Red Sox ace ties Sabathia for MLB lead in wins

" Summary: Josh Beckett pitched six solid innings, striking out 10 and matching the AL lead in wins with 13 while limiting the visiting White Sox to a three-run homer.

" Hero: Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp laced what would prove to be the game-winning hit in the fifth inning with a three-run, stand-up triple, his seventh of the season, to make it 4-3. Crisp also cut down A.J. Pierzynski trying to stretch a single at second base to end the sixth inning for the White Sox, picking up his fifth assist of the season.

" Funky slump: Jose Contreras dropped his fifth consecutive start and took the lead for the most losses in the AL with his 12th. He fell to 1-8 with a 7.62 ERA in his last 10 starts after allowing a career-high 10 runs to the Red Sox.

" Quotable: "He's just throwing 96, 97 miles per hour all game. It's hard to sit on anything else, plus he's got that changeup and that curveball. When he's on, he's pretty much unhittable." -- White Sox center fielder Jerry Owens, on Beckett

-- ESPN.com news services

Red Sox 10, White Sox 3

BOSTON (AP) -- A bad call deprived J.D. Drew of a three-run homer in the first inning. Turns out the Boston Red Sox had plenty of offense to help Josh Beckett.

Coco Crisp lined a go-ahead three-run triple in the fifth, Julio Lugo hit a grand slam and Drew had two doubles as Boston snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

That was plenty for Beckett (13-3) to tie C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland for the major league lead in wins -- especially since Chicago starter Jose Contreras (5-12) allowed a career-high 10 runs.

Thanks to the umpires, Contreras only gave up one run in the first.

They ruled that Drew's shot to the opposite field in left didn't clear the wall before it caromed onto the field. Drew ended up with a double and left fielder Rob Mackowiak threw out Manny Ramirez at home.

"Yeah, it was a home run," Mackowiak said. "All you can do is catch the ball, run it in and throw it back and hope that they don't call it."

Drew figured from the strange angle of the carom and the reaction of the crowd that the ball cleared the wall before ricocheting off the low protective padding in front of the first row.

The umpires "were seeing something that everybody else wasn't," Drew said. "It's frustrating in a sense, but you've got to keep battling."

Mike Port, major league baseball's vice president of umpiring, made it unanimous.

"The replay indicated that they did not rule on it correctly," Port said. "Umpires have other responsibilities, not just standing there and watching the ball."

With runners at first and second, they had to watch the bases and none of them ran closer to the wall to get a better view. Manager Terry Francona couldn't even find out who made the call and was ejected by third base umpire Tim McClelland.

"I wasn't really in a listening mood," Francona said.

He wasn't happy either with Jim Thome's three-run homer, his 16th of the season, that made it 3-1 in the third. But Chicago managed just one hit the rest of the way -- a single in the sixth by A.J. Pierzynski, who was thrown out trying for second -- and the Red Sox increased their AL East lead to eight games over the New York Yankees, who lost 14-4 to Tampa Bay.

Beckett struck out a season-high 10 and allowed four hits and two walks in six innings.

"He's just throwing 96, 97 miles per hour all game," Chicago's Jerry Owens said. "It's hard to sit on anything else, plus he's got that changeup and that curveball. When he's on, he's pretty much unhittable."

Contreras was anything but.

He allowed Crisp's three-run triple, his fifth in 14 games, that gave Boston a 4-3 lead, then gave up Lugo's grand slam, his sixth homer of the season, that made it 10-3 in the five-run eighth.

"I was pretty pleased with the way he threw," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "People are going to tell me I'm crazy because they scored (10), but if you watched the whole game, he gave everything up in one inning."

Lugo extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 3-for-4 and is 19-for-38 in that span. In the 18 games before that, he was 3-for-46, lowering his batting average to .189. He is now at .225.

"Today was a good sign," he said. "Everybody contributed."

Drew and Crisp have also struggled but are improving.

"Today was our day to break out and get our swagger back," Crisp said

Contreras retired the first two batters in the first before walking David Ortiz and hitting Ramirez with a pitch. Drew then hit his non-homer. Ortiz scored, but Boston should have had three runs in the inning.

Still, Contreras dropped his fifth consecutive start after losing the lead in an odd fifth inning.

Jason Varitek began it with a walk. The infielders then overshifted to the right side and lefty Eric Hinske, starting at first to give Kevin Youkilis a rest, pushed a bunt into left field.

"I was nervous," Hinske said. "That was my first bunt hit in my whole career."

Lugo reached on a more traditional bunt when he beat Contreras' throw to first, loading the bases. Crisp then tripled just inside the first base line.

Ortiz drove in Crisp with another shot down that line but was thrown out trying for a double by Jermaine Dye. Ortiz strained his left shoulder on the slide and left for pinch-hitter Alex Cora in the seventh. Francona said the injury isn't serious.

Boston's Mike Timlin pitched a perfect seventh, giving him 14 2/3 scoreless innings in his last 10 outings.

Game notes
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber took batting practice before the game. ... Tadahito Iguchi struck out three times in three at-bats against Beckett then flied out in the eighth against Hideki Okajima. ... Timlin made his 987th appearance, tying Lindy McDaniel for 13th on the all-time list.