Series: Game 1 of 3

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 5/25)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 25
Game 2: Wednesday, May 26
Game 3: Thursday, May 27
in 10

Athletics 2

(25-19, 13-10 away)

Red Sox 12

(28-17, 15-6 home)

7:05 PM ET, May 25, 2004

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

123456789 R H E
OAK 000001100 2 10 0
BOS 10134030 - 12 19 0

W: C. Schilling (6-3)

L: T. Hudson (5-2)

Schilling gets win; Bellhorn drives in 5

BOSTON (AP) -- The first meeting between the Red Sox and Athletics since last year's playoffs failed to provide much drama.

Mark Bellhorn homered and drove in five runs, and Boston backed Curt Schilling with its top offensive performance of the year in a 12-2 rout of Oakland and Tim Hudson on Tuesday night.

Manny Ramirez hit his 12th homer and drove in three runs, and David Ortiz had four hits and doubled twice to increase his AL-leading total to 20. Bellhorn, Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek had three hits each.

"We beat one of the game's best pitchers," Damon said. "When he has two strikes on you, he's as good as anybody. We tried to swing the bats early in the count."

A few hours after learning AL batting champion Bill Mueller will need knee surgery and be sidelined for about six weeks, Boston sent Hudson (5-2) to his shortest outing this season, setting season highs for runs and hits (19). The AL East leader won its fourth straight and stopped Oakland's winning streak at five.

"When somebody goes down you don't use that as an excuse to lose," said Boston manager Terry Francona, who has been without the injured Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon all season.

Schilling (6-3) struck out five to increase his season total to 66, passing teammate Pedro Martinez (63) for the AL lead. Schilling allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings, walking none and lowering his ERA to 2.82, third in the league behind Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia (2.26) and Seattle's Freddy Garcia (2.71).

"I was expecting this to be a tight one," said Schilling, who struggled in the seventh when medication for a sprained ankle began to wear off. "I was a little disappointed in the way that I finished."

Schilling said he was "stunned" by Hudson's outing.

"Everybody thought it was going to be a pitchers' duel, but, obviously, that didn't happen," Oakland's Eric Byrnes said.

Hudson dropped to 1-3 at Fenway Park with an 8.53 ERA. At 15-6, the Red Sox have the top home record in the major leagues.

"There was nothing really working for me at all," Hudson said. "My command of the fastball wasn't there, and if you don't have that it's hard to get your other pitches on track."

Boston's offense was reminiscent of last year's Red Sox, who set a major league record for slugging percentage and led the majors in batting average.

Bellhorn's RBI matched a career high, and he set a career best with four runs scored.

"You have nights like this," he said, "but I know my job is to get on base in front of our big hitters."

Consecutive doubles by Ortiz and Ramirez put the Red Sox ahead in the first inning Tuesday, and Varitek's RBI double in the third made it 2-0. Bellhorn's two-run double and Ortiz's RBI double made it 5-0 in the fourth, and the Red Sox added four runs in the fifth off Chris Hammond.

Bellhorn had an RBI groundout, Ortiz singled home a run and Ramirez capped the rally with a two-run homer. Bellhorn hit a two-run homer in the seventh, and Gabe Kapler added a sacrifice fly.

Oakland got its runs on Eric Chavez's RBI double in the sixth and Mark Kotsay's run-scoring single in the seventh, when the A's left the bases loaded.

Game notes

The A's were errorless, have just two errors in 13 games and lead the AL in fielding percentage. ... Damon reached base to lead off the first inning for the sixth straight game, singling.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press