Series: Game 1 of 4

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 6/23)

Game 1: Monday, June 23
Game 2: Tuesday, June 24
Game 3: Wednesday, June 25
Game 4: Thursday, June 26

Tigers 1

(18-55, 12-26 away)

Red Sox 3

(42-32, 23-11 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 23, 2003

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000000001 1 6 0
    BOS 00001101 - 3 10 0

    W: T. Wakefield (6-3)

    L: J. Bonderman (2-11)

    S: M. Timlin (2)

    Millar homers, drives in two runs

    BOSTON (AP) -- Tim Wakefield's back hurt him more than the Detroit Tigers did.

    Wakefield pitched six scoreless innings before leaving with a lower back injury and the Boston Red Sox snapped out of a brief slump by beating Detroit 3-1 Monday night.

    "He had them off balance all night," Boston's Todd Walker said. "You're supposed to play this game whether you're hurt or not."

    Kevin Millar drove in two runs with his 12th homer and a single. Alan Embree pitched two scoreless innings and Mike Timlin got three outs for his second save, allowing an RBI single to Alex Sanchez in the ninth.

    "Wake pitched great," Embree said. "It's too bad he couldn't (stay) in that seventh inning because he was really tough."

    Manager Grady Little hoped Wakefield (6-3) wouldn't miss a start. He stayed in the game after getting hurt, but there was some confusion about when that happened.

    Little said it occurred in the third inning when Wakefield fielded a bunt by Sanchez and made a twisting throw to first base. Trainer Jim Rowe said it happened in the fifth when he ran toward first base on a grounder.

    Several teammates didn't know Wakefield was hurt until he left after throwing one pitch in the seventh.

    "I didn't hear him talk to the trainer so I assumed he was OK," catcher Doug Mirabelli said. "He just called me out there (in the seventh). He felt his hip lock on him."

    Boston opened a seven-game homestand after a 2-4 road trip in which it managed only three hits in two of its last three games.

    Wakefield allowed four hits, two walks and struck out five. He struck out the side in the sixth, then left after throwing a ball to A.J. Hinch.

    Detroit, with baseball's worst record, dropped to 2-15 in its last 17 games.

    The Red Sox went up 1-0 in the fifth when Mirabelli doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on Johnny Damon's sacrifice fly.

    They made it 2-0 against Jeremy Bonderman (2-11) in the sixth but wasted an opportunity to pad the lead. With one out, they scored on singles by Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Millar before Trot Nixon grounded into a double play.

    "You can't accept anything," Bonderman said. "If we score just one run, I have to hold them to zero."

    Millar homered in the eighth off Chris Spurling.

    Bonderman, a rookie who was in Class-A last year, pitched well but got little help from the worst hitting team in the majors. For his fourth straight start, all lasting at least six innings, he allowed three earned runs or fewer.

    The poor record "makes you a tougher person," Bonderman said. "I know I still belong" in the majors.

    In six innings, he gave up two runs and eight hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

    The Tigers had runners on in five of the first six innings and stranded runners in scoring position in three of them. Their best chance came in the third when Hinch led off with a triple.

    Omar Infante then reached on a grounder to first baseman Ortiz, who missed a diving tag as Hinch stayed at third. But Sanchez struck out, and Warren Morris and Bobby Higginson grounded out.

    "Offensively, we really struggle," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "I know that, as a team, because it's been extended for a while, you tend to press."

    Game notes

    Trammell managed his first game at Fenway Park. He made his major league playing debut there Sept. 9, 1977, and singled in his first at-bat. ... Ramirez broke an 0-for-14 slump with a single in the fourth. ... Walker's double in the first gave the Red Sox an extra-base hit for only the second time in five games after getting at least one in each of their other 69 games. ... The sixth-inning double play was Detroit's 22nd to end an inning in its last 20 games. ... Boston RHP Chad Fox threw a simulated inning Sunday in his rehabilitation assignment. The reliever, on the disabled list since April 28, had been expected to pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday but the game was rained out.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press