BOSTON (AP) – David Ortiz homered twice on Monday night, giving him four in the past three games, and Johnny Damon hit his first leadoff homer since Boston’s World Series clincher to lead the Red Sox to a 10-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

On a day when the Red Sox lost left-handed ace David Wells to a six-game suspension, Matt Clement (12-3) won for the second time in eight starts since his All-Star game appearance. Clement allowed one run on three hits in five-plus innings, walking two and striking out three.

John Olerud had three of Boston’s 13 hits. It was the 11th consecutive home game in which the Red Sox scored seven runs or more, but only a few thousand fans in the sellout crowd were around at the end thanks to a rain delay of 1 hour, 43 minutes.

Seth McClung (5-8) allowed two solo homers in the first and warmed up for the second before a pelting rain delayed the game.

When it stopped, Tim Corcoran relieved him.

Damon’s leadoff homer started an up-and-down night for him. He drove in another run on a sacrifice line drive, thanks to smart baserunning by Bill Mueller, but left the game after six innings when he took a pitch off his left hand; he had a bruise but X-rays were negative.

Damon also misplayed a popup for an error in the fifth that helped the Devil Rays make it 3-1 in the fifth. But Boston scored four times in the bottom half to chase Corcoran.

Boston turned four double plays in the first six innings, including one in the fourth when second baseman Alex Cora faked out Carl Crawford on a line drive to right. Cora convinced the runner that Jorge Cantu’s ball was a grounder; by the time Crawford wised up, Trot Nixon had doubled him off first base.

After Damon greeted McClung with a homer, Edgar Renteria shot one to right – just foul – before grounding out to the pitcher. Ortiz made it 2-0 with his 34th of the year, then added No. 35 in the seventh to make it 8-2.

Damon’s leadoff homer was the 16th of his career in the regular season. He also hit one to start Game 4 of the Series when the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first title in 86 years.

Eduardo Perez homered and Cantu had a run-scoring groundout in the ninth. Gabe Kapler made a diving catch of Aubrey Huff’s liner to center to end the game.

Notes: Boston claimed RHP Chad Harville off waivers from the Houston Astros. … RHP Keith Foulke is scheduled to make another rehab outing at Single-A Lowell and be activated on Sept. 1. … McClung was attempting to become the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win five games in a month.

AP-ES-08-30-05 0009EDT


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