<
>

Schilling beats Mets, helps BoSox win 12th straight

BOSTON (AP) -- Coco Crisp sprinted into the gap, soared through
the air and slammed to the ground -- the ball and Boston's winning
streak safely in his grasp.

"That was one of the most exciting moments I've ever
experienced on the baseball field," teammate Mark Loretta said.

"One of the best catches I've ever seen when I'm pitching,"
said 16-year veteran Mike Timlin.

Even the player who hit the ball marveled at the eighth-inning
catch in left-center field that helped the Red Sox beat the New
York Mets 4-2 Thursday night and stretch their winning streak to 12
games.

"It was one of the best plays I've ever seen," David Wright
said. "He got a great jump on it. That's what happens when you're
playing well."

The spectacular grab kept Boston ahead and preserved Curt
Schilling's 10th win. David Ortiz homered for an insurance run and
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 26
chances, tying Dick Radatz's club rookie record set in 1962.

New York dropped its third straight -- the Mets had been the only
team in the majors that hadn't lost more than two in a row.

Crisp, who took over in center field after Johnny Damon left for
the New York Yankees last offseason, got a great jump but wasn't
sure he'd reach Wright's drive that would have scored Carlos
Beltran and tied the score at 3.

"I didn't think I was going to get there," Crisp said. "I
took a leap of faith and, because I was running so fast, I was able
to hang in the air."

After the graceful grab, Ortiz homered in the eighth for Boston,
sealing a three-game sweep in a matchup of first-place teams. The
Red Sox tied the longest winning streak in the majors since Houston
won 12 in a row from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8, 2004.

Boston also tied the major league record of 16 straight
errorless games set by the St. Louis Cardinals from July 30 to Aug.
16, 1992.

Schilling (10-2) became Boston's second 10-game winner, one day
after Josh Beckett reached the plateau. New York starter Tom
Glavine faltered after five strong innings, failing to extend his
big league-leading win total to 12.

"We came in here and we have been playing well, and these guys
were playing well," Glavine said, "two of the best teams in the
major leagues record-wise. We didn't live up to our end of the
bargain."

All of Boston's 12 consecutive wins have come against NL teams,
and the Red Sox used an NL style of play to push across the
go-ahead run in this one.

Crisp led off the seventh with a bunt single against Aaron
Heilman (0-3) and stole second. Alex Gonzalez put down a perfect
sacrifice bunt, sending Crisp to third. Kevin Youkilis then lifted
a sacrifice fly to left, making it 3-2.

"We played as good a game as we played in a long time," Red
Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Boston moved a season-high four games ahead of the New York
Yankees in the AL East, while the Mets lead second-place
Philadelphia by 11 in the NL East.

"It's the same old thing," Glavine said. "You're never as
good as when you're playing well and as bad as when you're not."

New York threatened with two outs in the eighth against Timlin
when Beltran singled. Wright then lined the ball that appeared to
be curving away from Crisp, who had one thought.

"Just go catch it," he said. "The only chance I had was to go
directly at it."

Ortiz gave Boston a cushion in the eighth with a homer to center
field, his 23rd of the season and 200th of his career.

Schilling and Glavine dueled for five innings before both
allowed two runs in the sixth

The Mets went ahead 2-0 on Beltran's 22nd homer after a two-out
single by Paul Lo Duca.

The Red Sox tied it when Glavine, in his second-shortest outing
of the year, left after failing to retire any of the first three
batters. Loretta led off with his third homer, Ortiz doubled and
Manny Ramirez walked.

Heilman relieved and got Mike Lowell on a flyout to Beltran in
deep center. The slow-footed Ortiz tagged up and slid in safely at
third, and Ramirez advanced to second. Ortiz's hustle paid off when
he scored on Jason Varitek's sacrifice fly.

Through five innings, Schilling and Glavine gave up just three
hits each.

Glavine didn't allow a ball out of the infield until Loretta
singled with one out in the fourth for Boston's first hit.
Schilling let just one runner reach second in the first five
innings, Julio Franco, and Schilling picked him off to end the
fifth.

For the first time in 28 seasons at Fenway Park, according to
the Elias Sports Bureau, two starters with more than 200 career
wins faced each other: Glavine with 286 and Schilling, who now has
202. On Sept. 11, 1978, Boston's Luis Tiant (with 201 wins) pitched
against Baltimore's Jim Palmer (212).

Game notes
Cliff Floyd went 0-for-2 with a walk and played left field
for seven innings of a rehab game with Class-A Brooklyn. New York
manager Willie Randolph said there was a chance Floyd could play
for the Mets on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. ... Lo Duca was
back behind the plate after serving as the DH in New York's 10-2
loss Wednesday night. ... Boston's last error was by Youkilis at
first base in the first inning on June 11 against Texas.