ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Manny Ramirez hit his 20th career grand slam and Boston also got home runs from David Ortiz and Bill Mueller in a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Ramirez hit his third grand slam of the season in the third inning off Chris Young (8-5), giving the Red Sox a 6-0 lead and tying him for the AL lead with 22 homers. On a rare almost-windless night, the high-arching shot fell just beyond the wall in right-center field. Two batters later, Mueller’s fourth homer chased the rookie pitcher.

The 20 grand slams are the second-most in major league history, trailing only Lou Gehrig’s 23. Hall of Famer Eddie Murray had 19.

Boston never trailed after Ortiz hit a two-run shot in the first, his 20th homer. That scored Johnny Damon, whose leadoff single extended his career-best hitting streak to 21 games and matched the longest in the majors this season.

Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (8-6) won his fourth straight decision over six starts, holding Texas to four runs on eight hits over eight innings in his 300th major league start (136-117 record). Before his winning streak, Wakefield had lost five straight starts.

With struggling closer Keith Foulke scheduled to return to Boston to have MRI exams on both knees, Mike Timlin worked the ninth, needing just six pitches for his second save in three chances.

Pitching ace Curt Schilling rejoined his teammates Tuesday, but it seems unlikely he’ll return to the rotation this week as he had been on track to do before struggling in two rehabilitation starts.

When Ramirez and Ortiz are hitting like they did Tuesday, the pitching isn’t as much of a concern. They are the top two RBI men in the AL, Ramirez with 77 and Ortiz with 70.

Four other sets of Boston teammates have had 20 homers each before the All-Star break, but Ramirez and Ortiz are the first to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons. The only other current teammates with 20 homers each are Texas’ Teixeira (22) and Alfonso Soriano (20).

Young lasted just 2 1-3 innings, the shortest outing in 24 career starts, 17 this season. He gave up seven runs – six earned – with two walks and three strikeouts. His ERA increased from 3.33 to 3.80.

Young is scheduled to start Sunday against Toronto, giving him one more chance to become the first Rangers rookie to have nine wins before the All-Star break.

Gary Matthews’ sixth homer, his fourth in six games, came after Rod Barajas had a one-out single in the fifth to get Texas within 7-2. An inning later, Kevin Mench had a two-run single.

Notes: Darin Erstad of the Los Angeles Angels has a 21-game hitting streak from May 28-June 21. … Young has given up eight homers the last four games, after just four long balls against him the first 13. … LHP Ron Mahay worked 3 2-3 innings in relief of Young, with five strikeouts and allowing only an infield single.

AP-ES-07-05-05 2259EDT


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