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Youkilis hits two-run homer in ninth to take spotlight off starters

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- In 24 hours, the Detroit Tigers experienced baseball's full range of emotions.

One night after rallying in the ninth inning for a dramatic victory over the New York Yankees, the Tigers saw the same thing from the other side as Kevin Youkilis' two-run homer with two outs in the ninth gave the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory Friday.

"Twenty-four hours ago, we were the happiest team in baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Now we're probably the most disappointed. That's baseball."

It was the second loss in four days for closer Todd Jones.

"I've been here before -- I just wish it hadn't been back-to-back outings," he said. "That's why this job isn't for the faint of heart."

With Detroit leading 2-1, Jones (0-3) retired the first two batters in the ninth. But Mike Lowell singled and Youkilis drove an 0-1 pitch just over the glove of left fielder Craig Monroe and into the bullpen for his sixth homer.

"Getting that hit was huge for the team," Youkilis said. "You never think home run -- I was just trying to get a good swing at the ball.

"Luckily, it hit the top of my bat, and luckily, it went out."

On Tuesday, Jones allowed five runs in the 11th inning of a 11-6 loss to the New York Yankees.

"Not everyone can be Mariano Rivera," Jones said, referring to the Yankees' closer. "Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug."

Boston manager Terry Francona was afraid the Red Sox had missed their last chance at a win in the eighth. With two outs and a runner on first, David Ortiz hit a high fly ball to left-center field -- the deepest part of Comerica Park -- that Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson ran down on the warning track.

"I don't want to sound like a pessimist, but no, I thought it was over when David's ball didn't go," Francona said. "That was a gorgeous swing, just the wrong part of the ballpark. This place holds a lot of balls, so I was awful glad when I saw Youk's bounce."

Rudy Seanez (1-0) got the win with a scoreless inning of relief, and rookie Jonathan Papelbon pitched the bottom of the ninth for his 20th save in as many tries.

"This is a tough way to win games," Francona said. "You just try to stay at it in case someone pops one."

Detroit has lost five of six, while the Red Sox improved to 2-2 at the start of a 10-game road trip.

The game started as a pitching duel between the teams' aces.

Curt Schilling allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for Boston. He struck out eight without walking a batter.

"I felt good, I just made two location mistakes in the first and gave up a run," Schilling said. "But our bullpen came in and shut down a good lineup. Pap did what Pap does, and Youk was awesome."

Kenny Rogers allowed one run and five hits in seven innings for the Tigers. He struck out a season-high seven and walked one -- Ortiz with the bases empty and two outs in the sixth.

"Going against Curt, you don't feel like you are going to get a lot of runs to work with," Rogers said. "That's why you try to maximize your effort."

Detroit went up 1-0 in the first on consecutive doubles by Placido Polanco and Marcus Thames, and held the lead until Manny Ramirez tied it in the fourth with an RBI single.

Monroe led off the Detroit fifth with a single, took second on Vance Wilson's one-out hit and scored when Polanco lined his second of three hits in the game to right.

Polanco entered the game with 18 career at-bats against Schilling, five more than the rest of the roster combined.

"The one hitter I know in that lineup, and I didn't pitch him the way I'm supposed to pitch him," Schilling said. "It looked like that was going to cost us the game."

Notes

  • Crisp had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and raise his career average against Rogers to .333.
  • Schilling has struck out 32 batters in 21 career innings against Detroit.
  • Ramirez argued called third strikes in both the second and sixth innings with home plate umpire Larry Vanover.
  • Loretta's hitting streak was snapped at 15 games.
  • Ivan Rodriguez pinch hit for Wilson in the ninth and struck out to end the game.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jonathan Papelbon comes on in the bottom of the ninth and closes out the victory.  (AP)
Jonathan Papelbon comes on in the bottom of the ninth and closes out the victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

K. Youkilis
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Detroit

K. Rogers
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 

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Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF3120110
Mark Loretta, 2B4000013
David Ortiz, DH3000113
Manny Ramirez, LF4011021
Jason Varitek, C4000001
Mike Lowell, 3B4030000
    Willie Harris, PR0100000
    J.T. Snow, 1B0000000
Kevin Youkilis, 1B-3B4112022
Trot Nixon, RF4000002
Alex Gonzalez, SS2000001
   a- Alex Cora, PH-SS2000001
Totals343732714 
a-fouled out for A. Gonzalez in the 8th
Batting
HR - Kevin Youkilis (, T. Jones)
RBI - Manny Ramirez (), Kevin Youkilis 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez (), Kevin Youkilis 2 ()
SB - Coco Crisp (, 2nd base off Rogers/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Kevin Youkilis (, missed catch youklis)
Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling 6722080
David Riske 1000010
Rudy Seanez (W,-) 1100010
Jonathan Papelbon (S,) 1000020
WP - Rudy Seanez ()
Pitches-Strikes - Curt Schilling 109-76, David Riske 10-6, Rudy Seanez 21-15, Jonathan Papelbon 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Curt Schilling 4-6, Rudy Seanez 2-1, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Curt Schilling 25, David Riske 3, Rudy Seanez 5, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000022
Placido Polanco, 2B4131000
Marcus Thames, DH4011023
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010011
Carlos Guillen, SS4010022
Chris Shelton, 1B4000014
Craig Monroe, LF4110011
Brandon Inge, 3B4000011
Vance Wilson, C3010010
   a- Ivan Rodriguez, PH1000010
Totals3628201214 
a-struck out for V. Wilson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Placido Polanco (, Schilling), Marcus Thames (, Schilling)
RBI - Placido Polanco (), Marcus Thames ()
2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco ()
SB - Magglio Ordonez (, 2nd base off Schilling/Varitek), Carlos Guillen (, 2nd base off Schilling/Varitek)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Shelton-Inge
E - Placido Polanco (, misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Kenny Rogers 7511170
Joel Zumaya (H,) 1000100
Todd Jones (BS,; L,-) 1222001
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 106-68, Joel Zumaya 18-11, Todd Jones 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 6-7, Todd Jones 2-2
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 26, Joel Zumaya 4, Todd Jones 6
Game Information
Attendance - 35531
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Charlie Reliford