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Damon, Baerga handle offense as Red Sox roll

6/5/2002

DETROIT (AP) -- Johnny Damon has given the Detroit Tigers a
glimpse of what it would've been like if he had signed with them in
the offseason.

After going 3-for-4 on Monday, Damon had four hits and scored
four times Tuesday to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 10-5 win over
Detroit.

"I've been feeling really good in batting practice, and it has
carried over to the games here,'' Damon said. "I'm just seeing the
ball really well.''

Damon had a homer and two doubles to go with three RBI. He had a
chance to hit for the cycle but flew out to center field in the
eighth inning.

"He threw me a slider away and I tried to pull it,'' he said.
"I just don't have the power for that.''

Carlos Baerga drove in four runs for Boston, and Shea
Hillenbrand also went 4-for-5 for his third four-hit game of the
season. Hillenbrand drove in two runs for the Red Sox, who improved
to 23-6 on the road.

John Burkett allowed four runs in the first two innings, but
settled down to match teammate Pedro Martinez at 7-0 this season.
Burkett allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks in six innings,
striking out three.

"I didn't have good control early, and I was getting behind the
hitters,'' Burkett said. "I was struggling, so I was glad that I
was able to settle down. That's happened a couple times, but the
guys are hitting behind me and playing good defense. That's how we
got this record.''

Jose Lima (1-4) took the loss in relief, allowing five runs in 3
1-3 innings. Lima has allowed nine runs over 5 1-3 innings in his
last two outings, both losses.

"I used (Jeff) Farnsworth for three innings yesterday, so today
was Jose's turn,'' Tigers manager Luis Pujols said. "Long relief
is his job, but he threw 50 pitches and gave up five runs.''

Tigers starter Seth Greisinger lasted just 2 2/3 innings. He
gave up four runs and five hits.

Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Nomar Garciaparra's
sacrifice fly, but the Tigers tied the game in the bottom half on
Ramon Santiago's second leadoff homer in two nights. Santiago, who
homered just twice in a full season of Class-A ball last season,
has hit three in the last two games -- the first three of his major
league career.

"I'm not trying to hit homers -- I'm only 158 pounds,'' Santiago
said. "I'm just trying to hit hard line drives, and I'm not sure
what is happening in these two days.''

Detroit made it 4-1 off Burkett in the second on RBIs by Wendell
Magee, Brandon Inge and Damion Easley, but Greisinger couldn't hold
it.

With one out in the third, Lou Merloni doubled and scored on
Damon's blooped double to left. Baerga's RBI single pulled the Red
Sox within 4-3 and, after Baerga stole second without a throw,
Hillenbrand tied the game with a single to left.

"Seth just didn't have good command, and you can't afford to
pitch from behind against an offense like Boston,'' Pujols said.
"And Baerga was already running when he started his windup, and he
didn't do anything. You can't do that in the major leagues.''

Lima relieved and got the final out of the inning, striking out
Jason Varitek, but couldn't keep the Tigers in the game.

With one out in the fourth, Lima hit Trot Nixon with a pitch and
walked Merloni. Damon then singled off left fielder Craig
Paquette's glove and Baerga hit a bases-clearing liner past first
baseman Randall Simon.

"Carlos has done a lot of great things for us that haven't
shown up in the stats,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. "He's
like another coach out there, and now that he is getting a chance
to play, he's getting it done on the field as well.''

Damon made it 9-4 with a two-run homer off Lima in the sixth,
but the Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the inning on
Brandon Inge's RBI triple off the scoreboard in right-center.

Game notes
In what is becoming a common occurrence at Tigers games,
there was an oddly-timed cheer in the sixth inning when
radio-equipped fans heard that the Detroit Red Wings had taken a
1-0 lead over Carolina in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. The
hockey game was being played at Joe Louis Arena, located a few
minutes from Comerica Park. ... The last time two Red Sox pitchers
started the season 7-0 was in 1946, when Mickey Harris and Dave
Ferriss did it. Boston lost that year's World Series to the St.
Louis Cardinals. ... Santiago was the first Tiger to lead off
back-to-back games with a homer since Lou Whitaker did it against
the Angels on May 6-7, 1983. ... Dmitri Young extended his hitting
streak to 17 games with a first-inning single.