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Millar homers to pace Red Sox rout

4/3/2003

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Kevin Millar is fitting right in
with the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox.

Millar homered and drove in four runs Thursday as the Red Sox
beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 14-5.

"We have great hitters. We have a great team," Millar said.
"It shows what we did this series. We had four different lineups
in there. It shows the confidence this team has."

Millar, sent to Boston by Florida after he backed out of a deal
with the Chunichi Dragons, was 6-for-12 in the series with two
homers and six RBI.

He had an RBI single off Nick Bierbrodt (0-1) in a five-run
third inning, a solo homer off reliever Jorge Sosa in the fifth and
a two-run double in the sixth. With a chance to hit for the cycle,
he flied out in the eighth.

Nomar Garciaparra and Shea Hillenbrand had three RBIs each for
Boston, which has won three straight after losing its opener to
Tampa Bay. Jason Varitek went 6-for-11 in the series with four
doubles and a homer.

"The offense has started clicking," he said.

Boston outscored Tampa Bay 34-24 despite only a 45-44 advantage
in hits.

"We're a confident bunch of players," Red Sox manager Grady
Little said. "You'll have those peaks and valleys throughout the
season, but right now we've got a lot of guys playing well."

New Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella was satisfied with his
offense.

"That's enough to at least split when you get decent
pitching," he said.

Casey Fossum (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits over five
innings. The left-hander eight -- including four of his first five
batters -- and walked two.

Rey Ordonez had three RBIs for Tampa Bay, giving him seven this
season -- he had 42 all of last season with the New York Mets.

Bierbrodt allowed seven runs and eight hits over four innings in
his first major league appearance since Oct. 4, 2001. He was
dropped from the rotation after severe wildness during spring
training last year.

After taking part in extended spring training, Bierbrodt made
one start at Class-A Charleston on June 5. Early in the morning two
days later, the left-hander was shot in the right arm and chest
while a passenger in an automobile at a Charleston drive-thru
restaurant.

"I treated it like, or at least felt like, I never left,"
Bierbrodt said. "After that first out, it was just go get 'em like
any other game."

Bill Mueller had an RBI double and Hillenbrand hit a two-single
as Boston went up 5-0 in the third. Mueller scored on catcher Toby
Hall's throwing error after Garciaparra reached on a wild pitch
while striking out.

"I felt good physically," Bierbrodt said. "After the wild
pitch, I couldn't get that third out. They have a good lineup. I
just didn't execute."

Hall hit a solo homer in the bottom half.

Garciaparra had a two-run single in the fourth and homered in
the eighth.

Ordonez's two-run single in the fourth pulled Tampa Bay to 7-3,
and he added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Game notes
Millar has two homers, a double and walked once in four
plate appearances against Sosa. He hit a tiebreaking homer in the
16th inning of Tuesday's 9-8 win. ... The Red Sox have scored 18
runs with two outs the past three games. ... Tampa Bay rookie CF
Rocco Baldelli had an eventful first inning at-bat. On the first
pitch, he hit teammate Aubrey Huff in the on-deck circle with a
foul ball. On the next pitch, Baldelli tripled to right-center,
giving him hits in all four games. ... Red Sox DH Manny Ramirez
singled in the third, extending his hitting streak to 17 games,
dating to last season. ... Shumpert hit fourth for the first time
in his 796-game career. He went 0-for-2 with a walk.

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