<
>

Millar homers, drives in two runs

6/24/2003

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.