BOSTON – David Wells held Cincinnati hitless for 5 2-3 innings before leaving after seven innings of one-hit ball on Tuesday night, and Manny Ramirez homered for the third consecutive game to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Reds 7-0.

Wells (5-4) struck out five and allowed two walks to win his third consecutive decision. He also hit Sean Casey in the right elbow in the third inning – the Reds’ only baserunner in the first five innings.

Wells got Dane Sardinha on a fly ball to center field for the second out in the sixth before Ryan Freel lined a single to right-center to end the no-hit bid. Wells already has a perfect game to his credit: He pitched one for the Yankees in 1998 and later claimed that he was “half drunk” after partying until just a few hours before the game. Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke each pitched a perfect inning to complete the one-hitter. Luke Hudson (1-1) allowed three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out five in five innings.

Ramirez went 69 at-bats without a homer before hitting one in Wrigley Field on Sunday. He hit another on Monday night to help Boston beat Cincinnati in their first meeting since the 1975 World Series, then hit his 14th in the seventh inning Tuesday.

Bill Mueller had two singles and drove in three runs for Boston, and Trot Nixon and Kevin Millar each had a pair of hits to help the Red Sox win their third in a row.

Wells extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings, the longest by a Red Sox pitcher this year. But he walked Wily Mo Pena with two outs in the seventh, snapping a streak of 31 2-3 innings without allowing a base on balls.

Adam Dunn walked before Felipe Lopez flied out to end the inning on Wells’ 110th pitch, a season high.

Ramirez walked to lead off the second inning and, one out later, Millar walked. Jason Varitek singled to load the bases and Mueller singled in two runs.

After Mark Bellhorn struck out, Johnny Damon doubled to score Varitek and make it 3-0.

Boston made it 5-0 when Ryan Wagner relieved Hudson and walked David Ortiz. Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, then Nixon and Millar singled to score one run. Varitek walked to load the bases and Mueller singled in another run.

Ricky Stone relieved Wagner and got Bellhorn on a line drive to first and Damon on a fly out to right.

Cy Young pitched the only perfect game in Red Sox history, beating Philadelphia 3-0 on May 5, 1904.

In the greatest relief outing in baseball history, Ernie Shore relieved Babe Ruth on June 23, 1917, when he was ejected after walking the leadoff batter. The baserunner was caught stealing and Shore retired the final 26 batters.

Notes: Casey will miss Wednesday’s game because of a death in the family. His absence will also force him to miss a charity event planned in Lawrence, Mass. … Boston OF Adam Stern, claimed from Atlanta in the Rule 5 draft, hopes to report to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday after spending the season on the disabled list, manager Terry Francona said. The Red Sox have 20 days from the time Stern starts playing to decide whether to keep him or offer him back to the Braves. … Francona was back after missing Monday’s game to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. He said there were 809 graduates but he got reports from the game against Cincinnati. “Thank God we were up 5-0 because the last 600 (graduates) were more tolerable,” he said.

AP-ES-06-14-05 2155EDT

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