Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 3

Boston leads 2-0 (as of 8/12)

Game 1: Friday, August 11
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Game 2: Saturday, August 12
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in 10
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Game 3: Sunday, August 13
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Orioles 7

(51-66, 21-35 away)

Red Sox 8

(67-48, 37-17 home)

1:20 PM ET, August 12, 2006

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

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W: J. Papelbon (4-2)

L: B. Chen (0-7)

Manny's 10th-inning single caps Sox comeback over O's

BOSTON (AP) -- Manny Ramirez squelched a potential tiebreaking rally in the ninth inning by throwing out Brandon Fahey at third base.

Then the Boston left fielder picked on his Baltimore counterpart one more time.

Elias Says
Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez entered Saturday's game with a 26-game hitting streak and a career batting average of .818 (and six hits in his last six at-bats) vs. Baltimore's starting pitcher Kris Benson. But in two at-bats vs. Benson, Ramirez grounded into a double play and struck out.

Still, Manny is the only major leaguer to have had walk-off hits off both Dennis Eckersley and Mariano Rivera -- so you had to feel that when he came to bat against Bruce Chen with runners on first and second in the tenth inning on Saturday, he might be the game's final batter.

And he was. Ramirez singled, extending his hitting streak, and on an error by left fielder Brandon Fahey, Gabe Kapler scored the deciding run in Boston's 8-7 victory. You may be wondering when was the last time that a streak as long as Manny's was extended by means of a hit in extra innings. That last happened two years ago, when Carlos Lee, then with the White Sox, reached 28 straight games with a tenth-inning double against the Marlins. (His hitting streak died at 28 the next day, when he went 0-for-4 vs. Carl Pavano.)

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Ramirez singled with two on and nobody out in the 10th, and Fahey ran past it for a game-ending error on Saturday as the Red Sox rallied from a four-run deficit to force extra innings and beat the Orioles 8-7.

"That's not an easy way to win a game," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "But we really had no choice."

Ramirez lined one between short and third to extend his hitting streak to 27 games -- the longest active streak in the majors.

Pinch-runner Gabe Kapler held up at third until Fahey, who also got thrown out trying to stretch a double in the ninth, flubbed it for his second error of the game. Third base coach DeMarlo Hale cranked up his windmill once again and Kapler took off for home, scoring easily.

Jonathan Papelbon (4-2) allowed one hit in two innings, bouncing back after blowing consecutive save opportunities during a five-game losing streak that dropped Boston a season-worst three games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.

New York beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 to hold onto a two-game lead in the division.

Baltimore had a chance to take the lead off Papelbon, the Red Sox rookie closer, when Fahey poked one down the third-base line and into the corner. But when he tried for a triple, Ramirez fired to shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who turned and threw to Mike Lowell just in time for the out at third.

Bruce Chen (0-7) started the 10th and walked Mark Loretta and wanted no part of David Ortiz, who had been 8-for-9 with four walks in potential game-ending situations since the start of the 2005 season.

"You can't keep putting guys on," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He walked the first two guys. It's a recipe for disaster."

Ramirez, who was hitless with two strikeouts, a double play and a walk in his four previous trips to the plate, gave Boston its fourth last at-bat victory in its last eight home games. The Red Sox have won 15 of their last 16 against the Orioles.

"They wanted to face somebody else, I guess," Ortiz said. "I wanted Manny to hit real bad, anyway. I wanted him to continue the streak. That was a good way to do it."

Wily Mo Pena hit his third homer in five games, and also tripled and doubled. Coco Crisp and Doug Mirabelli also homered for Boston.

The Orioles scored two with four hits in the first off Jason Johnson. After Pena doubled and scored in the second, Baltimore made it 5-1 in the fourth when Nick Markakis doubled in two runs and scored on Chris Widger's single.

Pena hit a line drive over the farthest portion of the Green Monster, and Crisp followed two outs later with a long fly down the left-field line to cut Baltimore's lead to 5-3 after five. The Orioles made it 7-3 in the sixth, loading the bases with one out to chase Johnson before Brian Roberts hit a two-run single off Julian Tavarez.

But Chris Britton relieved Kris Benson in the middle of the sixth and the Red Sox tied it when Pena tripled home two runs and Mirabelli followed with a two-run homer.

Benson made his first start since going on the disabled list July 26 with tendinitis in his right elbow. He allowed three runs on six hits and a walk, striking out one in five innings.

Game notes


Boston OF Trot Nixon has been hitting off a tee as he recovers from a strained right biceps. ... RHP Julio Manon was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa to make room on the roster for Benson. ... The Orioles lead the league with 159 homers allowed. ... Ramirez was 9-for-11 against Benson in his career before going 0-for-2.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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