BOSTON (AP) -- David Ortiz lined a game-winning single that no
one could catch after teammate Manny Ramirez gave away a lead on a
popup he should have caught.
Ortiz's single in the bottom of the ninth inning followed his
homer in the seventh, and the Boston Red Sox won 2-1 Friday night
in the Los Angeles Dodgers' first game at Fenway Park."Manny's picked us up a lot," Ortiz said. "It's time we
picked him up."The Red Sox were one out from victory in the ninth with Alex
Cora at first following his single. But Ramirez let Olmedo Saenz's
wind-blown popup to left field drop next to him for a two-base
error, allowing Cora to score."I just went hard. I gave it my best and I dropped the ball,"
Ramirez said, before joking: "There goes my Gold Glove."Fielding isn't Ramirez's forte, but that didn't make manager
Terry Francona feel any better when he saw the ball land."That was about as close to tears as I've been in a long
time," he said. "He cares a lot. It wouldn't have surprised me if
David Ortiz wouldn't have gotten a hit, Manny would have hit one
off the wall or over."Ortiz, who bats one spot ahead of cleanup hitter Ramirez, has 52
RBI in 59 games and is hitting .292 with seven hits in his last
nine at-bats.Derek Lowe pitched seven shutout innings, Mike Timlin added
another and Keith Foulke (2-0) allowed the unearned run before
Boston got its fifth win in six games."I feel bad," said Ramirez, who never touched Saenz's popup,
"but that's why you have teammates to go out there and pick you
up."In the ninth, Johnny Damon walked against lefty Tom Martin
(0-1), went to third on Mark Bellhorn's double to left and scored
on Ortiz's single just inside the right-field line on an 0-2 pitch."No excuse for walking Johnny Damon in the first place,"
Martin said. "I thought I had Bellhorn struck out on the
curveball. The curveball to Ortiz probably got more of the plate
than it should have. Bad pitches, bad results."Odalis Perez pitched the first eight innings for Los Angeles,
allowing one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. He
allowed just one runner to reach scoring position through the first
six innings."He had great stuff," Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "We
should have four or five wins in a row, but we haven't scored
runs."The Dodgers, who fell one game behind NL West leader San Diego,
are coming off a 1-2 record in a series against Toronto in which
they lost the first two games 7-1 and 4-0.Lowe shut them down but was deprived of a victory by Ramirez's
error. His ERA dropped from 6.55 to 5.83 ERA as he allowed five
hits in seven innings.The only previous regular-season meetings between the Red Sox
and Dodgers were in June 2002, when the Dodgers swept a three-game
series in Los Angeles.The teams also faced each other in the 1916 World Series when
the Dodgers were in Brooklyn. The Red Sox won the series in five
games, but the three games in Boston were played at Braves Field
because the NL team's stadium had a larger seating capacity than
Fenway.On Friday, Ortiz hit a 2-0 pitch in the seventh into the
Dodgers' bullpen in right field for a 1-0 lead.Lowe struck out four and walked four while allowing runners in
six of his seven innings. The Dodgers put runners in scoring
position in four of them."He got himself into some trouble," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy
said. "The opportunity was there for us to score some runs."The Dodgers threatened in the third. With two outs, they loaded
the bases on a single by Dave Roberts and walks to Cesar Izturis
and Milton Bradley. But Shawn Green struck out.
The Red Sox activated RHP Scott Williamson from the
disabled list and sent C-1B Andy Dominique to Triple-A Pawtucket.
... Former Dodgers LHP and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax sat next to
owner Frank McCourt Jr. in a box seat near the Los Angeles dugout.
... Green struck out three times. ... Bellhorn extended his hitting
streak to a career-best 10 games.