Ramirez powers Sox

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BOSTON (AP) – Manny Ramirez homered and drove in four runs, Mike Lowell added a three-run shot and the Boston Red Sox held on for an 8-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

After losing to Chicago 4-2 on Thursday, Boston outscored the White Sox 29-10 in the final three games of the series to close out their longest homestand of the season at 6-5.

With the loss, the White Sox fell into a tie for last place in the AL Central with the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox have not been in last place this late in the year since the final day of the 1989 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tim Wakefield (11-9) allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings for the Red Sox, who have won three straight after losing four of five.

Wakefield struck out two and walked two, becoming the first pitcher to start the season with 20 straight decisions since Houston’s Shane Reynolds in 2001.

Wakefield coasted through six innings – allowing just one run on three hits – before Chicago scored four in the seventh to cut the deficit to 8-5.

The White Sox had the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh, but Manny Delcarmen got Paul Konerko to pop out to first. Hideki Okajima then struck out A.J. Pierzynski to end the inning.

Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon started the ninth by allowing consecutive singles to Juan Uribe and Jerry Owens. Alex Cintron then walked to load the bases, but Papelbon struck out Jim Thome and got Konerko to hit into a double play for his 22nd save in 23 chances.

Ramirez, who limped into the All-Star break with 11 homers and 45 RBIs, continued his second-half surge. He went 2-for-2 with three walks, improving to 15-for-39 with four homers and 13 RBIs since the break.

Following a pair of Jon Garland walks, Ramirez gave the Red Sox a 3-0 first-inning lead with a homer to right-center field.

Garland (7-7) allowed six runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings to snap a three-game road winning streak. He tied a season high with five walks and struck out three.

Josh Fields drove in two runs and Jermaine Dye had two doubles for the White Sox, who finished 4-7 on their longest road trip of the year.

Dye led off the fifth with a double, then scored one out later when Fields lined a single to left-center just outside the outstretched glove of a diving Coco Crisp to make it 3-1.

But Wakefield stranded Fields by getting Uribe and Owens to pop out.

, and the Red Sox scored three more in the bottom half of the inning.

Garland surrendered two-out walks to Ramirez and J.D. Drew, and Lowell hammered a 1-1 pitch over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 6-1 lead. Crisp followed with a single, chasing Garland.

Ramirez added an RBI single in the sixth to build Boston’s lead up to 8-1.

Notes: Boston LHP Jon Lester will start at Cleveland on Monday. It will be his first major league appearance since beating the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 23 last year. The Red Sox said nine days later that he had a treatable form of lymphoma. … Boston DH David Ortiz sat out with a left shoulder strain for the second straight day. An MRI exam taken Saturday showed no structural damage, and Ortiz said he expects to return to the lineup soon. … Wakefield has lasted at least six innings five straight starts.

AP-ES-07-22-07 1750EDT

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