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Disputed homer sparks Red Sox to rally against Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox needed a break after a rough road trip and a reversed call that led to a disputed homer by the Detroit Tigers.

They got it by scoring the go-ahead run on a strikeout and held on for a 9-8 win Friday night -- their 14th in a row at Fenway Park, where they play 24 of their 36 remaining games.

"Smart hitting," Boston manager Terry Francona deadpanned about Johnny Damon, who struck out and reached first on a wild pitch that allowed Bill Mueller to score for a 6-5 lead in the sixth. "But we also took advantage."

The Red Sox scored three more runs in that inning and overcame four Detroit homers as Mike Timlin, their newest closer, got three outs for his third save in eight chances.

The best team on the field may have been the grounds crew, which worked long hours to resod half the outfield after it was damaged by the huge stage used for two Rolling Stones concerts.

"It actually played well. I give Dave Mellor and his staff a lot of credit for getting it in good shape," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said, referring to the grounds crew chief. "Certainly, it's not perfect, but how could it be."

Tim Wakefield (13-10) gave up five runs in six innings, and Jeremi Gonzalez allowed consecutive homers to Ivan Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez in the seventh.

Chad Bradford allowed a run in the eighth and Timlin finished. He's the closer with Keith Foulke still on the disabled list and Curt Schilling back in the rotation.

"He's been solid for us all year, and we need him now more than ever," catcher Doug Mirabelli said.

Manny Ramirez drove in three runs in the opener of a season-long 14-game homestand. Boston, which leads the second-place New York Yankees by 2½ games in the AL East, came off a 4-6 trip that ended with two losses in three games at Kansas City.

"We fed off our fans and we fed off each other," Trot Nixon said.

Boston, a major league-best 39-18 at home, fell behind 5-3 in the fourth on two-run homers by Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson.

First-base umpire Jim Wolf ruled that Granderson's high fly near the Pesky Pole in right was foul, but the call was reversed after the four umpires consulted. Francona ran from the dugout and was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Randy Marsh.

"I didn't think that there was any question that it was fair," Trammell said.

Boston's hitters "just keep coming at you," he added. "You give up nine runs, you're probably going to lose."

Francona said he was upset because he had just received a memo from major league baseball saying that umpires' decisions must be "conclusive" when they consult each other.

"When an umpire in the middle of the field overrules it, that word `conclusive' " doesn't fit, Francona said. "I had a hard time understanding that."

Wakefield retired nine of his next 10 batters and left after six innings with the Red Sox leading 9-5.

Boston tied the score in the fifth on an RBI double by David Ortiz and a run-scoring groundout by Nixon, who hustled down the line and just avoided an inning-ending play by beating the throw from shortstop John McDonald.

Mueller doubled off Jason Johnson (7-10) leading off the sixth, Mirabelli walked and Alex Cora sacrificed. Damon struck out but reached first when the ball got past catcher Rodriguez, allowing Mueller to score.

Tony Graffanino singled in a run, and Ramirez hit a two-run double that increased Boston's lead to 9-5 and boosted Ramirez's major league-leading RBI total to 115.

Johnson gave up all nine runs, nine hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. Detroit has lost three straight after winning seven of eight.

Wakefield was hit by a batted ball for the second straight game when Dmitri Young's shot struck near his right knee in the first. On Aug. 18, Wakefield left after 4 1/3 innings when Casey Kotchman's ball struck him lower on the same leg at Anaheim.

Wakefield allowed Rodriguez's RBI single in the first, but Boston made it 3-1 in the third on sacrifice flies by Damon and Nixon, and a bases-loaded walk to Ramirez.

Notes

  • SS Edgar Renteria didn't start after Boston's plane from Kansas City arrived home at 3:45 a.m. but pinch hit in the eighth and singled.
  • Ortiz was back in the starting lineup after missing one game with a bruised left palm.
  • Detroit has 19 homers in its last nine games.
  • Boston's home attendance is 2,004,342. It reached the 2 million mark in its 57th game, one game earlier than last year.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tony Graffanino scores on Manny Ramirez' sixth-inning double. (AP)
Tony Graffanino scores on Manny Ramirez' sixth-inning double. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

M. Ramirez
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Detroit

C. Granderson
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Detroit Tigers
Placido Polanco, 2B3101100 .335
Chris Shelton, 1B5000004 .313
Ivan Rodriguez, C5122001 .288
Magglio Ordonez, RF5121001 .307
Dmitri Young, DH5030001 .270
Craig Monroe, LF4100115 .282
Brandon Inge, 3B5112023 .266
John McDonald, SS3110000 .296
   a- Nook Logan, PH1110000 .265
    Omar Infante, SS0000000 .231
Curtis Granderson, CF4132000 .314
Totals4081382315 
a-singled for McDonald in the 8th
Batting
2B - John McDonald (5, Wakefield)
HR - Ivan Rodriguez (12, Gonzalez), Magglio Ordonez (7, Gonzalez), Brandon Inge (11, Wakefield), Curtis Granderson (4, Wakefield)
SF - Placido Polanco (3)
RBI - Placido Polanco (47), Ivan Rodriguez 2 (45), Magglio Ordonez (37), Brandon Inge 2 (58), Curtis Granderson 2 (9)
SB - Nook Logan (21, 3rd base off Bradford/Mirabelli), Curtis Granderson (1, 2nd base off Bradford/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - John McDonald (5, Wild throw)
Detroit Tigers
Jason Johnson (L,7-10) 5.2999430 4.43
Chris Spurling 1.1000000 3.28
Jamie Walker 1100010 3.27
WP - Jason Johnson 2 (14)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Johnson 98-57, Chris Spurling 12-10, Jamie Walker 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Johnson 5-10, Chris Spurling 1-3, Jamie Walker 1-1
Batters Faced - Jason Johnson 31, Chris Spurling 4, Jamie Walker 4
Boston Red Sox
Johnny Damon, CF4101011 .325
Tony Graffanino, 2B4331100 .310
David Ortiz, DH4111113 .293
Manny Ramirez, LF3023101 .288
Trot Nixon, RF3002001 .287
Kevin Millar, 1B4000023 .271
    John Olerud, 1B0000000 .296
Bill Mueller, 3B4110000 .299
Doug Mirabelli, C3210100 .219
Alex Cora, SS2110000 .222
   a- Edgar Renteria, PH-SS1010000 .289
Totals329108449 
a-singled for Cora in the 8th
Batting
2B - David Ortiz (36, J. Johnson), Manny Ramirez (27, J. Johnson), Bill Mueller (28, J. Johnson), Doug Mirabelli (4, J. Johnson)
SF - Johnny Damon (4), Trot Nixon (5)
SH - Alex Cora (3)
RBI - Johnny Damon (60), Tony Graffanino (29), David Ortiz (109), Manny Ramirez 3 (115), Trot Nixon 2 (53)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (40)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Doug Mirabelli (5)
E - Kevin Millar (6, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (W,13-10) 6754212 4.35
Jeremi Gonzalez 0.1322002 5.44
Chad Bradford (H,6) 1.2211010 2.87
Mike Timlin (S,3) 1100010 1.93
WP - Tim Wakefield (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 101-67, Jeremi Gonzalez 17-11, Chad Bradford 36-27, Mike Timlin 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 2-16, Jeremi Gonzalez 1-0, Chad Bradford 3-1
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 28, Jeremi Gonzalez 4, Chad Bradford 7, Mike Timlin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35056
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Larry Vanover