Red Sox 9, Padres 3

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BOSTON (AP)—Nomar Garciaparra and Curt Schilling make the Boston Red Sox look a lot better, even though they’re not feeling completely healthy.

Garciaparra’s two-run double highlighted a five-run fifth inning in his second game back, and Schilling pitched through ankle soreness to lead the Red Sox to a 9-3 win Thursday night over the San Diego Padres.

Schilling, who aggravated his right ankle just more than a month ago, pitched seven solid innings for the win.

“It’s kind of hit or miss right now,” Schilling said of the nagging injury. “We’re trying to get a hold on what it is. And it’s one of those things. It only becomes an issue when I do one thing, and that’s throw my fastball.”

Garciaparra, who missed the first 57 games with right Achilles’ tendinitis, went 1-for-4 and was hit by a pitch just above his left knee in the seventh.

“He said the good news was when he got hit by the pitch the other areas didn’t hurt,” Boston manager Terry Francona joked.

Garciaparra gave the Red Sox a brief scare in the ninth when he stumbled over second base while fielding a ball up the middle.

“I’m with you, too,” Francona said. “I held my breath, too. I saw it. It was kind of clumsy looking.”

But Garciaparra joked about the play.

“Somebody just moved the bag,” he said. “That’s just going to have to take some getting used to. I’ll have to get with the grounds crew on that.”

The star shortstop was 1-for-2 with a single in his debut Wednesday.

Garciaparra said “the original plan was to take tomorrow off.”

Manny Ramirez hit a long, two-run homer, and Pokey Reese had a solo shot on his 31st birthday for Boston, which has won four of five. David Ortiz matched a career high with four hits.

Schilling (8-3) gave up two runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out eight to raise his total to 81, three behind teammate Pedro Martinez for the AL lead.

Alan Embree, Mike Timlin and Lenny DiNardo finished it.

Boston, which committed three errors and allowed four unearned runs in an 8-1 loss Wednesday, moved ahead 3-1 in the fourth when Ramirez hit a shot out of Fenway Park over the Green Monster seats after Ortiz singled.

The Red Sox broke the game open and chased Ismael Valdez (5-3) in the fifth. Reese singled and Johnny Damon walked before Kevin Youkilis doubled to make it 4-1, ending Valdez’s night.

“They have great hitters,” Valdez said. “When you make a mistake, they make you pay for it. I left a few up and they took advantage of that.”

Brandon Puffer entered and fanned Ortiz before Ramirez was intentionally walked, loading the bases. With the crowd on its feet chanting his name, Garciaparra hit a line drive off The Wall in left.

“I kind of expected (the intentional walk) the way Manny has been swinging the bat,” Garciaparra said. “When you come through like that, that kind of takes the wind out of other teams’ sails.”

One out later, Kevin Millar doubled in two more runs, increasing the lead to 8-1.

Valdez allowed six runs and six hits in four-plus innings.

“He just lost his command,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.

Terrence Long’s run-scoring grounder cut it to 8-2 in the sixth. Miguel Ojeda added an RBI single in the eighth before Ramirez drove in his third run with an RBI single in the bottom half.

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the first when Sean Burroughs opened the game with a double and scored on Brian Giles’ groundout.

Reese, playing second base now that Garciaparra is back, tied the game withhis homer in the third.


All of Ortiz’s hits were singles to right field. … Boston’s Trot Nixon played right field and went 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a strikeout in his first rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket. … Boston’s Mark Bellhorn got the night off after starting at second Wednesday. … Giles made a leaping grab of Damon’s fly ball near the right-field fence in the first. Damon left the game after his at-bat in the sixth. … The Red Sox honored Ray Charles, who died Thursday, by playing a video of when he sang “America The Beautiful” onopening day last year.

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