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Boston swats season-high 21 hits

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox no longer need to rely so
heavily on Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

While Ramirez hit two of Boston's five home runs, the Red Sox
used a balanced attack, amassing a season-high 21 hits to rout the
Texas Rangers 14-6 on Saturday night for their fifth straight
victory.

"With everyone back (healthy), it's just the added confidence
that everyone needed," said Red Sox second baseman Mark Bellhorn,
who tied a career high with four hits, including a homer and three
RBI.

"Manny and David have carried us, but now up and down the
lineup we know we can get it done."

Bellhorn, Nomar Garciaparra, and Jason Varitek also homered for
the Red Sox, who have their longest winning streak since also
winning five in a row May 21-26. Boston roughed up Kenny Rogers,
who entered leading the majors with 12 wins.

The Red Sox's Nos. 1-4 hitters -- Johnny Damon, Bellhorn,
Garciaparra, and Ramirez -- went a combined 15-for-21 with four
homers and 10 RBI. Bellhorn, Garciaparra and Ramirez each had four
hits.

"The top of our lineup tonight was unbelievable," Red Sox
manager Terry Francona said.

Derek Lowe (7-8) got off to a rough start, allowing six unearned
runs in the second inning -- including Hank Blalock's grand slam.

But the Rangers' 6-3 lead didn't last long. The Red Sox scored
five runs off Rogers (12-3) in the bottom of the second. Bellhorn
and Ramirez each hit two-run homers in the inning to put the Red
Sox up 8-6 and end the night for Rogers.

"As frustrating as it was to give up six in the second inning,
it was that much more rewarding to see (us) continually score
runs," Lowe said.

It was the shortest start of the season for Rogers, who gave up
eight runs over just 1 2/3 innings. The loss snapped a career-high,
personal eight-game winning streak. Rogers refused comment after
the game, but said his pulled right hamstring was not a factor in
his poor performance.

"I tip my hat to the Red Sox," Rangers manager Buck Showalter
said. "They've done that to a lot of good pitchers this year."

Bellhorn's 11th homer came after he committed two errors at
second base in the top of the second that led to the Rangers'
unearned runs.

Lowe, who allowed 17 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings in losing his
previous three starts, held the Rangers in check after the second,
surrendering only one hit over his last five innings. He gave up
four hits before being relieved by Alan Embree in the eighth
inning.

"The one pitch to Blalock, he left a fastball up that got
hammered," Francona said. "But he continued to make them put the
ball in play. And then he came back after that inning and was
fantastic."

The Red Sox added three more runs in the third inning off John
Wasdin on Garciaparra's double and Ramirez's second two-run homer --
his AL-leading 25th.

Ramirez tied his season high for RBI in a game with five when
he singled in the fifth.

Varitek's two run shot in the eighth -- his 10th -- gave the Red
Sox a 14-6 lead.

Garciaparra, the Red Sox's DH, hit a two-run homer to put the
Red Sox on top 3-0. He has 18 hits in his last 35 at-bats,
including his fourth homer of the season -- third in his last eight
games.

Game notes
Damon has hit in 15 straight games, and has seven straight
multihit games. ... Bellhorn tied his career high for hits. The
last time he had four hits in a game was with Oakland against
Boston on Aug. 21, 1997. ... The homer by Garciaparra was the first
of his career when not starting at shortstop. ... The Rangers
activated center fielder Laynce Nix before the game and optioned
rookie right-hander Nick Regilio to Triple-A Oklahoma.