Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 4/8)

Game 1: Friday, April 7
Boston14Final
Baltimore8
Game 2: Saturday, April 8
Boston2Final
Baltimore1
Game 3: Sunday, April 9
Boston4Final
Baltimore1

Red Sox 2

(4-1, 4-1 away)

Orioles 1

(2-3, 2-3 home)

4:35 PM ET, April 8, 2006

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

123456789 R H E
BOS 000101000 2 7 0
BAL 000001000 1 4 0

W: C. Schilling (2-0)

L: B. Chen (0-1)

S: J. Papelbon (2)

Schilling dominant again as BoSox nip Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Curt Schilling had spent the entire evening fooling the Baltimore Orioles, relying as much on his savvy as his powerful right arm.

Then, with two on and two outs in the seventh inning, Jeff Conine stepped to the plate with Boston up by a run.

Three strikes later, Schilling pumped his fist and pounded his glove as he walked off the mound for the final time during a memorable night.

Schilling pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Jason Varitek had a hand in both Boston runs, and the Red Sox squeezed out a 2-1 victory Saturday.

Schilling (2-0) struck out four and walked two. A year ago, the right-hander had a difficult time recovering from offseason ankle surgery and didn't earn his second win until July.

Now he's got a 1.93 ERA and has accounted for half of Boston's victories.

"Tonight I probably pitched in more than any start I've done in my career. I had a game plan and we executed," Schilling said. "The stuff has been there, and I felt in the seventh inning, velocity-wise, when I had to have it, I had it. That's a big boost."

It's a huge plus for the Red Sox, too.

"I haven't even asked him about his ankle. It's a nice relief," manager Terry Francona said. "He's out there competing, he's strong, he looks really good to me. He had a nice strong outing in Texas and he backs it up with one where I thought he threw the ball better today."

Schilling went 8-8 last year, but that's just a bad memory now that he's operating at 100 percent.

"As long as he's healthy, he's a good pitcher, and he will continue to be until he decides not to pitch," Francona said. "We understand what happened last year, but he's too good a pitcher not to be good."

Varitek hit two doubles, scored a run and drove in one. Manny Ramirez had two hits for the Red Sox, who have won three straight to improve to 4-1, their best start since 2002.

The offense did just enough to back up Schilling, who kept the Orioles off balance by throwing a variety of pitches in just the right spot.

"It's all about location," Conine said. "He located his fastball on the outside corner all night long."

After Schilling left, Mike Timlin gave up a single in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon got three straight outs for his second save.

Luis Matos homered for the Orioles, who have dropped three in a row after opening the season 2-0. Baltimore has lost seven straight to Boston, dating to last September.

Bruce Chen (0-1) gave up two runs and five hits in five-plus innings.

The start of the game was delayed 90 minutes by rain, and the temperature was 44 degrees when the first pitch was thrown.

The early innings featured solid pitching and excellent defense.

Ramirez isn't known for his prowess with a glove, but the left fielder made a fine running catch of a twisting two-out liner that Conine hit down the line with two on and two outs in the second.

"I hit it off the end, a split-finger down and in," Conine said. "I didn't think he was going to catch up to it, but he made a heck of a play."

Conine said he didn't see another split-finger fastball from Schilling the rest of the game.

"He looked to me like he regained his old form," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "His velocity was up, his command was really good. He's pretty smart and pretty good."

Leading off the Boston fourth, David Ortiz hit a liner off the right-field scoreboard. Jay Gibbons played the carom perfectly and threw out Ortiz at second base. Later in the inning, Varitek doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Kevin Youkilis.

Boston went up 2-0 in the sixth. Ortiz walked, Ramirez singled to chase Chen, and Varitek greeted rookie Sendy Rleal with an RBI double on a 3-0 pitch. Mike Lowell then struck out and Youkilis walked to load the bases before Rleal struck out pinch-hitter Trot Nixon and retired Alex Gonzalez on a popup.

Matos homered in the bottom half, his third hit in four lifetime at-bats against Schilling.

Game notes


Making his first start with Boston, Wily Mo Pena went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and stranded four runners before leaving for a pinch hitter. ... Matos has two hits this season, both home runs. ... Kevin Millar went 0-for-3 against Schilling and is 1-for-10 lifetime against his former Boston teammate.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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