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Beckett wins 12th as Red Sox slam staggering Rays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Josh Beckett made his case to start the All-Star Game on Thursday night. Too bad he can't bring the whole Red Sox lineup with him.

Beckett matched the major league lead with his 12th victory, getting a first-inning grand slam from Coco Crisp and a career-high five hits from Mike Lowell to lead Boston to a 15-4 victory over Tampa Bay. It was the Devil Rays' 11th consecutive loss.

"A lot of runs," Beckett said with a sense of awe. "These guys never cease to amaze me with the way they swing the bats."

The Devil Rays were swept for the third straight series. A fourth this weekend in Kansas City would pull them within one of the franchise record of 15 straight losses set in 2002.

The Red Sox and their major league-leading six All-Stars headed to Detroit for a series against the Tigers and Jim Leyland, who will manage the AL squad in San Francisco. Beckett (12-2) is among those in contention to start Tuesday night's game.

"There's some other guys as deserving as I am. I'll be happy if he chooses me," Beckett said. "It's a whole new experience for me. It's a very exciting time."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he wouldn't campaign for Beckett to start, though he expected to chat with Leyland in Detroit.

"He doesn't need my help," said Francona, who managed in the All-Star Game in 2005, a year after Boston won the World Series. "I'm aware of how things work, and I don't want to be a pain in the neck."

Lowell and Crisp each drove in five of Boston's season-high 15 runs; the 21 hits were also a season-high. David Ortiz went 3-for-5 with four runs as the Red Sox led 6-0 lead after one inning, 9-0 after two and 13-2 after three.

Beckett had already struck out seven by then. He finished with nine, allowing three runs, nine hits and a walk in six innings.

J.P. Howell (1-3) allowed six runs, six hits and two walks, retiring just two of the 10 batters he faced before being chased in the first inning. He even needed good defense to do that: Ortiz was retired on a fielder's choice line drive off the first baseman's glove for the first out in the inning.

After two more singles, Howell walked Jason Varitek with the bases loaded and Crisp sent a high fly just inside the left-field foul pole and over the Green Monster.

"I was trying way too hard out there. I tried to pitch the whole game in one inning in my mind," Howell said. "After the grand slam, I thought we were still in it. But after that, it was over."

Crisp came up with the bases loaded again three more times: in the third, drawing a walk to match his career high for RBI; again in the sixth, when he hit into an inning-ending double play, and again in the eighth, when he struck out.

"I was hoping it wouldn't happen that last time. I'm tired," joked Crisp, who also doubled in the fifth and made an over-the-shoulder basket catch on Jonny Gomes' drive to deep center in the sixth. "That speaks a lot for our team. For me or anybody to come up with the bases loaded four times is pretty amazing."

Delmon Young went 3-for-4 and Brendan Harris drove in two runs for Tampa Bay.

Notes

  • After the game, the Red Sox said they would send OF Jacoby Ellsbury back to Triple-A.
  • Boston has scored 97 runs for Beckett while he's in the game, tops in the majors.
  • Devil Rays C Dioner Navarro was hurt when he collided with Beckett behind first base on a grounder in the sixth. He was helped off the field with trainers holding him under each arm. Raul Casanova pinch ran for him. Navarro was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for precautionary X-rays.
  • The Devil Rays signed 41st-round selection RHP Austin Hinkle, of Coastal Carolina.
  • Only five pitchers in Red Sox history have had more than 12 victories at the midseason break. Just two -- Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez -- have done it since 1974.
  • Boston LHP Hideki Okajima was added to the AL All-Star roster as the winner of the Internet voting.
  • Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis was out of the starting lineup for the third time in four games with a strained hamstring.
  • The Red Sox signed first-round draft pick LHP Nick Hagadone along with eight international free agents.
 
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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Coco Crisp pads Boston's lead in the first inning with a grand slam and finishes with five RBI.  (AP)
Coco Crisp pads Boston's lead in the first inning with a grand slam and finishes with five RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

C. Crisp
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
Boston

M. Lowell
AB 6
R 3
H 5
HR 1
RBI 5
 

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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B4120110 .294
Carl Crawford, LF4010024 .286
    Dustan Mohr, LF1000000 .154
Brendan Harris, SS3012011 .305
    Josh Wilson, SS2000000 .213
Carlos Pena, 1B5010043 .283
Ty Wigginton, 2B3010012 .270
    Jorge Cantu, 2B1100101 .226
Greg Norton, DH3000111 .188
Delmon Young, CF4131001 .275
Jonny Gomes, RF3110003 .248
Dioner Navarro, C3011003 .181
    Raul Casanova, PR-C1000000 .297
Totals374114310  
Batting
2B - Brendan Harris (18, Beckett), Delmon Young (17, Beckett), Jonny Gomes (8, Beckett)
RBI - Brendan Harris 2 (36), Delmon Young (45), Dioner Navarro (12)
2-OUT RBI - Brendan Harris 2 (17), Delmon Young (15), Dioner Navarro (3)
SB - Akinori Iwamura (8, 2nd base off Beckett/Varitek)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Wigginton-Harris-Pena, Cantu-Wilson-Pena, Wilson-Cantu-Pena
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
J.P. Howell (L,1-3) 0.2666211 6.62
Brian Stokes 1.1333201 6.05
Jon Switzer 1544110 36.00
Shawn Camp 2200120 5.67
Jason Hammel 1322200 6.46
Jay Witasick 1000100 3.75
Gary Glover 1200110 5.23
Pitches-Strikes - J.P. Howell 43-24, Brian Stokes 31-18, Jon Switzer 40-27, Shawn Camp 32-19, Jason Hammel 33-20, Jay Witasick 13-8, Gary Glover 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.P. Howell 1-0, Brian Stokes 1-3, Shawn Camp 2-1, Jason Hammel 1-1, Jay Witasick 1-1
Batters Faced - J.P. Howell 10, Brian Stokes 9, Jon Switzer 9, Shawn Camp 8, Jason Hammel 7, Jay Witasick 3, Gary Glover 6
Boston Red Sox
J.D. Drew, RF4120014 .265
    Wily Mo Pena, RF2000000 .212
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5120102 .322
David Ortiz, DH5430002 .313
   a- Alex Cora, PH-DH1000000 .281
Manny Ramirez, LF3321100 .289
    Jacoby Ellsbury, LF2020000 .375
Mike Lowell, 3B6355010 .307
Jason Varitek, C3221110 .277
   b- Doug Mirabelli, PH-C0001200 .178
Coco Crisp, CF5125115 .265
Eric Hinske, 1B2000313 .205
Julio Lugo, SS4012105 .192
Totals42152115105  
a-flied out for Ortiz in the 8th
b-walked for Varitek in the 6th
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (28, Stokes), Manny Ramirez (19, Switzer), Coco Crisp (13, Camp)
HR - Mike Lowell (14, Stokes), Coco Crisp (5, Howell)
RBI - Manny Ramirez (45), Mike Lowell 5 (62), Jason Varitek (36), Doug Mirabelli (8), Coco Crisp 5 (27), Julio Lugo 2 (38)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Lugo 2 (14)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Lugo-Pedroia-Hinske
Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett (W,12-2) 6933190 3.44
Kyle Snyder 1111210 2.61
Mike Timlin 2100000 5.06
HBP - Gomes (by Josh Beckett)
WP - Kyle Snyder (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 105-73, Kyle Snyder 25-14, Mike Timlin 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 4-5, Mike Timlin 1-4
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 29, Kyle Snyder 6, Mike Timlin 6
Game Information
Attendance - 37044
Game Time - 3:36
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Chad Fairchild