BOSTON (AP) – Johnny Damon bounced a bases-loaded single through a drawn-in infield to break a ninth-inning tie, giving the Boston Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night in a rematch of the first World Series.

The Pirates had a runner thrown out at the plate in the eighth, and Boston had a runner on third with none out in the bottom half, but neither could break the 5-5 tie. In the ninth, Kevin Millar ended an 11-pitch at-bat with a looper over first base that bounced into the seats for a double.

Pinch-runner Kevin Youkilis went to third when Rick White (2-3) couldn’t handle Jason Varitek’s sacrifice bunt, an error that left everybody safe. Bill Mueller, who had a double and a triple with three RBIs, was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Mark Bellhorn, who hit a three-run homer in the second, grounded into a force at the plate. But Mike Gonzalez relieved and fell behind Damon 2-0 before he hit a 2-1 pitch up the middle.

Keith Foulke (4-3) struck out two in one inning to give Boston its fifth consecutive victory and send the Pirates to their fifth straight loss.

The Pirates hadn’t played the Red Sox in Boston since coming to the Huntington Avenue Grounds for the 1903 World Series, when the American and National Leagues agreed to stop raiding each other’s players and meet in a nine-game “world’s series.” Pittsburgh played the Boston Braves in Fenway Park 10 times from 1914-15, and the Red Sox visited Pittsburgh for interleague play in 2003.

Pittsburgh scored four runs in the first inning of the first Series, and started quickly again in its return. The Pirates scored three in the first but, just as in 1903, when Boston won in eight games, things turned out wrong for the Bucs.

Humberto Cota singled with one out in the eighth and, on Jack Wilson’s grounder back to pitcher Mike Timlin, Bellhorn, the second baseman, fumbled the throw. Second base umpire C.B. Bucknor called Cota out at second, but replays showed Bellhorn never caught the ball.

Matt Lawton walked, and Freddy Sanchez lined a single to left field. Manny Ramirez’s throw pulled Varitek to the first-base side of the plate, but Wilson slid into the catcher’s shinguard and missed the plate; Varitek applied the tag to end the inning.

Boston had similar problems in the bottom half, failing to score after Edgar Renteria led off with a triple into the right-field corner, chasing Salomon Torres after just one batter. John Grabow got David Ortiz to pop up, then intentionally walked Ramirez.

White came on and got pinch-hitter Jay Payton to bounce a ball over the mound. Wilson, the shortstop, fielded the ball and threw behind him to second baseman Jose Castillo, who turned the inning-ending double play.

Notes: Seven of the 13 games started by Pittsburgh’s Josh Fogg this season have been decided by one run. … Daryle Ward doubled in the first inning to extend the Pittsburgh’s streak of extra-base hits. The Pirates are the only team to have one in every game this season. … Boston RHP Curt Schilling threw for 20 minutes before the game and reported no problems with the right ankle that has kept him on the disabled list since April 24. He is scheduled to test his ankle again by throwing batting practice on Monday. … Bellhorn was 1-for-18 before his three-run homer in the second inning.

AP-ES-06-17-05 2240EDT


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