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Ramirez adds to home run total in Red Sox win

Sunday, June 1, 2008

By The Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Manny Ramirez hit his 501st home run, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew also connected, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-4 Sunday.

After becoming the 24th major leaguer to hit No. 500, Ramirez said Saturday night, "The next goal is 501." He took care of that in his third at-bat, driving a pitch from Brian Burres (4-5) into the right-field seats to put Boston up 6-3 in the fourth inning.

Lowell homered two pitches later, and the Red Sox were on their way to making it three straight wins over the skidding Orioles. On Monday, Boston will seek its first four-game sweep in Baltimore since 2002.

Serving as the designated hitter for injured David Ortiz (sprained wrist), Ramirez went 3-for-5, drove in three runs and scored twice. Drew, who missed two straight starts because of vertigo, had three RBIs. Jason Ellsbury had three hits and a stolen base, his seventh in the series.

Ortiz is expected to have an MRI exam Monday in Boston.

Red Sox starter Bartolo Colon (3-0) allowed four runs in six-plus innings to win his third straight start.

Luke Scott homered for the Orioles, who have lost four straight and nine of 11.

Rays 4, White Sox 3, 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Gabe Gross hit a leadoff homer in the 10th inning, giving AL East-leading Tampa Bay a comeback victory over Chicago.

Gross, making a rare start against left-handed pitching, lined a two-run triple off Mark Buehrle to make it 3-all in the fifth. Gross then delivered his third homer of the season on an 0-2 pitch from lefty Matt Thornton (1-1) in the 10th.

The surprising Rays maintained their one-game division lead over Boston, and they take their league-best record of 35-22 to Fenway Park for the start of a three-game series Tuesday night. Tampa Bay is 13 games over .500 for the first time in the team's 11-season history.

The finale of the four-game set against the AL Central-leading White Sox drew a crowd of 24,720.

J.P. Howell (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory, which enabled Tampa Bay to go 8-2 on the team's longest homestand of the year. The Rays have won 10 of their last 12 series, including seven straight at home since losing two of three to the White Sox six weeks ago.

Twins 5, Yankees 1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Michael Cuddyer drove in three runs and Minnesota's bullpen came through with 4 2-3 innings of scoreless relief after starter Nick Blackburn was hit in the nose by Bobby Abreu's line drive.

Blackburn walked off the field under his own power, escorted by a trainer with a bloody towel pressed against his face. The Twins said Blackburn did not lose consciousness or any teeth. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day with a bruised nose.

Brian Bass (2-1), Jesse Crain and Joe Nathan shut down the Yankees the rest of the way. The Twins snapped New York's three-game winning streak and handed the Yankees their third loss in 11 games.

Derek Jeter homered for New York (28-28). Darrell Rasner (3-2) allowed four runs over 5 1-3 innings.

Royals 6, Indians 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Brian Bannister pitched into the eighth inning and Mark Grudzielanek and Jose Guillen homered to help Kansas City beat Cleveland, a day after the Royals snapped a 12-game losing streak.

Bannister (5-6) was working on a shutout when Grady Sizemore homered with one out in the eighth. It was Sizemore's third home run in three days.

Guillen, who went into a tirade and called his teammates "babies" after they squandered a five-run lead and lost their 10th straight on Wednesday night, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Grudzielanek hit a two-run drive off Paul Byrd (2-5) to give the punchless Royals a 6-0 lead in the fifth. It was his first homer in 172 at-bats dating to Sept. 24. Alex Gordon also had a two-run double for Kansas City.

Byrd dropped to 0-5 in six road starts. The Indians, the defending AL Central champs, have lost five straight series.



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