Clutch hit saves Boston

Posted: Friday, June 03, 2005

BOSTON — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer on a full count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 6-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.

The Orioles took the lead in the top of the ninth without hitting a ball out of the infield against Keith Foulke (3-3), scoring the tiebreaking run when Rafael Palmeiro beat out a potential double-play ball. But Mark Bellhorn reached on an infield single to third with one out in the bottom half and, with two outs, Edgar Renteria bunted for a single.

Ortiz worked the count to 3-1, swung and missed once, fouled another off and then hit the seventh pitch he saw from B.J. Ryan (0-1) into the center-field bleachers. Ortiz was greeted at home plate by a bouncing throng of teammates — a scene that became familiar during last year's playoffs, when he hit two game-ending homers to help the Red Sox reach the World Series.

It was Ortiz's third career game-winning homer in the regular season.

Twins 4, Indians 3, 13 innings

MINNEAPOLIS — Johan Santana tied a career high with 14 strikeouts, and Jacque Jones' single in the 13th inning gave Minnesota a victory over Cleveland.

Lew Ford's hustle turned his base hit off Rafael Betancourt (1-2) into a one-out double in the 13th. Two batters later, Jones hit a liner to right and Ford raced around third, beating Casey Blake's throw to the plate.

Cleveland got only four hits against Santana, last season's AL Cy Young Award winner, but scored three runs thanks to homers by Victor Martinez and Coco Crisp, who was activated from the disabled list before the game to replace an injured Juan Gonzalez, and a triple by Ben Broussard.

Tigers 6, Rangers 5, 10 innings

DETROIT — Craig Monroe singled home Ivan Rodriguez with the winning run in the 10th inning, and Detroit rallied past Texas.

Rondell White homered and drove in three runs for the Tigers, who snapped Texas' nine-game winning streak Wednesday night.

Royals 5, Yankees 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The lowly Kansas City Royals completed a stunning sweep of the New York Yankees behind consecutive home runs from Matt Stairs and Terrence Long.

Kansas City, which has the worst record and second-lowest payroll in the major leagues, finished its first three-game sweep of the Yankees at home in 15 years.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 3

OAKLAND, Calif. — Eric Chavez hit a grand slam to help Oakland win its season-best fourth straight game.

Chavez connected in the fifth on the first pitch from Josh Towers (5-4). It was Chavez's fifth career grand slam and first since May 11, 2002, also against Toronto. The four RBIs matched his season high, and he also had a seventh-inning double.

National League

PITTSBURGH — Dontrelle Willis halted Florida's nine-game losing streak in Pittsburgh, getting homers from Carlos Delgado and Damion Easley to become the first nine-game winner in the major leagues with a 6-3 victory over the Pirates on Thursday night.

The Marlins hadn't won in Pittsburgh since an 11-1 victory on Sept. 8, 2002, and were in danger of being swept in PNC Park for the third consecutive season after the Pirates won the first three games of the four-game series.

Mets 6, Diamondbacks 1

NEW YORK — Pedro Martinez pitched eight sharp innings and got a customary home run from Carlos Beltran as New York defeated Arizona.

Martinez (6-1) dominated the Diamondbacks, striking out nine to increase his NL-leading total to 92. Beltran hit his seventh homer of the season, all in games started by Martinez.

Cliff Floyd had a pair of doubles against Shawn Estes (4-4), driving in one run and scoring another. Kaz Matsui added a two-run double.

Tony Clark homered off Martinez. Arizona second baseman Craig Counsell made three errors.

Phillies 6, Giants 5

PHILADELPHIA — Jimmy Rollins homered and Jon Lieber won his second consecutive start to help Philadelphia return to .500 with a victory over slumping San Francisco.

The Phillies (27-27) swept the three-game series and moved back to .500 for the first time since they were 8-8 on April 21. They have won 12 of 18.

The Giants have lost seven straight and head to New York for a three-game series. They hadn't lost more than six in a row since an eight-game skid in May 2002.

Rockies 8, Cardinals 7

DENVER — Todd Helton tied the game with a two-run single in the ninth, and Brad Hawpe followed with the winning walk to help Colorado defeat St. Louis and hand Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen his first blown save of the season.

Helton, in a 4-for-54 slump coming into the game, sent a 3-2 pitch from Isringhausen into right field to tie it at 7. The Cardinals intentionally walked Matt Holliday — who had two homers and a double — then brought in Randy Flores to face Hawpe.

Hawpe walked on five pitches to saddle Isringhausen (0-1) with his first blown save in 22 tries dating to last season. It was the reliever's first blemish in a season in which he had converted all 16 of his save opportunities and allowed only one earned run.

Nationals 8, Braves 6

WASHINGTON — Backup catcher Gary Bennett drove in five runs, three on a bases-loaded double in the eighth inning, to lead Washington over Atlanta.

The Nationals scored five runs in the eighth, including four off struggling reliever Dan Kolb (1-5). The rally came after the Braves scored four in the top half to take a 6-3 lead.

Carlos Baerga pulled a grounder through the right side of the infield to score Jamey Carroll, followed by Vinny Castilla's RBI double that cut Atlanta's lead to 6-5. The Braves then intentionally walked Marlon Byrd to face Bennett, who had already hit a two-run homer.

Cubs 5, Padres 0

SAN DIEGO — Glendon Rusch pitched a four-hitter and Derrek Lee had three more hits to raise his average to .389, leading Chicago to its season-high seventh straight win.

The Cubs have had at least 10 hits in every game of the winning streak. The Cubs also won their sixth straight road game, the first time they've done that since 1991.

The NL West-leading Padres lost consecutive games for just the second time in 32 games. They were 22-6 in May, their best month ever.

Lee, whose average is the best in the majors, walked in his first two at-bats against rookie Tim Stauffer (1-2). He singled in his next three at-bats, making him 8-for-8 over two games and 11-for-13 in his last three.

Dodgers 6, Brewers 4

LOS ANGELES — J.D. Drew drove in three runs with a pair of homers, Jeff Kent also homered and the Dodgers ended a three-game losing streak.

Giovanni Carrara (5-2) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the victory, helping send Milwaukee to its fifth loss in six games.

Eric Gagne struck out three in the ninth, but also allowed a run, a hit, two walks, and threw two wild pitches. He earned his fourth save in as many chances.

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