Crawford gives Red Sox walk-off win over Tigers, 4-3

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Crawford gives Red Sox walk-off win over Tigers, 4-3

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

After blowing a two-run lead in the eighth inning, the Red Sox roared back with a walkoff victory in the bottom of the ninth when Carl Crawford singled over the head of center fielder Austin Jackson, scoring pinch-runner Darnell McDonald for a 4-3 win.

It was Crawford's third walkoff hit this month.

The win was Boston's sixth in a row overall and third straight to come in their final at-bat. The Sox had a walkoff win in the bottom of the ninth Monday, went ahead for good in the bottom of the eighth Wednesday and added another last at-bat game-winner Thursday night.

Also for the second game in a row, Jonathan Papelbon had to bail himself out of a ninth-inning jam. Thursday, he struck out Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded.

Josh Beckett, who entered the game with the lowest ERA of any American League starter, limited the Tigers to a single run but left after six innings and 83 pitches with what the team announced was a stiff neck.

Daniel Bard came on in the eighth, and in the span of five pitches, coughed up the two-run lead intrusted to him.

First, Brennan Boesch pulled one past the right field foul pole to bring the Tigers to within a run, then Miguel Cabrera drilled a pitch into the Monster Seats to knot the score at 3-3.

The Sox had used solo homers from J.D. Drew (in the fourth) and David Ortiz (leading off the seventh) off Verlander to take a 3-1 lead.

The teams traded runs in the second, with Andy Dirks singling home Cabrera for the Tigers and the Red Sox countering with a sacrifice fly from Drew.

STAR OF THE GAME: Carl Crawford
Crawford may not have many hits this season, but he's making them count -- especially in May.

Crawford's line single over the head of center fielder Austin Jackson scored pinch-runner Danrell McDonald from third base with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

That marked the third game-winning walkoff hit for Crawford this month.

HONORABLE MENTION: Josh Beckett
Beckett has become the tough-luck pitcher in the Red Sox rotation. He limited the Tigers to a single run over six innings before leaving with a stiff neck.

Beckett was in line for the win until the Sox bullpen blew a two-run lead with six outs to go. That marked the fourth time this year that Beckett has allowed two runs or fewer and gotten a no-decision.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Daniel Bard
Yes, the Sox rebounded to win, but Bard made the task tougher.

In the span of five pitches, Bard gave up two solo homers to the first two hitters he faced in the eighth, blowing a 3-1 lead.

TURNING POINT
After loading the bases with one out, Jonathan Papelbon struck out Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera to preserve the 3-3 and set the stage for bottom-of-the-ninth heroics.

BY THE NUMBERS
Justin Verlander has turned in a quality start in all 10 of his outings this season, but the Tigers are just 4-6 in those 10 games.

QUOTE OF NOTE
"I think we're glad we're playing at home. You know how we feel in games like this on the road -- you make a mistake, you go home (a loser).'' -- Terry Francona on the team's third straight last at-bat win on this homestand.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.