Schilling returns to form, Sox double up O’s


BOSTON (AP) – Curt Schilling moved into a tie for the AL lead with his fifth win and David Ortiz put Boston ahead with a three-run double, leading the Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 Friday night.

Schilling (5-1) rebounded from his only loss of the season, allowing three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. Schilling didn’t win his fifth game until Aug. 19 last season, when he was slowed by an injured right ankle.

Ortiz, hitless in his previous 11 at-bats, cleared the bases in the four-run sixth when Boston took a 6-3 lead. It was his first hit since a three-run homer produced the final runs in Monday night’s 7-3 win over the New York Yankees.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 12 opportunities.

The game marked the return to Fenway Park for Kevin Millar, Boston’s first baseman the past three seasons who left after the Red Sox declined to pursue him in free agency. He went 2-for-3 with a run but Baltimore lost its ninth straight game to Boston, including four this year.

Besides Ortiz, two other players in big slumps got clutch hits in the decisive sixth inning. Alex Gonzalez began the inning 2-for-20 and Mark Loretta 5-for-30.

With one out, Mike Lowell tied a career high with his third double of the game. He stayed at second when Wily Mo Pena grounded to shortstop then stole third with Gonzalez at the plate. Gonzalez doubled him in to tie it at 3.

Kevin Youkilis walked and Todd Williams replaced Rodrigo Lopez (1-4). Loretta popped a bunt toward third base that Melvin Mora barehanded but couldn’t hold. The single loaded the bases for Ortiz, who lined a 3-2 pitch to right field for a bases-clearing double.

Baltimore had taken a 1-0 lead in the first on singles by Mora and Miguel Tejada and a grounder by Jay Gibbons. Boston tied it in the bottom of the inning when Youkilis led off with his third homer of the season.

The Red Sox went ahead 2-1 in the fourth when Lowell doubled and scored when Pena singled and right fielder Gibbons bobbled the ball for an error.

The Orioles regained the lead with two runs in the fifth. Millar led off with a single and scored on a triple by Nick Markakis. Brandon Fahey then singled in Markakis for a 3-2 lead.

Notes: Lowell began the day tied with Michael Young of Texas for the major league lead with 13 doubles. … When Fahey was thrown out trying to steal in the fifth he became only the fourth Oriole to be caught in 26 steal attempts this season. … The Red Sox passed the 500,000 mark in attendance in their 14th home game for the first time in team history. They did it in the 15th game in each of the last two seasons, then added seats for this season. The crowd of 36,515 Friday night was the 240th straight sellout at Fenway Park and boosted the season total to 507,855.

AP-ES-05-05-06 2201EDT