Red Sox 10, Angels 7
BOSTON (AP)—On his way to the ballpark, Curt Schilling had a feeling that it was going to be a big night.
“It’s one of those days you pray that you show up and do your job, because it’s such an awesome thing to be out there in front of those people,” he said Tuesday night after shutting Anaheim down for 7 2-3 innings in Boston’s 10-7 win over the Angels. “It was enough to give me chills.”
Manny Ramirez homered twice, and Schilling’s 17th victory tied him with Oakland’s Mark Mulder for the major league lead. Boston won its seventh consecutive game to take a 2 1/2 -game lead over Anaheim in the AL wild-card race.
But that’s not all.
Because if Schilling had looked over his shoulder as he left the mound, he would have seen that the Yankees were in the middle of their worst loss in franchise history, a 22-0 Cleveland victory that cut New York’s lead over Boston in the AL East to 3 1/2 games. The Red Sox have trimmed seven games off the Yankees’ lead since Aug. 15; the teams play six times in September.
“We’re playing great, the Yankees are having trouble,” Schilling said after the Red Sox won for the 13th time in 14 games. “But I don’t expect them to fall down on the job. They were good enough to put 10 1/2 games between us. We’re going to need some help to catch up.”
Schilling (17-6) got a huge ovation when he tipped his cap on the way off the field in the eighth inning. It even bested the cheers in response to highlights from the Indians’ victory over the Yankees.
The game at Yankee Stadium drew spirited applause when it was shown on the Fenway scoreboard in the eighth, with fans laughing mockingly when a New York outfielder misplayed a ball over his head. When the camera cut to the 16-0 score on the scoreboard, Fenway erupted.
For a while, Boston wasn’t having much more trouble with Anaheim, which had won 10 of 11, going 19-8 in August—almost keeping pace with the Red Sox, who finished the month 21-7. Boston opened a 10-1 lead over the Angels as Schilling shut them down on three runs and nine hits, striking out four over 7 2-3 innings.
John Lackey (11-11) lasted 3 1-3 innings—the first time in 12 starts he failed to go at least five innings. He allowed six runs—four earned—on seven hits and three walks, while striking out three.
Reliever Mike Myers started the ninth for Boston and gave up three consecutive singles before Alfredo Amezaga hit his first career grand slam, clearing the Green Monster to make it 10-7. Keith Foulke got the last three outs for his 25th save in 30 opportunities.
“Tonight we got back into it,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “But there are no real moral victories.”
Lackey was in trouble from the start, as Boston scored four runs in the first.
Johnny Damon reached on second baseman Adam Kennedy’s error to lead off the first, Mark Bellhorn walked and Ramirez homered to right. With two outs, Orlando Cabrera doubled, took third on Doug Mientkiewicz’s single and scored on Bill Mueller’s double.
Ramirez added a solo homer to center in the second, and Boston added another run in the fourth on Ramon Ortiz’s balk. David Eckstein doubled and scored in the sixth to make it 6-1, but Boston added four more in the seventh thanks in part to Dave Roberts’ three-run homer.
Anaheim finally got to Schilling in the eighth.
Chone Figgins and pinch-hitter Amezaga singled with nobody out before Damon leaped to catch Adam Riggs’ long fly at the wall. Schilling got Curtis Pride on a fielder’s choice, but Garret Anderson doubled down the right-field line to make it 10-2.
Lackey had won his last two starts and hadn’t lost since Aug. 3, but he is 0-4 in six career starts against Boston. … Ramirez has 383 homers in his career, passing Jim Rice and Frank Howard for 47th on baseball’s career list. It was his third two-homer game of 2004 and his 38th career multihomer game. … Before the game, the Red Sox bought the contract of minor league catcher Sandy Martinez from the Cleveland Indians. … Ortiz will move to the bullpen to make way for LHP Jarrod Washburn in the starting rotation Saturday in Cleveland. Aaron Sele will start Wednesday in place of Ortiz.