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Boston bats are finally silenced at Fenway Park

Baltimore's Chris Gomez slides safely home as Boston's Jason Varitek attempts to field the throw.
Baltimore's Chris Gomez slides safely home as Boston's Jason Varitek attempts to field the throw.
Neal Hamberg, Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox were stymied by six pitchers and stunned by their worst offense at home in a month.

"It's definitely very surprising," Johnny Damon said. "We expect to get hits. We expect to score a lot of runs."

Instead, baseball's top-hitting team lost to the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 Friday night, managing four hits and scoring fewer than seven runs at Fenway Park for the first time since Aug. 2.

"We had baserunners," manager Terry Francona said. "It's kind of a rarity when we don't throw a bunch of hits up there."

The Red Sox, who had won five in a row, got a single by Manny Ramirez and a two-run double by Jason Varitek in the first inning, then didn't get another until Kevin Millar singled leading off the ninth. Damon also singled in the ninth for the last hit by Boston, which had scored seven runs or more at Fenway in 14 straight games.

John Maine (2-1) walked five in five innings and was followed by Eric DuBose, Chris Ray, Steve Kline, Todd Williams and B.J. Ryan .

"We've had a couple (pitchers) step in that hadn't been doing well," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "It seems like we need all of them to get through this lineup."

The Orioles improved to 8-5 this year against the defending World Series champions, who are hitting .240 in those games, their lowest average this season against any AL team. In two of those wins, Baltimore allowed three and four hits. In its 133 games, Boston has had three hits just four times and four hits six times.

The Red Sox lead the majors with a .284 batting average and entered the game hitting .326 in their previous 20 home games, 19 of them wins.

John Olerud, who had two homers and six RBIs in a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night, went 0-for-3 on Friday.

Maine "had three pitches he was throwing that he looked like he had confidence to throw in any count," Olerud said. "We really hit the ball a couple of times right at guys."

Orioles fielders jumped and dived to catch several liners. Two Red Sox errors led to three unearned runs.

Boston reliever Keith Foulke pitched in the majors for the first time since July 4. Recovered from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Foulke gave up a single in the seventh and ended the inning by retiring Javy Lopez on a flyout.

BLUE JAYS 4, DEVIL RAYS 3: At Toronto, Joe Borowski's wild pitch in the eighth inning allowed Toronto to score the go-ahead run. Toronto's Gregg Zaun was batting and tried to call time out with two outs in the eighth, but plate umpire Larry Vanover didn't allow it. Borowski (1-2) then threw a wild pitch, allowing Shea Hillenbrand to score from third. The Blue Jays had tied the game earlier in the inning on Corey Koskie's run-scoring double play grounder.

Scott Schoeneweis (3-3) got the last out of the eighth, and Miguel Batista finished for his 25th save.

Frank Menechino homered for the Blue Jays, who have won four of their last 14. Toronto starter Scott Downs struck out a career-high 11 in seven-plus innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.

Jorge Cantu hit a three-run homer for Tampa Bay, which extended its losing streak to five.

WHITE SOX 9, TIGERS 1: At Chicago, Carl Everett and Juan Uribe hit three-run homers, and Freddy Garcia won for the first time since July 31 to lead Chicago. The White Sox took a 4-0 lead in the second, when A.J. Pierzynski had a run-scoring single and Uribe hit his 10th homer. Chicago made it 8-1 in the fourth when Pablo Ozuna hit an RBI single and Everett homered for the second straight game.

Garcia (12-7) allowed one run and two hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts. David Sanders, making his first appearance in the major leagues since July 2003, and Bobby Jenks finished the three-hitter.

Sean Douglass (5-3) gave up eight runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings for Detroit, which has lost seven of nine.

INDIANS 6, TWINS 1: At Minneapolis, C.C. Sabathia won his sixth straight start for Cleveland by scattering three hits over 7 1/3 innings. Sabathia (12-9) didn't allow a hit until the sixth, when he surrendered two-out singles to Jason Bartlett and Shannon Stewart. Sabathia struck out seven and walked one.

Ronnie Belliard had three hits, Grady Sizemore homered and drove in two runs and Ben Broussard homered and drove in three runs for Cleveland, which won for the 11th time in 14 games.

Brad Radke (8-11) was stung again by a lack of support, though he gave up nine hits and four runs — three earned — in seven innings. The Twins have scored 13 runs in Radke's 11 losses.

RANGERS 8, ROYALS 7 (10): At Kansas City, Mo., Rod Barajas hit two homers for the second straight game, including a 10th-inning drive for Texas, which led by four runs in the ninth. Barajas hit the go-ahead homer off Mike MacDougal (3-5). Michael Young of the Rangers had three hits to raise his league-leading batting average to .326.

ANGELS 4, MARINERS 1: At Anaheim, Calif., Vladimir Guerrero hit his 300th career homer, his first in almost three weeks, and Darin Erstad homered for the first time in nearly two months to lead Los Angeles. Paul Byrd (10-9) won for the first time in eight starts since July 15, allowing one run and five hits over eight innings. He is 6-0 with a 1.52 ERA against the Mariners. Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his 33rd save.

Jamie Moyer (11-6) allowed four runs in 6 1-3 innings and gave up 10 hits, matching his season high.

Garret Anderson's sacrifice fly put the Angels ahead 2-1 in the fifth and Guerrero followed with his first homer in 58 at-bats since Aug. 14.

Erstad made it 4-1 in the sixth with his fifth homer, his first in 196 at-bats since July 4.