Red Sox hold off late rally, improve to 12-1 against O's

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Even when they're struggling, the Boston Red Sox can count on beating the Baltimore Orioles.

Coco Crisp drove in three runs, Kevin Youkilis had two RBI in
the pivotal sixth inning, and the Red Sox ended a six-game road
losing streak by holding off Baltimore 6-5 Tuesday night.

The game was scoreless until the Red Sox scored three runs in
the sixth off Daniel Cabrera (7-10). After Baltimore got a run in
the bottom half, Boston padded the lead with a three-run seventh.

The Red Sox needed every one of those runs, because the Orioles
scored four in the bottom of the ninth before succumbing.

"It's always good to get a cushion like that," Crisp said.
"They were fighting back in the last inning on us there."

The Red Sox are 12-1 against Baltimore this season and have won
17 of the last 18 games between the division rivals. But Boston is
24-34 since the All-Star break and a distant 10½ games behind
first-place New York in the AL East.

Boston rookie Kason Gabbard was removed in the fifth inning with
tightness in his left side. He was replaced by Craig Hansen (2-1),
the first of six Red Sox relievers.

The Red Sox played a second straight game without slugger Manny
Ramirez, who is nursing a sore right knee. Ramirez has appeared in
only six of Boston's last 18 games, but manager Terry Francona said
before the game that the team has no intention of cutting short his

Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Mike
Timlin for the Orioles (62-82), who are assured a club-record ninth
straight losing season. It was Hernandez's 20th of the season and
fourth in three games.

Baltimore then got singles from Kevin Millar and David Newhan
before Timlin struck out Chris Gomez. Jeff Fiorentino's RBI single
cut it to 6-5, but Javier Lopez retired Brian Roberts on a grounder
with runners at the corners for his first save this season.

"It gets kind of nerve-racking a little bit, but Javy was able
to come in and close them out," Crisp said. "It was a pretty nice
win for us."

The Orioles stranded 14 and went 3-for-12 with runners in
scoring position.

"Our guys kept battling," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said.
"They could have shut it down and they didn't. You have to give
them credit."

The result, however, was just another loss to the Red Sox.

"They're a good team. They keep coming at you," Perlozzo said.
"At the same time, we played several games I thought we could have

Timlin allowed four runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning
before Francona finally ran out of patience and fetched Lopez to
close it out.

"I was thinking about getting Javy for Fiorentino, but [Timlin]
ended up making good pitches to Gomez," Francona said. "It's
tough for him, it's tough to watch. He was up over the plate with a
lot of pitches tonight."

Mike Lowell got Boston started in the sixth with a one-out
double. Jason Varitek then struck out for the third time, but
Crisp, who had already struck out twice, drove in Lowell with a
bloop single to center.

Alex Cora followed with a single, and Youkilis chased Cabrera
with a double to center.

Cabrera allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Wearing prescription glasses on the mound for the first time, he
struck out eight and walked three.

"It's working really good," he said of his clear-rimmed
glasses. "I can see better."

Down 3-0, the Orioles scored an unearned run in the sixth but
were left wanting more. After Fernando Tatis hit a sacrifice fly, a
walk to Roberts filled the bases. Francona then summoned Manny
Delcarmen, who retired Melvin Mora on a tapper in front of the

In the Boston seventh, a passed ball by Hernandez let in a run.
Crisp followed with a short fly that fell just out of the reach of
a diving Newhan in center field for a two-run double that made it

Baltimore got a hit in each of the first five innings, but could
not advance a runner past second base. Mora doubled with two outs
in the fifth and Gabbard issued a four-pitch walk to Nick Markakis
before being removed.

Hansen came in and struck out Miguel Tejada on three pitches.

Game notes
Cabrera is 1-6 lifetime against the Red Sox. ... Boston RHP
Tim Wakefield (broken rib) will pitch for the first time since July
17 on Wednesday. ... Tejada grounded into a double play for the
AL-high 28th time in the first inning.