BOSTON (AP) – Manny Ramirez added to his major league-leading RBI total with a three-run homer and a run-scoring single and the Boston Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4 Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Royals, who have the AL’s worst record after being swept in four games by Tampa Bay – the league’s second-worst team – over the weekend.

Tim Wakefield (10-9) allowed four runs and six hits and struck out seven in seven innings. Curt Schilling pitched the ninth for his sixth save overall and fourth in a row.

Wakefield gave up two singles and Matt Stairs’ three-run homer in the first inning. Chip Ambres added a solo shot in the third to put the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole.

But Ramirez, who was the focus of trade rumors before delivering the game-winning hit as a pinch hitter on Sunday, made it 4-3 with his shot to straightaway center in the fourth. Boston rallied for three runs against Ambiorix Burgos (1-4) in the seventh to take the lead.

Jose Cruz Jr., making his Red Sox debut, walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Adam Stern. Tony Graffanino singled and, when right fielder Emil Brown let the ball get past him for an error, Stern scored to tie it and Graffanino took second.

Johnny Damon singled to give Boston a 5-4 lead. David Ortiz singled with one out and then Ramirez singled to score Damon, his 97th RBI.

Burgos gave up three runs and four hits in one inning. Stairs, Ambres, Mike Sweeney and Angel Berroa each had two hits for the Royals.

Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez allowed three runs in six innings in his second straight no-decision. He has not lost in five starts since July 1.

Ramirez began the game by visiting the scoreboard inside the Green Monster, emerging with a sign that said: “The new episode: Manny being Manny.”

Notes: Eleven members of the Royals’ 25-man roster had never played against the Red Sox. … Boston optioned RHP Jon Papelbon to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Cruz, who was acquired in a trade on Saturday. … Boston’s last winning streak of more than five games was an 11-game run from Aug. 16-Sept. 3 last year. … Wakefield celebrated his 39th birthday. … John Buck tagged out Boston’s Gabe Kapler at the plate in the eighth, holding onto the ball when Kapler barreled into him.

AP-ES-08-02-05 2156EDT


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