Ramirez, Schilling Return In Red Sox Win

Wednesday, September 26th 2007, 7:38 am
By: News On 6

Manny Ramirez returned after missing 24 games. Curt Schilling was back after nine days off. Things were back to normal in Boston.

Ramirez went 1-for-2 with a walk, Schilling won for the first time in more than a month and the Red Sox reduced their magic number for winning the AL East to three Tuesday night.

Their 7-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics coupled with Tampa Bay's 7-6 win in 10 innings over New York made it a good night all around for the Red Sox, who lead the Yankees by three games, but had lost six out of nine before Tuesday.

``I am sure it was an emotional lift for them to have players that were injured return,'' Athletics manager Bob Geren said. ``And to return the same day sure was a boost for them.''

Ramirez missed almost a month with a strained muscle in his left side. Schilling was rested as manager Terry Francona set up his postseason rotation. The Red Sox got even more good news on the injury front as Kevin Youkilis returned after missing seven games because of a bruised right wrist.

But it all started with Ramirez, who was serenaded by the sellout crowd at Fenway Park with ``Manny, Manny.'' He lined a single to right his first time up then scored on Mike Lowell's double, tying the score at 1 in the first inning.

``I'm not surprised,'' Francona said. ``He can do that.''

Francona put Ramirez in the second spot in the lineup for just the seventh time in his 1,995 games to get him an extra at-bat he might not have had if he hit in his usual cleanup slot.

``It's a good start,'' Francona said. ``The idea is to build, not go the other way, so we'll probably do something similar tomorrow. He came through and he said he felt fine.''

In other AL games on Tuesday, it was: Detroit 8, Minnesota 0; Texas 3, Los Angeles 1; Cleveland 4, Seattle 3 in 12 innings; Toronto 11, Baltimore 4; and Kansas City 9, Chicago 5.

Schilling (9-8) allowed one run and six hits and left after six innings with a 3-1 lead. He struck out six and didn't issue a walk in winning for the first time since Aug. 24. He admitted watching the scoreboard.

``When I went out for the fourth and I saw the Yankees had gone up 5-0, it was kind of, `Hey, no margin for error now,''' Schilling said. ``I thought we did some good things after that.''

After Ramirez led off the fifth with a walk, Chad Gaudin (11-13) walked the next three batters to force in a run. Jacoby Ellsbury added a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

Ellsbury singled in a run in the seventh and the Red Sox pulled away with three runs in the eighth on Bobby Kielty's sacrifice fly and David Ortiz's two-run homer, his 33rd.

The only run Schilling allowed was Daric Barton's third homer in the first.

Devil Rays 7, Yankees 6, 10 innings

Jorge Velandia hit a grand slam for his first career homer and Dioner Navarro added a solo shot in the 10th for Tampa Bay, which prevented the Yankees from clinching a playoff berth for the 13th straight season.

The Yankees lead Detroit by 4 1/2 games in the wild-card race, and their magic number to clinch a playoff berth remained at one.

Velandia's grand slam off Brian Bruney finished a six-run sixth and offset a grand slam by Alex Rodriguez, his major league-leading 53rd homer, that gave New York a 5-0 lead in the third. Navarro, who had a RBI double in the sixth, hit the winner off Jeff Karstens (1-4).

Gary Glover (6-5) pitched one scoreless inning for the victory for the last-place Devil Rays, who improved to 8-8 against New York.

Tigers 8, Twins 0

Magglio Ordonez homered and doubled and Yorman Bazardo threw seven innings as the Tigers stayed in playoff contention, barely.

The defending AL champions need to win the rest of their games this week and have the Yankees lose all of theirs to force a one-game playoff for the AL wild card.

Ordonez's double came in a three-run sixth and his 28th homer gave him a career-high 136 RBIs and put Detroit ahead 6-0 in the seventh.

Bazardo (2-1) gave up six hits and three walks while striking out five in his second major league start.

The Twins were shut out for the 14th time, most in the majors.

Rangers 3, Angels 1

Hank Blalock singled in the go-ahead run in the sixth as Texas beat the AL West champions for a second straight night.

Ian Kinsler led off the sixth with his third single of the game, advanced on a fielder's choice, took third on Marlon Byrd's infield hit and scored on a balk by Darren Oliver (3-1). Blalock then lined a single to right that made it 2-1.

Jamey Wright (4-5) pitched four scoreless innings in relief.

Erick Aybar of the Angels homered in the fifth, his first in 223 career at-bats.

Indians 4, Mariners 3, 12 innings

Kenny Lofton's sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th gave Cleveland the win and officially eliminated Seattle from postseason contention.

Asdrubal Cabrera opened the 12th with a four-pitch walk from Brandon Morrow (3-4). Ryan Rowland-Smith relieved and threw wildly to first on a pickoff. Cabrera easily reached third and Lofton hit his sacrifice fly on the first pitch.

Tom Mastny (7-2) gave up two hits and a walk in a scoreless inning. Rafael Betancourt earned his third save.

Adrian Beltre, who had three hits, had tied the game at 3 in the ninth with a one-out, two-run homer off Indians closer Joe Borowski. The league leader with 43 saves, Borowski suffered his seventh blown save.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 4

Frank Thomas went 4-for-4, including his 513th home run, and drove in three runs to lead Toronto. Thomas gave the Blue Jays a 6-0 lead in the third with a three-run drive off Brian Burres (6-7). Aaron Hill hit his 17th homer for the Blue Jays, matching Roberto Alomar's 1993 club record for a second baseman.

A.J. Burnett (10-7) gave up four runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings, improving to 5-0 in six career starts against Baltimore.

Miguel Tejada had three hits for the Orioles, who have yielded at least 10 runs in 17 games this season _ including nine of the last 34.

Royals 9, White Sox 5

Tony Pena tied a career-high with four hits, including his second homer of the season, for Kansas City, which trailed 5-1. Ross Gload hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the seventh to break a 5-all tie and he added another one in the ninth.

Paul Konerko hit a two-run double for the White Sox, who dropped into a tie for last with the Royals in the AL Central.

Brandon Duckworth (3-5) pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the victory.