BOSTON (AP) – John Olerud homered twice and drove in six runs Thursday night as the Boston Red Sox came from behind for the third consecutive game, beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-4 to complete a four-game sweep.

The Red Sox have won 19 of 20 at home and scored at least seven runs in their last 14 games at Fenway Park. They’ve won five in a row overall.

Bronson Arroyo (11-9) allowed four runs and nine hits. He struck out six in seven innings for his first win since Aug. 10.

Jonathan Papelbon worked a scoreless eighth before giving up consecutive singles to start the ninth. Mike Timlin got three outs for his fifth save.

Doug Waechter (5-9) allowed six runs – five earned – and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Boston rallied from a 5-0 deficit on Tuesday and trailed 5-1 on Wednesday before winning both games 7-6.

The Red Sox trailed 2-0 and 4-2 on Thursday night before scoring one in the fifth, then Olerud hit a three-run shot in the sixth to give Boston its first lead of the game.

With the Yankees’ 5-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners earlier Thursday, Boston moved 3games ahead of New York in the AL East. The Red Sox led by as many as 5and as few as 1 games in August.

Jonny Gomes homered in the second to give the Devil Rays a 2-0 lead, but Olerud matched the two-run shot in the bottom half.

Tampa Bay went up 4-2 in the fourth on Travis Lee’s two-run homer.

Edgar Renteria hit a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one run in the fifth.

In the sixth, Trot Nixon hit a leadoff single, Jason Varitek walked and, one out later, Olerud hit his fifth homer of the season.

It was the 17th multihomer game of Olerud’s career. The two-time All-Star and former AL batting champ has been fighting for playing time with Kevin Millar, who homered twice on Wednesday.

Olerud added an RBI double in the eighth.

Notes: Manny Ramirez was not in Boston’s lineup. Manager Terry Francona said Ramirez’s legs looked tired. … Tampa Bay recalled RHP Lance Carter from Triple-A Durham. … Boston activated RHP Keith Foulke from the 15-day disabled list; recalled INF Alejandro Machado from Triple-A; purchased the contract of LHP Matt Perisho from Triple-A, and added RHP Chad Harville to the active roster. … Julio Lugo tried to steal second in the first inning – just the third baserunner to try stealing against Arroyo. Only the Cubs’ Corey Patterson has succeeded.

AP-ES-09-01-05 2145EDT


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