Oakland at Boston

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Oakland (75-83)100000002391
Boston (93-64) «10002013x790

BoSox hold off Athletics as Manny returns to lineup

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- On a night of comebacks, the Boston Red Sox were most encouraged by the return of Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez singled in his first at-bat after missing 24 games, Kevin Youkilis came back from a seven-game absence and Curt Schilling won for the first time in more than a month as the Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 Tuesday night.

And there was one more comeback left.

Less than an hour after the Red Sox finished, Tampa Bay's Dioner Navarro homered in the 10th to beat New York 7-6. That lowered Boston's magic number to three to win the AL East for the first time in 12 years.

The Red Sox extend their lead to three games over the Yankees with five games left for both.

"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."

Ramirez was sidelined with a strained muscle in his left side sustained against the Yankees on Aug. 28.

But in his first time up, he lined a single to right then scored on Mike Lowell's double, tying the score at 1 in the first inning.

"I'm not surprised," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He can do that."

Ramirez also walked to start a two-run fifth. He then left the game, as Francona had planned, when Brandon came in as a pinch-runner.

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 bat he might not have had if he hit in his usual No. 4 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."

Schilling also had plenty of rest and it paid off with his first win since Aug. 24.

Francona is already arranging his rotation for the playoffs, and Schilling (9-8) pitched for the first time in nine days.

Schilling (9-8) allowed one run and left after six innings with a 3-1 lead. He struck out six and allowed six hits and no walks by mixing up his pitches.

"I feel good about throwing any pitch in any count," he said. "I feel as good as I can feel."

But it was Ramirez's return that excited the crowd, especially with Boston having lost six of its previous nine games. As he walked to the plate in the first, fans chanted, "Manny, Manny."

"The crowd reaction was getting me pumped up," Oakland's Jack Cust said.

Youkilis pinch-hit for Eric Hinske in the fifth then took over at first base. Like Ramirez, he was hurt against the Yankees when he sustained a bruised right wrist when hit by Chien-Ming Wang's pitch.

"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."

After Ramirez led off the fifth with a walk, Chad Gaudin (11-13) walked the next three batters with the last, J.D. Drew, forcing in a run. Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly drove in David Ortiz for a 3-1 lead.

The only run Schilling allowed was Daric Barton's third homer of the season in the first. Barton has reached base in all 14 games he's played since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 10.

Ellsbury singled in a run in the bottom of 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.

Oakland scored twice in the ninth on Jack Hannahan's double and Kurt Suzuki's sacrifice fly.

The game was the first between the teams since June 7 when Schilling came within one out of his first no-hitter. Shannon Stewart broke it up with a line single to right with two outs in the ninth at Oakland, but the Red Sox won 1-0.

Schilling hasn't gotten much offensive help recently, either.

In his previous four starts before Tuesday, the Red Sox scored a total of five runs while he was in the game. He had a 3.38 ERA in that span but was 0-3.

Notes

  • Gaudin is 3-10 with a 6.80 ERA since the All-Star break. He was 8-3 with a 2.88 ERA before it.
  • In his last 50 2-3 innings, Schilling has issued four walks.
  • Oakland reliever Ruddy Lugo faced his brother, Julio, for the first time and walked him. "You've got to forget it's your brother. You want to get a hit," Julio said. "It's very special."
  • Schilling's six strikeouts gave him 3,116 for his career, one behind Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals who is 13th in major league history.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Red Sox fans are pleased to see Manny Ramirez return to the lineup with all his style and grace.  (AP)
Red Sox fans are pleased to see Manny Ramirez return to the lineup with all his style and grace. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Oakland

D. Barton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Oakland Athletics
Shannon Stewart, LF5010002 .290
Daric Barton, 1B4121001 .345
Nick Swisher, CF4010002 .265
Jack Cust, RF3010111 .262
Mark Ellis, 2B4000014 .271
Dan Johnson, DH3110111 .233
Marco Scutaro, SS4110032 .262
Jack Hannahan, 3B3011111 .287
Kurt Suzuki, C3011011 .255
Totals3339338  
Batting
2B - Nick Swisher (36, Schilling), Jack Hannahan (12, Corey)
HR - Daric Barton (3, Schilling)
SF - Kurt Suzuki (5)
RBI - Daric Barton (7), Jack Hannahan (23), Kurt Suzuki (38)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Ellis-Barton
PB - Kurt Suzuki (7)
E - Marco Scutaro (14, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Chad Gaudin (L,11-13) 4333730 4.56
Lenny DiNardo 2.2311110 4.12
Ruddy Lugo 0.2122100 5.67
Dan Meyer 0.2211101 8.82
IBB - Varitek by Lenny DiNardo
WP - Dan Meyer (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 93-46, Lenny DiNardo 41-23, Ruddy Lugo 24-14, Dan Meyer 27-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 5-5, Lenny DiNardo 2-4
Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 23, Lenny DiNardo 11, Ruddy Lugo 4, Dan Meyer 5
Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5110003 .314
Manny Ramirez, LF2110101 .293
    Brandon Moss, PR-LF0100000 .217
   a- Bobby Kielty, PH-LF1001001 .232
David Ortiz, DH3212200 .321
Mike Lowell, 3B4011100 .324
J.D. Drew, RF4131112 .265
Jason Varitek, C2000314 .255
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4012005 .367
Eric Hinske, 1B1000100 .206
   b- Kevin Youkilis, PH-1B2000004 .287
Julio Lugo, SS3110122 .240
Totals31797104  
a-grounded into a double play for Moss in the 6th
b-popped out for Hinske in the 5th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (36, R. Lugo), Mike Lowell (36, Gaudin), J.D. Drew (29, Gaudin)
HR - David Ortiz (33, Meyer)
SF - Bobby Kielty (4), Jacoby Ellsbury (2)
RBI - Bobby Kielty (12), David Ortiz 2 (114), Mike Lowell (111), J.D. Drew (58), Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (13)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Lowell-Pedroia-Hinske, Pedroia-Lugo
Boston Red Sox
Curt Schilling (W,9-8) 6611061 3.87
Manny Delcarmen (H,11) 1000120 2.14
Eric Gagne (H,4) 0.2100100 3.96
Jonathan Papelbon (H,2) 0.1000000 1.92
Bryan Corey 1222100 2.16
Pitches-Strikes - Curt Schilling 86-62, Manny Delcarmen 18-11, Eric Gagne 25-14, Jonathan Papelbon 1-1, Bryan Corey 22-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Curt Schilling 6-5
Batters Faced - Curt Schilling 23, Manny Delcarmen 4, Eric Gagne 4, Jonathan Papelbon 1, Bryan Corey 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36708
Game Time - 3:22
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Gary Darling