Loretta plays hero as Red Sox trip Tribe in 9th again

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox stunned the Cleveland Indians

with another game-ending hit. And this time, David Ortiz didn't do

anything but watch from the on-deck circle.

Mark Loretta doubled with two outs and the bases loaded in the

bottom of the ninth on Wednesday night and the Red Sox took

advantage of a meltdown by reliever Fausto Carmona to beat the

Indians 6-5. It was Boston's third last at-bat victory in five


Elias Says

Boston beat Cleveland, 6-5, on Mark Loretta's two-run double off Fausto Carmona in the bottom of the ninth inning. That hit gave Boston three walk-off wins in a span of five days for the first time since July 1975.

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"I didn't think we'd be able to get to Ortiz. After two outs, I

didn't think I'd get up," said Loretta, who also hit a game-ending

homer on Patriots Day. "I think the fans realize now that

anything's possible."

Cleveland led 3-0 after one inning and 5-4 after eight, but

Carmona couldn't deliver the Indians their first save since closer

Bob Wickman was traded to Atlanta on July 20. He struck out the

first two batters of the ninth before hitting Doug Mirabelli and

Alex Gonzalez on consecutive pitches, then walking Kevin Youkilis

on a 3-2 pitch that wasn't close.

With Ortiz, the reigning AL player of the month standing by,

Loretta looped one off the Green Monster to end it.

"He did a real good job against those first two hitters,"

Indians manager Eric Wedge said, adding he would stick with Carmona

as the closer. "Then he just looked like he got in a hurry to get

the third out instead of trying not to do too much. ... It just

kind of dominoed from there."

Boston's last three victories came on its last at-bat, with

Ortiz delivering the others -- a game-ending single to beat Los

Angeles on Saturday and a three-run homer off Carmona on Monday.

The slugger struck out four times Wednesday, but that didn't keep

him from landing on top of Youkilis in a pile during the postgame


"Big Papi doesn't know what to do at these things," Loretta


Jonathan Papelbon (3-1) earned the victory with a perfect ninth.

"We'd rather be up by one," Boston manager Terry Francona

said. "But in this ballpark, crazy things happen."

Cleveland took a 3-0 lead off Boston starter Jon Lester, but the

Red Sox came back with two in the fifth and went ahead on solo

homers by Manny Ramirez and Wily Mo Pena in the sixth. Travis

Hafner hit a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Indians the

5-4 lead.

The Red Sox kept pace in the AL East with the New York Yankees,

who beat Toronto 7-2 on Wednesday and remained percentage points

ahead in the division.

Temperatures that reached 100 degrees during the day had cooled

off to 82 by game time, but the Red Sox were taking no chances.

They made batting practice optional for the players and provided

"rain rooms" where fans could cool off.

The team also set up tables giving out free cups of water to

keep fans from getting dehydrated.

But Lester barely had a chance to get warm before giving the

Indians a 3-0 lead. Things weren't going much better in the second

when Kelly Shoppach doubled and Andy Marte hit a deep drive to

center that Coco Crisp chased down at the 379 foot sign.

Shoppach, who had already rounded second base, reversed course

as Crisp made a throw to the infield that was far to the

right-field side of second. But Gonzalez chased it down, spun and

threw and caught Shoppach in time for the double play.

Lester, who was coveted by other teams at the trading deadline,

gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in the first, then

tacked on five scoreless innings to outlast fellow rookie lefty

Jeremy Sowers. Sowers had pitched consecutive shutouts in his

previous starts, and he extended his shutout streak to 22 innings

before Youkilis hit an RBI double in the fifth and scored on

Loretta's single to make it 3-2.

Brian Sikorski allowed Ramirez's game-tying homer just over the

wall in straightaway center and a line drive by Pena that banged

hard off the second row of the Monster Seats to make it 4-3.

Ramirez's homer was his 30th -- his ninth consecutive year with

30 or more. It was also the 465th of his career, tying him with

Dave Winfield for 26th on the all-time list.

Hafner's homer gave him 30 for the second year in a row.Game notes
Lester has five pickoffs. ... Gonzalez hit his 200th career

double. ... Martinez's homer was his 12th of the year. ... Boston

RHP Manny Delcarmen hadn't pitched since Friday night because of a

thumb injury. ... The Red Sox named RHP Jason Johnson as their

probable starter for Sunday. RHP Kyle Snyder, who pitched 4 1/3

scoreless innings in relief for the win on Monday, will work out of

the bullpen.