Crawford's 6 steals ties record as Rays edge BoSox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Carl Crawford noticed the buzz, but had no clue what the fuss was all about.

The four-time AL stolen base champion was too busy doing his job for the Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 Sunday to win another series between the division rivals that played for the pennant last season.

Crawford tied a modern major league record with six stolen bases. He would've taken a run at breaking the mark had he known before postgame interviews that he had a chance of make history.

"I probably would have broken it if I knew. I'd have definitely tried," Crawford said.

Crawford swiped No. 6 in the eighth inning. He didn't see a message acknowledging the feat displayed on a large video screen in right field.

"I didn't even try," he added. "I don't know if that will ever happen again."

The way Crawford is hitting, and the way the Rays are imposing their will on the bases, there's no telling.

The two-time All-Star was 4 for 4 with an RBI, raising his average to .317. He's yet to be caught stealing this year and leads the majors with 17. And, after swiping eight as a team Sunday, the Rays have a major league-best 40 overall.

"A game like today definitely helps pick up your confidence," Crawford said. "It makes you feel like you can do more to help your team."

The 27-year-old joined Eddie Collins, Otis Nixon and Eric Young as the only players to steal six bases in a game since 1900. Collins did it twice in 1912, while Nixon accomplished the feat in 1991 and Young in 1996.

"We don't really talk stats during the game. Everybody's focused on the game, so nobody said nothing," Crawford said.

So, what about the message on the scoreboard that caused a stir among the crowd of 32,332?

"Oh, that's what they were cheering about," Crawford said. "I thought they were just cheering. I didn't look. I was paying attention to the game."

James Shields (3-2) pitched into the eighth inning, and Tampa Bay's bullpen shut down the Red Sox after Kevin Youkilis' two-run homer off J.P. Howell made it 4-3 in the eighth.

Carlos Pena, Jason Bartlett and Michel Hernandez drove in runs off Brad Penny (2-1). Crawford's second infield single, coming after Bartlett stole third, drove in an insurance run in the eighth.

"He had a spectacular day," said Boston manager Terry Francona.

"The best way (to contain him) is to keep him off base," he added. "Two of the throws, we can't got any faster than that. He outran them."

Tampa Bay won three of four, outscoring the Red Sox 30-15 in Boston's first trip to Tropicana Field since losing Game 7 of last year's AL championship series.

The Rays improved to 5-2 against their AL East rivals, winning a series for the first time since taking two of three from Boston when the teams met at Fenway Park the opening week of the season.

The Red Sox won 12 of 13 before taking on Tampa Bay. They were outscored 19-2 in the first two games, then avoided a sweep with a 10-6 victory on Saturday night.

"I think everyone is over this. We have 140-something games left," Boston's Dustin Pedroia said. "I don't think anybody's hitting the panic button. ... We're going to be fine. We're confident in our ability."

Tigers 3, Indians 1

At Detroit, Justin Verlander struck out 11 to lead the Tigers.

Verlander (2-2) gave up two hits in seven innings. In his previous start, he fanned nine in seven shutout innings against the Yankees.

Curtis Granderson hit a go-ahead double in the seventh off Cliff Lee (1-4). Lee went 22-3 last year and won the AL Cy Young Award.

Royals 7, Twins 5

At Minneapolis, Jose Guillen homered and drove in four runs for Kansas City.

Scott Baker held the Royals hitless until Willie Bloomquist had a leadoff single in the seventh inning. In 2007, Baker took a perfect game into the ninth against Kansas City.

Guillen's three-run homer helped the Royals overcome a 4-0 deficit.

Mariners 8, Athletics 7, 15 innings

At Seattle, Jose Lopez blooped an RBI single in the 15th inning and the Mariners, after pulling off a pair of late rallies, won the longest game in the majors this season.

Kenji Johjima hit a tying homer in the ninth off Russ Springer, and Ichiro Suzuki's two-out single in the 13th capped a three-run comeback for Seattle. A throwing error by Dana Eveland (1-2), who started Friday night and pitched 4 2-3 innings, set up the winning run in a game that lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes.

Jason Vargas (1-0) got the win in his first big league appearance since July 2007.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3

At Toronto, Vernon Wells and Alex Rios homered as the Blue Jays finished off a three-game sweep. Baltimore has lost six in a row.

Scott Richmond (4-0) won his fourth straight start. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 10 major league starts, including five in 2008.

Rangers 5, White Sox 1

At Arlington, Texas, Ian Kinsler hit his eighth career leadoff homer - matching a Rangers record - and Matt Harrison (2-2) pitched five scoreless innings to beat former Texas prospect John Danks (2-2).



Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 4, 2009