BOSTON -- David Ortiz gestured enthusiastically after hitting a three-run double. The slumping slugger had reason to be excited.
"I've been begging for a hit. I've been fighting so much," said Ortiz, who worked an 0-2 count to 3-2 before doubling to right field off Todd Williams. "You just forget about the at-bat before and go back and fight for the next one."
The 3-2 count "forced me to make a little bit better pitch than maybe getting him to chase one," Williams said.
Ortiz's double helped Curt Schilling (5-1) rebound from his only loss of the season. Schilling struck out five and didn't walk a batter in seven innings, allowing three runs and eight hits.
"I'm disappointed in a few things but, overall, it was a good win for us," said Schilling, who didn't win his fifth game until Aug. 19 last season when he was hampered by an injured right ankle.
Ortiz was 0-for-3 with a strikeout Friday before Mark Loretta loaded the bases with a bunt single toward third base where Melvin Mora was playing very deep. With no one warming up for Baltimore, Loretta knew that if he reached base the right-handed Williams would have to face the lefty Ortiz.
"A walk in that situation is a go-ahead run and I'll take David in that situation any time," said Loretta, who also was slumping with five hits in his previous 30 at-bats before the bunt single.
Williams replaced Rodrigo Lopez (1-4) when Loretta came up with two outs and the score tied at 3.
"I thought I had enough strength to get out of the inning, but I think they made the move that they think was right and, well, this time it didn't work," Lopez said. "It was a good move. It's not about me, it's about the team."
Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 12 opportunities.
The game marked the return to Fenway Park of Kevin Millar, Boston's first baseman the past three seasons who left after the Red Sox declined to pursue him in free agency. He went 2-for-3 with a run but Baltimore lost its ninth straight game to Boston, including four this year.
The 30-second standing ovation he received on his first at-bat "meant a lot," he said, but his buddy Ortiz ruined his return. "He's the best there is in those moments."
With one out in the sixth, Mike Lowell tied a career high with his third double of the game. He stayed at second when Wily Mo Pena grounded to shortstop, then stole third with Alex Gonzalez at the plate. He scored when Gonzalez, in a 2-for-20 slump, doubled to tie the game and raise his batting average to .190.
"He's a good hitter," said Lowell, Gonzalez's teammate in Florida the past four seasons. "I just hope maybe this kind of jump starts things and he can get on a roll."
Kevin Youkilis then walked, bringing on Williams and the popup bunt by Loretta that went far enough to elude Williams and set the stage for Ortiz, whose last hit was a three-run homer that produced the final runs in Monday night's 7-3 win over the New York Yankees.
"Where (Mora) was playing I knew all I had to do was hit it hard to third and there was no way he can get me," Loretta said. "He was literally almost on the grass."
Baltimore had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on singles by Mora and Miguel Tejada and a grounder by Jay Gibbons. Boston tied it in the bottom of the inning when Youkilis led off with his third homer of the season.
The Red Sox went ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Lowell doubled and scored when Pena singled and right fielder Gibbons bobbled the ball for an error.
- Lowell leads the majors with 16 doubles.
- When Fahey was thrown out trying to steal in the fifth he became only the fourth Oriole to be caught in 26 steal attempts this season.
- The Red Sox passed the 500,000 mark in attendance in their 14th home game for the first time in team history. They did it in the 15th game in each of the last two seasons then added seats for this season. The crowd of 36,515 Friday night was the 240th straight sellout at Fenway Park and boosted the season total to 507,855.