Wells hurts knee, but Ortiz, Lowell power Boston past D-Rays

BOSTON (AP) -- The liner smacked off David Wells' right knee and

the left-hander winced, fell to the ground and wore a look of

disbelief at his bad luck.

It was the same knee that had kept him on the disabled list for

six weeks until Friday night, when he pitched well in Boston's 8-4

win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The same knee that was sprained

now has a deep bruise that could send Wells back to the DL for the

third time this season.

"That is a possibility," manager Terry Francona said, "but we

won't do that until we know that we have to."

The 43-year-old Wells, who is to be re-examined Saturday, gave

the Red Sox hope that he could contribute when he allowed just one

run and five hits with no walks or strikeouts before leaving the

game with one out in the fifth and Tampa Bay leading 1-0.

"I thought he looked great," Francona said. "We weren't just

encouraged, we were thrilled."

After Travis Lee's smash knocked Wells out of his second start

of the year, David Ortiz drove in four runs and Mike Lowell added a

two-run homer for Boston.

Jonathan Papelbon set a rookie record for most successful save

opportunities to start a season with his 17th when he retired his

only batter, Carl Crawford, on a liner to left with two outs and

runners at second and third.

Before then, Crawford had hit two homers in the game. He went

2-for-5 and is 10-for-14 with three homers and six stolen bases in

his last three games.

"We've been playing with my swing and found something that

worked a little bit," Crawford said. "I'm trying to use the

bottom hand more."

Still, Tampa Bay is 2-15 in its past 17 games at Fenway Park.

Scott Kazmir (7-3) has Tampa Bay's last three wins over Boston

and allowed just four singles through four shutout innings. But the

Red Sox took the lead for good in the fifth on Ortiz's three-run

double that gave him 45 RBI before Lowell's homer in the sixth.

Both hits off Kazmir were on sliders.

"We didn't get to him early," Boston's Kevin Youkilis said.

"He just made one mistake to one guy at a crucial point."

Kazmir said he felt comfortable "but sometimes I was

overthrowing my slider and just hung it up there."

Wells had offseason surgery on his right knee and started the

season on the disabled list. He went back on it April 14 after

allowing seven runs and 10 hits in an 8-4 loss to Toronto two days


He was coming off a solid rehabilitation outing last Sunday for

Triple-A Pawtucket. But before Friday's game was half over, he lay

on his stomach after reaching for the inside of his knee once Lee's

liner hit it.

An examination showed the deep bruise with "no immediate

evidence of a serious injury," Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas

Gill said.

"Your first reaction is you hope he gets up," Lowell said.

"Then you hope it's nothing serious. People don't realize how

close those pitchers are."

Julian Tavarez (1-0) pitched 2 1-3 innings in relief of Wells.

"They always call me rubber arm," Tavarez said. "The manager

knows that I get ready with three or four pitches."

With one out in the three-run fifth, Wily Mo Pena and Alex

Gonzalez singled, and Youkilis walked. After Mark Loretta flied

out, Ortiz cleared the bases with a shot to left-center.

The Red Sox made it 6-1 in the next inning. Jason Varitek drew a

leadoff walk and Lowell followed with his seventh homer. They

loaded the bases again when first baseman Lee was charged with an

error as Trot Nixon's infield popup fell safely before Gonzalez and

Youkilis singled. Loretta then hit a sacrifice fly.

Tavarez allowed two runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Damon

Hollins and a sacrifice fly by Lee that cut the lead to 6-3.

Nixon's RBI single after Lowell's double made it 7-3 before

Crawford hit a solo shot, his fourth homer of the year, in the

eighth off Keith Foulke.

Foulke appeared to have words with a fan as he walked into the


Ortiz singled in the final run in the eighth.

But Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was pleased with his team's


"It took three line drives in the ninth inning to get us out,"

he said.

And one to send Wells back to the doctor.

Game notes
Every Boston starter reached base through six innings. ...

Lowell's homer was the 150th of his career. ... Tavarez bailed

Boston out when he replaced Wells in the fifth by getting Joey

Gathright to line into a double play.