Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 2

Boston won 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, September 2
Chi White Sox1
Game 2: Wednesday, September 3
in 10
Chi White Sox4

Red Sox 5

(81-58, 35-34 away)

White Sox 4

(73-66, 43-25 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 3, 2003

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    12345678910 R H E
    BOS 1000001201 5 11 1
    CWS 0010101100 4 13 0

    W: B. Kim (8-9)

    L: T. Gordon (6-6)

    Ramirez: Two hits in return to lineup

    CHICAGO (AP) -- David Ortiz finally leaves the AL Central, and still finds a way to haunt the Chicago White Sox.

    Ortiz homered in back-to-back at-bats Wednesday night, including a solo shot in the 10th inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 5-4 victory over the White Sox.

    The loss dropped Chicago into a first-place tie with Minnesota in the AL Central.

    "He definitely does some damage against us," Frank Thomas said of Ortiz. "We have to keep fighting. We just need to win by one game."

    Ortiz spent the previous five seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Chicago's fierce AL Central rival. And he was brutal to the White Sox when he was there, hitting .375 against them last year and .353 lifetime.

    He may have moved to Boston as a free agent in the offseason, but still knows how to give Chicago fits. He went 3-for-5 with four RBI Wednesday night, matching his career and season highs.

    "The guy's having a great season, and today made it even better," Boston manager Grady Little said. "He's a good kid, he's a good teammate and he means a lot to this ballclub."

    Manny Ramirez showed how much he means to the Red Sox, too. Back in the lineup a day after being benched, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored and made a great defensive play in the ninth to save what would have been a game-winning run for the White Sox.

    With the victory, Boston moved three games behind the AL East-leading Yankees heading into their weekend series. The Red Sox also pulled even with Seattle in the wild-card race.

    "Obviously some things have been going on the last week, and people like to stir up controversy," Boston pitcher Derek Lowe said. "We stay together. And we don't let one game affect us. This game isn't going to affect Friday night's game."

    Both teams struggled to get clutch hits early. The Red Sox left runners at second and third in both the sixth and seventh innings, while the White Sox stranded six through the first six innings.

    But they found their grooves in the seventh, and Ramirez and Ortiz seemed to have sealed a victory in the eighth.

    Ramirez was out of the lineup Tuesday in a thinly veiled punishment for his recent behavior. He missed the weekend series against the Yankees with a severe sore throat, yet was spotted out Saturday night.

    Then when Little asked him to pinch-hit Monday, Ramirez said he was still "too weak."

    Though Little claimed he wasn't punishing Ramirez by benching him, the message was clear. And Ramirez apparently got it.

    He drew a leadoff walk off Scott Sullivan in the eighth, and Ortiz followed with a home run to give Boston the 4-3 lead.

    "I was surprised Ortiz didn't hit the ball further -- it was right down the middle of the plate," Sullivan said. "A big ballgame like that, there's no excuses, to tell you the truth. I just didn't get the job done."

    Jose Valentin bailed out Sullivan with a leadoff homer in the eighth off Mike Timlin, and the White Sox had a chance to win it in the ninth. Thomas singled with one out, and Aaron Rowand came in to run.

    Magglio Ordonez hit a grounder down the left-field line that rolled to the wall. Third-base coach Bruce Kimm decided to send Rowand, but Ramirez made a perfect throw to Nomar Garciaparra, who rifled the ball home to beat Rowand by about 5 feet.

    "The key to that play was the throw Manny made to Nomar," Little said. "It was a well-executed play, and that made the difference in the game being over or not."

    It also gave Ortiz another chance to shine. With one out in the 10th, he took Tom Gordon (6-6) deep for a game-winning solo homer. It was Ortiz's 25th homer, and ninth in his last 13 games.

    "Why should I feel pressure?" Ortiz said. "It just takes your ability away from you. You don't put pressure on yourself, your muscles are loose and things work out."

    Joe Crede looked as if he might tie the game again, hitting a fly ball to deep right. But Gabe Kapler caught the ball at the warning track to end it.

    Kim (7-4) gave up two hits in two innings. Gordon gave up just one hit in 1 1-3 innings, but it was Ortiz's homer.

    "I'm not really worried if someone thinks I'm a hot hitter," Ortiz said. "I just try to help my team, not try to overdo things."

    Game notes

    White Sox manager Jerry Manuel was ejected in the bottom of the eighth for arguing a called strikeout on pinch-hitter Tony Graffanino. ... Varitek had been in a 1-for-16 slump in his last six games before his homer. ... Valentin's single in the sixth broke an 0-for-24 slump.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press