BOSTON (AP) – Kevin Millar hit two homers and David Ortiz hit his fifth in five games on Wednesday night, helping the Boston Red Sox rally from a big deficit for the second consecutive night and beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-6.

Millar hit 43 home runs in the previous two seasons but had hit only one since a two-homer game on June 4. Still a popular player in the clubhouse, the outspoken and sometimes goofy first baseman had been losing fans at Fenway Park ever since.

But he led off the second with a shot to tie the game at 1, then broke a 5-all tie in the seventh with a two-run drive off the Coke bottles atop the Green Monster that gave Boston its first lead.

Tim Wakefield (14-10) allowed five runs on six hits and a walk, striking out five to improve to 13-1 in his career against Tampa Bay and win for the sixth time in seven starts. He gave up solo homers to Julio Lugo and Travis Lee and a three-run shot to Carl Crawford to fall behind 5-1 before retiring the last 16 batters he faced.

Mike Timlin allowed Alex Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly in the ninth before earning his fourth save. Casey Fossum (8-11) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 2-3 innings, striking out five. The Devil Rays, who took a 5-0 lead off Curt Schilling before losing 7-6 on Tuesday, led 5-1 through three this time before Boston came back for its 18th win in its last 19 games at Fenway.

Doug Mirabelli led off the fourth with a homer to make it 5-2, then Bill Mueller singled and Gabe Kapler doubled. Alex Cora followed with an RBI groundout and Johnny Damon hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4.

Ortiz homered to lead off the fifth and tie the score at 5-all. It stayed that way until the seventh, when Fossum hit Manny Ramirez with two outs. Jesus Colome relieved him and gave up Millar’s towering shot off the soda bottles above the Green Monster to break the tie.

Notes: Mirabelli caught Colome napping in the seventh and took off for second base. Colome realized too late that Mirabelli was running, then threw into center field to let the runner get to third. It was Mirabelli’s second stolen base of the season, tying a career high. … It was Boston’s 38th come-from-behind win of the season. … Boston recalled INF Kevin Youkilis from Triple-A and optioned right-hander Manny Delcarmen to Pawtucket. … Red Sox 2B Tony Graffanino was kept out of the lineup with a tender hamstring. … RHP Wade Miller (shoulder tendinitis) threw about 30 pitches before the game and reported no problems.

AP-ES-08-31-05 2138EDT


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