ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP)
slid into second base, tying a modern major league record with six stolen bases. The crowd of 32,332 roared, and the
Tampa Bay Rays
immediately flashed a message on the scoreboard acknowledging the feat.
Everybody in the building seemed to know what was going on. That is, except Crawford, who was aware of how many steals he
had but had no clue that just three other players had accomplished the same since 1900.
''I found that out late. I wish I had known during the game,'' said Crawford, who got No. 6 in the eighth inning of the Rays'
5-3 victory over the
Boston Red Sox
''I probably would have broken it if I knew. I'd have definitely tried,'' he added. ''I didn't even try. I don't know if that
will ever happen again.''
Crawford was 4 for 4 with an RBI and joined
as the only players to steal six bases in a game. Collins did it twice in 1912, while Nixon and Young did it in 1991 and 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 large video screen, and the loud ovation from the crowd?
''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.''
shrugged off a shaky start to pitch into the eighth inning, and Tampa Bay won three of four, outscoring the
30-15 to improve to 5-2 against their AL East rivals this season.
The Rays had dropped six consecutive series since taking two of three from Boston when the teams met at Fenway Park the opening
week of the season.
stole bases for the Rays, who finished with a franchise record eight. Crawford moved ahead of Boston's
(13) as the major league steals leader with 17.
''He's an athlete, one of the fastest guys in the big leagues,''
''He's good,'' catcher
agreed, ''and he's got the speed to go along with it.''
Shields (3-2), who has been tough on the
at Tropicana Field, allowed one run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He is 3-1 in six career starts against Boston at home,
compared to 0-4 with a 9.56 ERA in four starts at Fenway, where
beat him on opening day.
Bartlett, Hernandez and
drove in runs off
(2-1) for Tampa Bay. Crawford's second infield single of the day, coming after Bartlett stole third, drove in an insurance
run in the eighth.
The four-time AL stolen base champion had an uncontested steal of third in the fifth inning. With two outs in the eighth,
he swiped second for the fifth time to become the first player with six in a game since Young with Colorado on June 30, 1996.
''He had a spectacular day,'' Boston manager
Shields yielded a bases-loaded single to J.D. Drew in the first, but worked through the jam and didn't allow another runner
past second base. The right-hander struck out six and walked two before being replaced by J.P. Howell with one on and one
out in the eighth.
Howell retired struggling
on a grounder back to the mound, then gave up a two-run homer to
, trimming Tampa Bay's lead to 4-3. J.D. Drew singled and
walked, however the
stranded the potential tying run at second when
worked the ninth for his third save.
entered the series as the hottest team in baseball, having won 12 of 13. They outscored 19-2 in the first two games, but 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
said. ''I don't think anybody's hitting the panic button. ... We're going to be fine. We're confident in our ability.''
Notes: Youkilis has four homers and 15 RBIs in his last 14 games. ... Bay was back in Boston's lineup after leaving Saturday
night's game in the sixth inning because of a left ankle bruise. ... Rays OF
left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their baby. He's expected to return on Tuesday. ... High School LHP Patrick
Shuster, who set a Florida prep record with four consecutive no-hitters, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.