Red Sox take it in 11 with Carl Crawford’s game-winning hit

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Carl Crawford delivered his second game-ending hit of the month Monday as the Red Sox edged the Twins 2-1 in 11 innings.

Crawford, who had been 0-for-4 in the game, doubled off the Green Monster to score pinch-runner Jose Iglesias from first base.  Iglesias was off with the 3-2 pitch with one out in the inning and just beat the throw home from Ben Revere.

Boston got another outstanding performance from Josh Beckett in the contest.  Beckett pitched seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.99.  He left with a 1-0 lead, but that was blown in the eighth after Alfredo Aceves balked a runner to second and Jonathan Papelbon, asked to get four outs, allowed a game-tying single.

The Twins ended up with nine hits in the game, every one of them a single.  It kind of summed up the entire season for the team with the fewest homers and extra-base hits in all of baseball.  Even the Padres have outhomered them 21-15.

Minnesota took the loss despite an encouraging showing from Nick Blackburn.  In the sixth inning, Blackburn fanned J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie and Crawford to strike out the side in order for the first time in his career.  He entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings for the season, but he notched five K’s tonight.

By taking three out of four at home, the Red Sox pulled back within a game of .500 at 17-18.  The Twins have the game’s worst record, pending the White Sox’s result tonight.  They’re 12-21.

U.S Defeats World in a power-packed Futures Game

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They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.

If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.

Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.

Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?

There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:

Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.