BOSTON Carl Crawford looked like a minor leaguer during his first month in a Red Sox uniform, but he seems to have found his swing in May. His double off the Green Monster in the 11th inning scored pinch runner Jose Iglesias from first base and gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Twins on Monday night.
Josh Beckett turned in another outstanding performance for the Red Sox, going seven scoreless innings. He allowed six hits and a walk with five strikeouts, lowering
his ERA to 1.99.
The Sox took three out of four from the Twins, going 6-5 on the 11-game homestand. They improved their record to 17-18. The last time they were a game under .500 was May 3, at 14-15, before losing the next three games.
Only Luke Hughes past first base while Beckett was on the mound, doing so twice. In the third inning he singled and took second on a walk to Denard Span, Becketts only free pass of the game. In the fifth Hughes singled and stole second, his first steal of the season.
Despite his dominance, Beckett was unable to earn a win, as Alfred Aceves and Jonathan Papelbon combined to allow the Twins to tie the game at 1-1 in the eighth inning.
The Sox scored their first run in the fifth. Jason Varitek led off with a double to left, taking third on Jacoby Ellsburys groundout to second. After Dustin Pedroia grounded out, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left, scoring Varitek. It was Gonzalezs team-high 25th RBI of the season.
Alfredo Aceves came in for the eighth, giving up a one-out single to Span then balking him to second. After Aceves got Matt Tolbert to foul out to Kevin Youkilis at third, manager Terry Francona brought in Jonathan Papelbon to face left-handed hitting Jason Kubel, who entered the game hitting .351 (40-for-114) with three home runs.
Before the at-bat, Kubel had been just 2-for-10 (.200) with two outs and runners in scoring position. But, he got the better of Papelbon. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Kubel singled to center, scoring Span, tying the game. It was Papelbons first blown save of the season.
The Red Sox had a chance in the ninth when Varitek reached base for the third time in the game, on second baseman Hughes two-out error. Darnell McDonald pinch-ran for Varitek, but was caught stealing, ending the inning.
In the 11th, with Jim Hoey on the mound for the Twins, J.D. Drew opened the inning flying out to center, before Jed Lowrie walked. With Iglesias pinch-running, Crawford doubled off the Wall in left-center, scoring Iglesias.
It was Iglesias first major league run scored. Crawfords hit extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Hideki Okajima (1-0, 4.32 ERA) earned the win, going two innings, giving up two
hits and two walks with three strikeouts, throwing a season-high 43 pitches.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen