CLEVELAND (AP) – The Cleveland Indians were sailing along, until they ran into the World Series champs.

Manny Ramirez homered and drove in four runs against his former team, and the Boston Red Sox beat Cleveland 10-9 Monday night to stop the Indians’ nine-game winning streak.

Ramirez and Jason Varitek each hit a three-run homer, with Varitek’s shot coming during a six-run fifth inning that sent Indians starter C.C. Sabathia walking off the field in disgust after one of the worst starts of his career.

Johnny Damon also connected to provide a key insurance run for the Red Sox, who have won seven of eight. All that offense made a winner of David Wells (6-4), who won his fourth straight decision despite a rough outing.

The Indians’ winning streak was their longest since 2002 and moved the club to seven games over .500 after a slow start to the season.

Cleveland made it close with consecutive home runs in the eighth. Travis Hafner hit a two-run shot, his 10th, off Alan Embree. Keith Foulke took over and gave up a homer to Victor Martinez, making it 9-8.

Damon homered leading off the ninth to make it 10-8. Foulke allowed an RBI double to Jhonny Peralta in the bottom half, then retired Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp for his 14th save in 16 chances.

Ramirez, who left Cleveland as a free agent after the 2000 season, hit his 15th homer to the porch in left for a 3-1 lead in the fourth. He was simultaneously booed by the hometown crowd and cheered by visiting Red Sox fans as he rounded the bases.

Ramirez is 8-for-14 with four home runs and seven RBIs against Sabathia (5-4), who stood with his hands on his hips as Ramirez trotted home.

The slugger added a broken-bat, bloop double that landed on the left-field line to make it 6-4 in the fifth.

Two batters later, Varitek hit a 420-foot homer just over the 19-foot wall in center. He stopped on second thinking the ball stayed in the park, but second base umpire Larry Vanover signaled him to circle the bases.

That ended the night for Sabathia, who walked off the field with his hat cocked even more crooked than usual. He was booed by the crowd and appeared to say something to the fans sitting behind the Cleveland dugout.

Sabathia gave up a career-high nine earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He lasted just 3 1-3 innings in his previous start.

Wells went five innings and allowed four runs, 10 hits and two walks. He has not lost since May 24.

His 17-inning scoreless streak was snapped in the first on Martinez’s RBI single. It also ended 16 scoreless innings by Red Sox starters.

The Indians took back the lead briefly with a three-run fourth that included RBIs from Aaron Boone, Crisp and Ronnie Belliard.

But Damon tied it with an RBI single to start the six-run fifth. David Ortiz then slapped the ball to Boone at third, whose throw home was off, allowing Mark Bellhorn to graze the plate with his hand and elude Martinez’s tag for a 5-4 lead.

Notes: Boston RHP Curt Schilling threw 65 pitches in a simulated start and will throw another session Friday in Philadelphia as he recovers from an ankle injury. … Sizemore singled in the second to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. … Fans in the left-field bleachers chanted “Get a haircut” to Damon, who took off his hat and turned to face the crowd with his arms outspread. … Wells has not lost to the Indians since 2000 and has won 12 of his last 13 starts against them. … Boston has scored six or more runs in nine of its last 10 games.

AP-ES-06-20-05 2255EDT


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