40 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC HINSKE SCORED EVAN LONGORIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E HINSKE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    BOSTON 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: G GROSS (.239, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Red Sox 3  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 4 8:33 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.282, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, Red Sox 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 4 8:18 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY J.D. DREW SCORED JACOBY ELLSBURY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 0, Red Sox 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 4 8:15 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACOBY ELLSBURY SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J ELLSBURY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D PEDROIA (.276, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rays 0, Red Sox 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJun 4 8:08 PM
  • 5
    roots
    davipilot Added 5 roots

    Rays vs. Red SoxJun 4 12:35 PM