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Crawford ties record in Rays' victory

CARL Crawford stole six bases to tie a modern day Major League record and help the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 in a rematch of the 2008 American League Championship Series.

Crawford was also perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 and driving in a run as the AL champion Rays defeated the Red Sox for the third time in four games on Sunday.

"This year I've been trying to put pressure on (opposing teams)," Crawford said after he became only the fourth MLB player since 1900 to steal six bases in a game.

"Last year was a little difficult for me (because of injuries)," the left fielder added. "But this year I definitely want that threat to kind of change the game a little bit."

He now has 318 career steals with a Major League-leading 17 coming this season.

"He's good. He's got the speed to do things like that," Boston catcher Jason Varitek told reporters.

James Shields (3-2) held the Sox to two runs and six hits over seven-plus innings for the victory. He struck out six and walked two.

Tampa Bay broke open a 1-1 game with two runs in the fourth inning on Jason Bartlett's run-scoring single and a fielder's choice by Michel Hernandez.

Crawford made it 4-1 when Red Sox pitcher Manny Delcarmen hit Pat Burrell with the bases loaded to force in a run.

Two-run homer

Boston cut the lead to 4-3 on Kevin Youkilis's two-run homer in the eighth but Crawford's RBI single gave Tampa Bay another run in the bottom of the inning.

Brad Penny (2-1) pitched six innings for the Red Sox, giving up three runs and six hits. He struck out eight and walked two.

"I thought Brad really threw the ball," Boston manager Terry Francona said.

"It was good, it was strong, it was down, it was over the plate."

In other American League action, it was: Tigers 3, Indians 1; Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3; Royals 7, Twins 5; Mariners 8, Athletics 7, 15 innings; and Rangers 5, White Sox 1

In the National League, Johnny Cueto limited the Pirates to four singles while striking out nine batters in eight dominating innings as the Cincinnati Reds blanked Pittsburgh 5-0 for another road series victory.

Ramon Hernandez drove in three runs in the win as the Reds pitched shutouts in each of their two victories in the 3-game series and now have won each of their four series on the road, where they are 9-4.

Their five shutouts in 24 games lead the majors and are only one fewer than last season's total.

Also, it was: Astros 7, Braves 5; Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 3; Cubs 6, Marlins 4; Giants 1, Rockies 0; and Dodgers 7, Padres 3.


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