BOSTON (AP) – Kevin Millar and David Ortiz homered as Boston’s bats recovered following a rare off night, and the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 Saturday.

Matt Clement pitched eight strong innings for Boston, which won for the sixth time in seven games and maintained a 31-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East.

Before Friday’s 7-3 loss, the Red Sox had scored seven or more runs in 14 consecutive home games, an AL record.

Clement (13-3) allowed four runs – two earned – and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in his longest outing since July 6, when he went 8 2/3 innings in a 7-4 win at Texas. He is 3-0 in his last eight starts.

After shortstop Edgar Renteria booted a potential double-play grounder by Luis Matos for an error in the ninth, Baltimore closed on Brian Roberts’ RBI double and Melvin Mora’s sacrifice fly. With runners at the corners, Mike Timlin retired Miguel Tejada on a flyout for his sixth save.

Erik Bedard (6-6) gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Orioles, who had won three straight.

Manny Ramirez broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in a three-run fifth inning that included a run-scoring wild pitch by reliever Jorge Julio and Millar’s RBI grounder.

Jay Gibbons’ solo homer in the sixth pulled Baltimore to 6-4, but Ortiz homered in the seventh, his 37th of the season and sixth in eight games.

Roberts and Johnny Damon hit sacrifice flies in the third, and Baltimore took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on errors by Ramirez in left and Damon in center, and Javy Lopez’s RBI single. Millar’s two-run homer tied it in the bottom half. After hitting only four homers in the Red Sox first 123 games, he has four in the last 11 and three in the last four.

Notes: LHP David Wells starts Sunday for Boston after serving a six-game suspension for a July 2 argument with umpires. … Ortiz’s homer gave him 100 runs for the first time in his career. … Boston is 6-8 against Baltimore this season, with five of its 20 home losses coming against the Orioles. … Baltimore has scored fewer than five runs in 14 of its last 22 games and has 78 runs in that span. … Gibbons has four homers in his last six games … Bedard is 1-5 in 10 starts since coming off the DL July 18. … Boston is 7-2 in its season-long 14-game homestand.

AP-ES-09-03-05 2226EDT


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