posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 09:36 AM
One swing from Manny Ramirez got the Boston Red Sox even and one more from David Ortiz put them ahead.
Then it was Mike Timlin to the rescue Sunday night.
He pitched out of a tight jam after Ramirez fell down on a fly ball and preserved the streaking Red Sox's 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.
"Every time I hit one, David hits another one, so we're on a good pace," Ramirez said Sunday night after he and Ortiz hit back-to-back homers on
consecutive pitches in the eighth inning.
Boston, with 12 wins in its last 15 games, moved within 5[ games of the New York Yankees in the AL East, the first time the Red Sox have been that
close since June 28. They also have a one-game lead in the AL wild-card race.
"That's one thing you don't want to do. When we start thinking about the Yankees, we start playing terrible for some reason," Ortiz said after the Red
Sox swept three from the White Sox for the first time since Sept. 26-28, 2000.
"We'll see at the end. We don't have time to think about the Yankees or anything like that," he added.
After taking the lead in the top of the eighth, the Red Sox nearly let it slip away in the bottom half.
Carl Everett walked and Ben Davis followed with a routine fly to left, but Ramirez slipped and fell, and the ball went by for a double, putting
runners at second and third with one out.
But Timlin retired pinch-hitters Ross Gload and Timo Perez to end the threat.
"It wasn't wet, I just slipped out there," Ramirez said.
"Timlin did an awesome job. He picked me up right there. Things like that are going to happen, that's why you got teammates."
Davis was the first batter Timlin faced and as he watched Ramirez slip, he said "No, no, no."
"He put his right hand down and I saw him reach up with the glove and, OK, he's got a chance to make a great play and then the ball was behind him,"
"At that point there was nothing I could do. I just told myself I got to go out and get the next two guys."
Curtis Leskanic (2-5) got one out for the win. Keith Foulke pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 27 chances.
The White Sox lost for the 19th time in 27 games and fell under .500 for the first time since April 8.
The Red Sox staked Derek Lowe to a 4-0 lead that he couldn't hold. Paul Konerko's three-run homer in the fifth got Chicago back in it, and Carlos
Lee's two-run homer in the seventh put the White Sox ahead 5-4.
But Ramirez hit Freddy Garcia's first pitch of the eighth for his 33rd homer, and third of the series, giving him 11 RBIs in the three games.
Ramirez was 0-for-3 when he came to the plate.
"I threw a slider to the middle of the plate and he hit it real good. But he was the hitter I wanted to face," Garcia said.
"He was the best shot against Ramirez we had," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "My gut feeling was that he was the man to get him out."
But he didn't.
Damaso Marte (4-5) relieved and Ortiz - who entered in an 0-for-15 slump - hit his first pitch to right-center for a 6-5 lead. Ortiz's 31 homers match
a career high set last year.
"You will have bad weeks, bad months, even bad years, but people see you still trying and that's me," Ortiz said. "The last couple of days they had
been pitching me good."
Lowe lasted 6 2-3 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs. Garcia went seven-plus, allowing seven hits and five runs.
Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera opened the game with singles off Garcia and when Ramirez grounded to short, second baseman Willie Harris took the
flip and his relay throw sailed past first. Ramirez got the RBI and moved to second on the error.
Ortiz and Jason Varitek followed with RBI doubles to put the Red Sox ahead 3-0.
Doug Mientkiewicz, who made a nice stop at first after the White Sox had two runners on in the first, homered in the second - his first with Boston
since he was traded from the Twins last month.
Konerko's 31st homer came after Harris singled and Aaron Rowand reached on an infield hit when Harris beat third baseman Bill Mueller's throw to