<
>

Damon extends hitting streak to 18 games

BOSTON (AP) -- Manny Ramirez has had quite a career against the
Toronto Blue Jays.

Ramirez hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning
Saturday night, lifting the Red Sox to a 6-4 comeback victory over
the Blue Jays in a game in which Boston starter David Wells and
manager Terry Francona were ejected.

It was only Boston's third win in 10 games against Toronto this
season and it came one night after the Red Sox lost 15-2.

Ramirez's 410th career homer was his 45th hit against the Blue
Jays, the most by any opponent.

"I think I said early on just sit back and wait," Francona
said of Ramirez. "He can put us on his back for a while."

Ramirez started the season slowly, but has rebounded from a
season-low .224 average in late May to .275 with 20 homers and 70
RBI.

Wells was ejected in the seventh inning by second base umpire
Chris Guccione in a bizarre scene. The left-hander turned his back
to home plate and waved his glove in apparent disgust after
allowing a single to Shea Hillenbrand.

After being thrown out, Wells walked toward Guccione and the
pair were brim-to-brim, screaming at each other before they were
separated. Wells said after the game that he uttered a profanity
about home-plate umpire Larry Poncino, who had his own back turned
walking back to the plate.

"I didn't yell it out," Wells said. "I just said it to
myself. It's something I said. I didn't say it out or yell it out.
I'm getting ready to pitch. I turned around and Guccione's throwing
me out."

Francona was tossed in the eighth by first-base umpire Lance
Barksdale after arguing a close call.

Johnny Damon had a pair of doubles, extending his hitting streak
to 18 games for the Red Sox.

After David Ortiz singled off reliever Pete Walker (3-2),
Ramirez hit a fly ball down the right-field line that hooked around
the foul pole. It was his 20th homer of the season, the 11th
straight year he has reached the mark.

"Maybe a different ballpark, a different situation it's an
out," Walker said. "But Ramirez knows the ballpark, too."

Ramirez barely left the batters' box after connecting, slowly
walking down the line and watching the ball as it sailed just
beyond the pole.

Mike Timlin (3-1) recorded one out in the seventh inning, after
Wells was ejected, to pick up the victory.

Struggling closer Keith Foulke got the final four outs for his
15th save in 18 chances. He got Reed Johnson to fly to right with
runners on second and third to end the eighth. Johnson was
10-for-24 with three homers and 12 RBI against the Red Sox before
the out.

"I think I did a pretty good job of keeping him off-balance,"
Foulke said. "Got him in front and he popped it up."

Toronto built a 4-0 lead against Wells, scoring a run in the
second and three in the fourth before Boston rallied to tie it.

"This was one of those games where we had the lead, they came
back, we hung tough for nine innings, and we had a few chances
late," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

The Blue Jays made it 1-0 when Gregg Zaun singled and came
around to score on Orlando Hudson's triple down the right-field
line. Hudson's RBI single and John McDonnell's two-run single made
it 4-0 in the fourth.

After being held to just three hits by Toronto starter Gustavo
Chacin in the first four innings, the Red Sox had seven in the next
two frames to tie the game.

Jason Varitek's sacrifice fly in the fourth cut the deficit to
4-1. Ortiz had an RBI single in the fifth after Damon's two-out
hustle double and Edgar Renteria's infield hit.

Varitek and Kevin Millar singled to chase Chacin in the sixth.
Trot Nixon singled to load the bases against Walker, and Bill
Mueller followed with a ground-rule double deep into the
right-field corner to tie it 4-4.

Walker got out of trouble by getting the next three hitters
without allowing the ball out of the infield. But he couldn't get
past Ramirez in the seventh.

Wells gave up four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Game notes
Damon had his major league-leading 35th multihit game.
Damon's hitting streak is the longest active run in the majors. ...
The Red Sox played their 79th straight game without reaching extra
innings, extending their major league record for the longest
stretch to open a season. Toronto 1B Hillenbrand made a diving
catch on Damon's bunt in the first.