CLEVELAND (AP) – Edgar Renteria’s RBI double in the ninth inning off Bob Wickman helped rally the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Wednesday night and a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians.

Trailing 4-2 in the eighth, the Red Sox, who patented the historic comeback last season, staged their 20th come-from-behind win of the season and completed their first sweep at Jacobs Field since May 1999.

Boston has won four straight and nine of 10, and the defending World Series champions are 11 games over .500 (41-30) for the first time this season.

Renteria and John Olerud hit solo homers for Boston.

Keith Foulke (5-3) pitched two scoreless innings for the Red Sox, who managed just two runs and six hits in seven innings off Cleveland starter Cliff Lee.

Jay Payton, batting leadoff for the first time this season, doubled to open the ninth off Wickman (0-2) and went to third when center fielder Grady Sizemore bobbled the ball on the warning track for an error.

Renteria, whose 11th-inning single in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for Florida still haunts Cleveland fans, followed with his shot to the gap in left-center.

Down to their final six outs, the Red Sox rallied against Cleveland’s usually dependable bullpen in the eighth. Indians relievers came in with the AL’s lowest ERA (2.58) but couldn’t protect the lead for Lee.

The left-hander had quieted Boston’s big boppers, who had scored 19 runs and bashed eight homers in winning the series’ first two games. Before being slowed by Lee, the Red Sox had scored six or more runs in 10 of their previous 12 games.

Casey Blake had three hits and an RBI single for Cleveland, which came into the series riding a nine-game winning streak.

The Indians were hoping to salvage at least one game. Last season, they won 10 of 11 in August to get back into the playoff race before dropping nine in a row and out of contention.

In Boston’s eighth, Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar hit consecutive one-out singles off Bob Howry before Olerud hit an RBI single off lefty Arthur Rhodes, who then gave up Bill Mueller’s run-scoring single to tie it 4-4.

Olerud evened it 2-all in the seventh with his first homer since Sept. 30, when he was with the New York Yankees. The well-traveled first baseman signed a minor league deal with Boston on May 1.

Ramirez, whose escapades while playing right field during his eight seasons in Cleveland are legendary, misplayed Victor Martinez’s routine fly to left-center leading off the second.

Ramirez initially tracked the ball before he appeared to lose it despite being in the shade and let it bounce past him. Martinez went to second on Ramirez’s first error in 112 chances and scored on Jody Gerut’s bloop single.

Renteria tied it in the third with his sixth homer, a towering shot into the left-field bleachers.

Notes: Sizemore extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with a double in the first. During the streak, he’s batting .400 (20-for-50). … Boston CF Johnny Damon did not start so he could rest his sore right shoulder. Damon pinch ran and scored the tying run in the eighth. … Indians 3B Aaron Boone missed his second straight game with strep throat. … Ramirez has reached base safely in 22 straight games.

AP-ES-06-22-05 2243EDT


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