Red Sox 13, Athletics 5
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Trot Nixon should have a nice reprieve from the constant questions about his home run drought.
Nixon ended a 123 at-bat homerless streak and Manny Ramirez homered for the second straight game to help Curt Schilling earn his 13th victory a night after teammate Josh Beckett became the majors’ first 13-game winner, leading the Boston Red Sox past the Oakland Athletics 13-5 on Tuesday.
Ramirez hit his 28th homer of the season, a solo shot to left in the third, and had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly for the Red Sox, who had a season-high 18 hits and sent Oakland to its season-worst fifth straight home defeat. The skid is the longest for the A’s in the Coliseum since losing six in a row from May 2-15 last year.
Nixon followed with his seventh of the year and first in 34 games, since June 9, against Texas. Boston hit back-to-back homers for the fifth time this season.
“I’m going to be more aggressive at the plate,” Nixon said. “I’m trying to find a good stroke. It’s important to get out there and get my timing back down.”
Jason Varitek hit a three-run double in the eighth after the A’s had pulled within 6-5 in the seventh.
“That was a weird game,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We get up early, then it looks like we’ll have to hang on for dear life, then we break it open.”
Schilling (13-3) pitched six strong innings to win his third straight start and beat the A’s for the second time in 11 days. He allowed four runs and six hits, struck out three and walked one while throwing 105 pitches.
Toronto’s Roy Halladay also picked up his 13th win on Tuesday.
Of matching Beckett’s win total, Schilling said: “It means he’s got to keep his mouth shut for four more days. That’s the most important thing.”
The Red Sox loaded the bases against Justin Duchscherer in the eighth and when the right-hander got pulled, he headed straight for home plate and began hollering at umpire Mark Wegner before being ejected.
“When I come into the game, I want to win,” Duchscherer said. “I got intense.”
Nixon was walked by Brad Halsey to load the bases, and Varitek followed with a double to center that cleared the bases. Coco Crisp and Alex Gonzalez each added RBI singles as Boston batted around in the six-run inning.
“It was like an avalanche then,” A’s manager Ken Macha said.
Schilling, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the A’s in Boston’s first shutout of the year July 15, made his first appearance in Oakland since Aug. 9, 1990, when he pitched 1 1-3 innings of relief for Baltimore.
“One of the luxuries of pitching for this offense is this offense,” Schilling said. “I’ve made 22 starts and we’re 17-5 when I’ve taken the ball. I’m proud of that.”
Manny Delcarmen replaced Schilling and allowed three straight hits to start the seventh, including Mark Kotsay’s RBI single that pulled the A’s within 6-5. But Delcarmen got Milton Bradley to fly out, then struck out Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher.
Thomas lined a two-run single to right in the fifth to make it 6-4. The Big Hurt also drove in the A’s first run with a sacrifice fly.
Kendall doubled among his three hits and scored twice and Kotsay also had three hits for the A’s, who remained in a first-place tie with the Angels in the AL West after Los Angeles lost 6-3 at Tampa Bay.
The Red Sox tagged Jason Windsor (0-1) for three hits and two runs in the first inning, including Ramirez’s RBI single to center that extended his season-best hitting streak to 11 games. Nixon followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Windsor lasted 2 2-3 innings in his second major league start after receiving a no-decision in his debut at Baltimore on July 17, the same day the A’s called up the right-hander from Triple-A Sacramento and one day after his 24th birthday.
He allowed four runs and nine hits. Oakland’s starters have gone more than six innings only three times in 17 games since July 5, going 5-9 during that span.
It was Ramirez’s 463rd career homer, tying him with Chicago’s Jim Thome, who also homered Tuesday. … Red Sox LHP David Wells might not be headed on a rehab assignment after all, with the Red Sox hopeful he will be ready to start Monday at Fenway Park against Cleveland. Wells has been on the DL since May 27 with a right knee contusion. … Schilling is 8-1 over last 14 starts. … Windsor’s ERA went up from 1.80 to 5.87. … Oakland OF Jay Payton went 0-for-4 against his former club and is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. … The game drew 34,077, the A’s eighth sellout this year. … Oakland reliever Scott Sauerbeck pulled his groin after loading the bases in the eighth.