Carl Crawford hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to their season-high sixth straight win, 4-3 over the visiting Detroit Tigers last night.
After blowing a 3-1 lead in the eighth by giving up back-to-back homers to Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera, Boston rallied in the ninth to complete the two-game sweep of the Tigers.
Jonathan Papelbon (2-0) got the win after pitching a scoreless, but hectic ninth, then the Red Sox came through against Al Alburquerque (0-1) in the bottom half.
J.D. Drew and David Ortiz each homered for Boston and Josh Beckett pitched six solid innings. He was pulled before the seventh with tightness in his neck as the Red Sox took no chances on the cool, misty night.
Justin Verlander went eight innings, striking out nine and holding the Red Sox to six hits and no walks.
Kevin Youkilis walked leading off the ninth and the Red Sox brought in pinch-runner Jose Iglesias, who went to third when Ortiz hit a single to right through the Tigers' infield shift. Detroit walked Drew to load the bases with nobody out and Jed Lowrie came through with a bloop to shallow left. But Andy Dirks threw home in time to force the first out.
Darnell McDonald replaced Ortiz as a pinch-runner at third and had an easy trot home when Crawford lined a ball to centerfield.
In other games:
* At Kansas City, Jeff Francoeur's 10th-inning single scored Melky Cabrera with the winning run as the Royals edged the Texas Rangers, 2-1, snapping their five-game losing streak with their seventh walkoff win.
Greg Holland (1-0), called up from Triple A Omaha hours earlier, pitched 1 innings for his first major league win.
* At Baltimore, CC Sabathia (4-3) scattered seven hits over eight shutout innings, Nick Swisher drove in four runs and the New York Yankees beat the Orioles, 13-2, for a two-game sweep.
Mark Teixeira and Eduardo Nunez homered for the Yankees, who have matched a season high with three straight wins after a six-game skid. New York had 14 hits, including three doubles, three triples and two home runs.
* At Toronto, J.P. Arencibia hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Juan Rivera also connected and the Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2.
B.J. Upton and Kelly Shoppach had solo homers for the Rays, losers of four of six.
Rivera went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs as the Blue Jays won for the seventh time in eight games.
* At Seattle, nine-time Gold Glover Torri Hunter lost Carlos Peguero's fly ball with two outs in the ninth inning in the sun, allowing Jack Cust to score and give the Mariners a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
* At Oakland, Justin Morneau homered and had three hits and Rene Rivera hit his first home run in nearly 5 years, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Athletics, 11-1. Trevor Plouffe also homered while Michael Cuddyer added three hits for Minnesota. Plouffe homered as part of a six-run eighth inning, the Twins' best of the season.
Hideki Matsui walked and scored for the A's, who lost starting pitcher Tyson Ross to a strained left oblique after he threw only seven pitches.
* At Chicago, Gavin Floyd pitched seven solid innings and Carlos Quentin homered as the White Sox beat the first-place Cleveland Indians, 8-2.
Floyd (5-3) allowed a run and five hits as the White Sox swept the two-game set with the Indians. *