Manny homers in third consecutive game

BOSTON (AP) -- His teammates held their spots in the dugout. The crowd was hanging on every pitch. David Wells had been through this before.

The Boston left-hander pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball Tuesday night before Ryan Freel singled, and then Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke finished the combined one-hitter in the Red Sox's 7-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

"I knew it was going on. You just try to stay within the same routine when you've got a no-hitter going on," Wells (5-4) said after striking out five and walking two to win his third consecutive decision.

"It would have been nice to get, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. It's a tough thing to do. Everything has to go right. And a lot of luck is involved," he said.

Wells should know -- he threw a perfect game for the Yankees in 1998 (and later claimed he was "half drunk," partying until just a few hours beforehand).

On Tuesday, Wells hit Sean Casey in the right elbow in the third inning -- the Reds' only baserunner in the first five innings. Dane Sardinha hit a fly ball to center field for the second out in the sixth before Freel lined a single to right-center to end the no-hit bid.

"He was hitting a lot of pitches on the outside corner," Freel said. "I cheated and was able to get some wood on it."

But that was all the offense the Reds could muster. The only time they got a baserunner to second was when Wells walked two in a row with two outs in the seventh.

"It was the David Wells show," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "He was right on us."

Luke Hudson (1-1) allowed three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out five in five innings.

Manny Ramirez, who went 69 at-bats without a homer before hitting one on Sunday, homered for the third consecutive game. He hit one Monday night to help Boston beat Cincinnati in their first meeting since the 1975 World Series and then hit his 14th in the
seventh inning Tuesday.

Bill Mueller had two singles and drove in three runs for Boston and Trot Nixon and Kevin Millar each had a pair of hits to help the Red Sox win their third in a row.

Wells extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings, the longest by a Boston pitcher this year. But he walked Wily Mo Pena and Adam Dunn with two outs in the seventh, snapping a streak of 31 2/3 innings without allowing a base on balls.

Felipe Lopez flied out to end the inning on Wells' 110th pitch, a season high.

Ramirez walked to lead off the second inning and, one out later, Millar walked. Jason Varitek singled to load the bases and Mueller singled in two runs. After Mark Bellhorn struck out, Johnny Damon
doubled to score Varitek and make it 3-0.

Boston made it 5-0 off Ryan Wagner in the sixth and added two more in the seventh.

Cy Young pitched the only perfect game in Red Sox history, beating Philadelphia 3-0 on May 5, 1904.

In the greatest relief outing in baseball history, Ernie Shore relieved Babe Ruth on June 23, 1917, when he was ejected after walking the leadoff batter. The baserunner was caught stealing and Shore retired the final 26 batters.

Game notes
Wells is 15-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 28 career interleague starts. ... Casey struck out swinging to end the first inning after going 73 plate appearances without a whiff -- the longest streak in the majors this season. ... Casey will miss Wednesday's game because of a death in the family. His absence will also force him to miss a charity event planned in Lawrence, Mass. ... Boston outfielder Adam Stern, claimed from Atlanta in the Rule 5 draft, hopes to report to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday after spending the season on the disabled list, manager Terry Francona said. The Red Sox have 20 days from the time Stern starts playing to decide whether to keep him or offer him back to the Braves. ... Francona was back after
missing Monday's game to attend his daughter's high school graduation. He said there were 809 graduates but he got reports from the game against Cincinnati. "Thank God we were up 5-0 because the last 600 [graduates] were more tolerable," he said.