Crawford gets it right against a lefty


Crawford gets it right against a lefty

By Jessica Camerato

BOSTON - The stats were against Carl Crawford.

He entered Fridays game against the Oakland Athletics batting .106 against lefties this season.

He was also hitless with the bases loaded and two outs.

After one swing of the bat, he proved those numbers didnt mean anything with the game on the line.

With the Red Sox trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Crawford worked lefty reliever Brian Fuentes to a full count. On the sixth straight sinker, he connected on a hit to center field to drive in Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis for the game-tying and go-ahead runs.

I was just trying to work him a little bit, Crawford said after the Red Sox 8-6 win. We had bases loaded so he started off with two balls and I decided I was just going to wait until he threw a strike. The count ended up getting to 3-2, I had to swing and I was able to find a hole.

He added, Youve got the bases loaded with two outs, you cant really play around too much right there. So you know at some point he has to throw you a pitch where you can hit, so you kind of know that and use that to your advantage.

Crawfords at-bat helped the Red Sox snap a four-game losing streak and record their 12th come-from-behind victory this season. His only hit of the game got the job done.

He worked the count really well and got deep, said Terry Francona. And by no means did he crush that ball, but he stayed on it enough and it found the outfield grass and made everybody happy.

Crawford came close to knocking one out of the park earlier in the game, hitting a deep flyball to right field that was caught by David DeJesus. That narrowly missed tying the game at 4-4.

But he was happy to connect when he did later in the game.

Its kind of getting to the point where I think Im just about to try to get on top of everything, he said with a laugh.

Regardless of how Crawford had hit earlier in the game - or at any point in the season, for that matter - his teammates had confidence with him at the plate.

Thats how you get out of a jam, said David Ortiz. Hes the man tonight. Thats the guy you want in there. Im so happy for him.

When told of Ortizs praise, Crawford smiled. Well, Im glad he had a confidence in me. Im just trying to help deliver for the team and do everything to help win the game.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.

First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays


First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:


The injury to Andrew Benintendi looked ominous.

Benintendi's left leg buckled as he tried to elude a tag on the bases in the seventh inning. He left the game with the help of two trainers, hobbling badly.

The Sox later announced that Benintendi suffered a left knee sprain, and will be further evaluated Thursday.

It's impossible to determine how serious the injury is. The prognosis could be anywhere from a few days, to, potentially, a season-ending issue.

Regardless, it's a blow to the Sox, who clearly have benefited from Benintendi's athleticism and energy in the three weeks since he's been promoted from Double A.


Rick Porcello is gobbling up innings in the second half.

Porcello gave the Sox 7 2/3 innings Wednesday night, allowing three runs. It marked the sixth straight start in which Porcello provided the Sox with a minimum of seven innings.

Through the end of June, Porcello had pitched seven or more innings just four times. Since the start of July, he's done it seven times -- and came within an out of doing it in another start.

Porcello also extended his streak of pitching at least five innings to 34 straight starts, dating back almost a calendar year to Aug. 26 of last year. Of those 34, he's pitched at least six in 31 of those.

In fact, Porcello leads the majors in innings pitched since that streak began.


David Ortiz continues to amaze

In the first inning, Ortiz walloped a pitch into the right field seats for his 30th homer, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.

The homer was significant beyond that, too. With it, Ortiz reached two milestones -- 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season.

It marked the fourth straight season in which Ortiz has reached both, and it also marked the 10th time as a member of the Sox that he had hit both plateaus.

The homer also meant that Ortiz is now the oldest player - at 40 years, 280 days old -- to hit 30 homers in a season. And finally, it gave Ortiz 100 RBI seasons with the Sox, passing Ted Williams, with whom he had shared the record of nine.

And, remarkably, there's more than a month left in the season to add on to those achievements.


Benintendi leaves Wednesday's game with knee sprain


Benintendi leaves Wednesday's game with knee sprain

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi left Wednesday's game with a knee sprain and will be further evaluated Thursday.

Benintendi was on second base in the seventh inning, with teammate Travis Shaw on third. The Tampa Rays pulled the infield in, and with no out, Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to short.

Initially, Benintendi was intent on getting to third, but with the infield in, Shaw didn't break from third. That forced Benintendi to head back to second. Tampa shortstop Matt Duffy chased him back to the bag and tagged him out. As he attempted elude the tag, Benintendi's left leg buckled underneath him.

He fell to the ground and got up very gingerly. Benintendi was helped off the field by two members of the training staff, unable to put any weight on the left leg.

Only two nights earlier, Benintendi had made one of the best catches of the season when he leaped above the wall in left to prevent a two-run homer by Rays outfielder Steve Souza Jr.

Benintendi was 1-for-3 with a double Wednesday and is hitting .324 after being promoted from Double A to the big leagues three weeks ago.