Red Sox rally after witnessing line drive to Clement's head

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Clement was conscious and
alert, and that meant more to the Boston Red Sox than beating the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays and holding onto first place in the AL East.

Clement was carted from the field and taken to a nearby hospital
after Carl Crawford's line drive caromed off the right side of the
pitcher's head for an RBI single in the third inning of a game the
World Series champions later rallied to win 10-9 in 10 innings
Tuesday night.

"He was calm. He knew what was going on. He never blacked
out," Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon said. "That was definitely
a great sight to see that he was talking, knew where he was and
what was going on."

Clement could be seen blinking his eyes when he was lifted off
the ground and strapped onto a stretcher, and Boston medical
director Dr. Thomas Gill later issued a statement saying a CT scan
was negative.

"I have spoken with Matt and his doctors in Florida," Gill
said. "Matt himself never lost consciousness and is in good
spirits. ... He appears to be doing well, but will stay in the
hospital for precautionary purposes and will be re-evaluated in the

Red Sox manager Terry Francona planned to visit Clement in the

"I talked to his wife. The medical people have talked to her,
and he's talked to her," Francona said. "He's OK. All the tests
came back [negative]. He'll be re-examined. ... Hopefully
everything will be OK, and he can go home with us."

The game resumed after an 11-minute delay with Chad Bradford
replacing Clement and the Red Sox leading 5-1. Three batters later,
Aubrey Huff hit his second grand slam in five nights for Tampa Bay
to tie the score.

Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek and Damon homered for the Red Sox,
who snapped an 8-8 tie on Damon's solo shot on the first pitch of
the 10th from Danys Baez (5-3). Varitek added an RBI double to give
Curt Schilling (3-4) a two-run lead.

The Devil Rays scored on Travis Lee's RBI double in the bottom
of the 10th, but Schilling held on for his second victory as a
reliever since returning to the Red Sox after missing two months
with an ankle injury.

Damon made a leaping catch of Jorge Cantu's drive at the
center-field fence in the bottom of the ninth to keep the game

"I hit it to the farthest place in the park," Cantu said.
"Any other park, that ball would have gone out."

The teams have gone to extra innings two games in a row after
the Red Sox played their first 98 games without going to extras, a
major league record.

The Red Sox, who would have fallen one percentage point behind
the New York Yankees in the standings with a loss, fell behind
twice in the middle innings. Both times, they bounced back.

Bill Mueller erased a 6-5 deficit with an RBI single off Trever
Miller in the seventh, then made it 8-all in the ninth with an RBI
double that followed Varitek's solo homer off Baez.

Ramirez hit his 28th homer, a two-run shot off starter Mark
Hendrickson in the first. The Red Sox tacked on three more for a
5-0 lead when they scored on a wild pitch and RBI singles by Doug
Mirabelli and Kevin Millar in the third.

After he was hit, Clement remained on the ground and barely
moved for about five minutes before he was lifted onto the
stretcher and immobilized with a neck brace. Replays showed the
force of Crawford's liner knocked the pitcher completely off his

Concerned teammates gathered around Clement as medical personnel
attended to him on the mound. The crowd of 24,029 -- most of them
red-clad Boston fans -- cheered as he was carted off through a
tunnel behind home plate.

"You just never want to see anybody in that kind of
situation," Crawford said. "They gave me the medical report, so
I'm just glad he's OK."

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella echoed that sentiment.

"That's the best thing about this ballgame," Piniella said.
"We were concerned that the way he got hit, as flush as he got
hit, that there would be some problems."

Game notes
The Red Sox also lost Trot Nixon in the third inning with a
strained oblique muscle in his left side. The right fielder
grimaced and clutched his side after swinging and missing a pitch
from Hendrickson. He will have an MRI on Wednesday. ... Basketball
Hall of Famer Julius Erving threw out the first pitch. ... Ramirez
has 32 career homers against Tampa Bay, tied with Carlos Delgado
for the most by an opposing player. He also has more RBI (108)
against Devil Rays pitching than anyone else. ... Huff is 3-for-4
with the bases loaded after going through an 0-for-17 stretch
dating to Sept. 3, 2002.