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Crawford ties record with six steals as Rays take series vs. BoSox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Carl Crawford 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 Eddie Collins, Otis Nixon, and Eric Young 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, respectively.

"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."

James Shields shrugged off a shaky start to pitch into the eighth inning, and Tampa Bay won three of four, outscoring the Red Sox 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.

Jason Bartlett and Michel Hernandez stole bases for the Rays, who finished with a franchise record eight. Crawford moved ahead of Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury (13) as the major league steals leader with 17.

"He's an athlete, one of the fastest guys in the big leagues," Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo said.

"He's good," catcher Jason Varitek agreed, "and he's got the speed to go along with it."

Shields (3-2), who has been tough on the Red Sox 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 Josh Beckett beat him on opening day.

Bartlett, Hernandez and Carlos Pena drove in runs off Brad Penny (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 Terry Francona said.

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 David Ortiz on a grounder back to the mound, then gave up a two-run homer to Kevin Youkilis, trimming Tampa Bay's lead to 4-3. Drew singled and Jason Bay walked, however the Red Sox stranded the potential tying run at second when Dan Wheeler got Mike Lowell fly out.

Closer Troy Percival worked the ninth for his third save.

The Red Sox entered the series as the hottest team in baseball, having won 12 of 13. They were 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 Dustin Pedroia 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 home runs and 15 RBI in his past 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 Gabe Gross left the team to be with his wife for the birth of their baby. He's expected to return on Tuesday.
  • Mitchell High School LHP Patrick Shuster, who set a Florida prep record with four consecutive no-hitters, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Carl Crawford is the first player since 1996 to steal six bases in one game.  (AP)
Carl Crawford is the first player since 1996 to steal six bases in one game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

C. Crawford
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Boston

K. Youkilis
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5020001 .282
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4210002 .307
David Ortiz, DH3000101 .208
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4122010 .407
J.D. Drew, RF4031010 .267
Jason Bay, LF3000124 .304
Mike Lowell, 3B4000005 .299
Jason Varitek, C3000120 .239
Julio Lugo, SS4000001 .214
Totals3438336  
Batting
2B - J.D. Drew (8, Shields)
HR - Kevin Youkilis (6, Howell)
RBI - Kevin Youkilis 2 (20), J.D. Drew (14)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Youkilis 2 (11)
SB - Dustin Pedroia (4, 2nd base off Howell/Hernandez)
CS - Jacoby Ellsbury (3, 2nd base by Shields/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Jason Varitek (1, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
Brad Penny (L,2-1) 6633280 7.61
Manny Delcarmen 0.1211000 0.63
Hunter Jones 1111010 2.84
Ramon Ramirez 0.2100010 0.00
HBP - Longoria (by Brad Penny), Pena (by Manny Delcarmen), Burrell (by Manny Delcarmen)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Penny 110-69, Manny Delcarmen 21-9, Hunter Jones 12-7, Ramon Ramirez 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Penny 3-7, Hunter Jones 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Penny 27, Manny Delcarmen 5, Hunter Jones 4, Ramon Ramirez 3
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF5000022 .162
Carl Crawford, LF4241100 .317
Evan Longoria, 3B4010023 .365
Carlos Pena, 1B3011012 .271
Pat Burrell, DH3001023 .253
Ben Zobrist, RF3100125 .264
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4110013 .295
Jason Bartlett, SS4131000 .368
Michel Hernandez, C3001001 .353
Totals335105210  
Batting
2B - Carlos Pena (4, Penny), Akinori Iwamura (10, Penny), Jason Bartlett (4, Penny)
SH - Michel Hernandez (1)
RBI - Carl Crawford (11), Carlos Pena (28), Pat Burrell (12), Jason Bartlett (8), Michel Hernandez (4)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Crawford (6)
SB - Carl Crawford 6 (17, 3rd base off Penny/Varitek, 2nd base off Penny/Varitek, 2nd base off Penny/Varitek, 3rd base off Penny/Varitek, 2nd base off Delcarmen/Varitek, 2nd base off Ramirez/Varitek), Jason Bartlett (6, 3rd base off Ramirez/Varitek), Michel Hernandez (1, 2nd base off Penny/Varitek)
Team LOB - 10
Tampa Bay Rays
James Shields (W,3-2) 7.1622260 3.51
J.P. Howell (H,1) 0.1211001 3.48
Dan Wheeler (H,3) 0.1000100 7.00
Troy Percival (S,3) 1000000 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 101-64, J.P. Howell 10-6, Dan Wheeler 11-5, Troy Percival 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 6-9, J.P. Howell 1-0, Troy Percival 1-2
Batters Faced - James Shields 29, J.P. Howell 3, Dan Wheeler 2, Troy Percival 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32332
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell