BOSTON (AP) – Manny Ramirez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning Friday night, giving the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Mike Timlin (7-2) got out of a 10th-inning jam when he retired Mark Ellis on a groundout with Marco Scutaro on third.

Juan Cruz (0-3) started the bottom of the 10th after Justin Duchscherer pitched 2 1-3 perfect innings and allowed a leadoff double to Tony Graffanino. Alejandro Machado pinch ran and took third on Johnny Damon’s groundout.

Oakland manager Ken Macha then removed left fielder Jay Payton for a fifth infielder, Keith Ginter, who played behind Cruz. Cruz hit Edgar Renteria on the right elbow, then intentionally walked David Ortiz to load the bases.

Keiichi Yabu relieved and hit Ramirez on the left elbow with a 1-1 pitch.

Ortiz tied the score in the sixth inning with his 43rd homer as Boston maintained a 11/2-game lead in the AL East over the second-place New York Yankees, who beat Toronto 11-10.

Oakland began the night tied for first in the AL West with the Los Angeles Angels, who played Detroit later Friday night.

It was the first major league game to end on a hit batter since Aug. 23, 2002, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In that one, Atlanta’s Kevin Gryboski hit the Dodgers’ Paul Lo Duca.

Boston’s Tim Wakefield came close to his third consecutive complete game, leaving after nine innings with the score tied at 2. He allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk. In his previous start, he allowed three hits in eight innings but lost 1-0 to Randy Johnson and the Yankees in New York.

Wakefield retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced Friday. Timlin set down the first two batters in the 10th before Scutaro doubled and took third on a wild pitch.

Kevin Millar scored the first run in the second inning when he doubled, took third on Kevin Youkilis’ single and came in on a passed ball by Jason Kendall on a third strike to Doug Mirabelli.

The Athletics went hitless through three innings, then scored two runs on four hits in the fourth. The runs came in on RBI singles by Kendall and Payton.

Ortiz tied it in the sixth against Oakland starter Joe Kennedy with his fifth homer in the last seven games.

Boston loaded the bases in the seventh, but Renteria grounded to shortstop Scutaro, who stepped on second for an inning-ending forceout.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 37 minutes and began in a steady rain that persisted for most of the night. But with more rain forecast for Saturday, when the teams are scheduled to play a night game, the decision was made to play.

The ending was fitting – scoring with two hit batsmen, an intentional walk and one hit – for a Red Sox team that leads the majors in batting average but had averaged just 3.3 runs in its previous five games.

Notes: Kendall hit into his sixth double play in six games in the first inning. He leads the AL with 25 double plays. Oakland has hit into 15 double plays in its last seven games. … Renteria is in a 1-for-22 slump after going 0-for-4. … Ortiz is tied for fifth in homers in one season for the Red Sox. He matched the totals of Ted Williams in 1949, Tony Armas in 1984 and Ramirez last season. … Millar increased his hitting streak to 13 games. … Kennedy had lost his previous three starts. … Oakland is 32-13 in its last 45 road games.

AP-ES-09-17-05 0019EDT


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