BOSTON (AP) – Manny Ramirez hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning and drove in two runs, leading Bronson Arroyo and the Boston Red Sox over the struggling Oakland Athletics 2-1 Saturday night.

It was the second consecutive game-winning RBI for Ramirez, but came in a much different way than the one that gave Boston a 3-2 win in 10 innings Friday night. In that one, he was hit by a pitch after the Red Sox loaded the bases on an intentional walk to David Ortiz.

Arroyo (13-9) retired his first 12 batters before walking the first hitter in the fifth. He gave up the first hit with two outs in the inning, an RBI single by Marco Scutaro. Arroyo allowed three hits – all singles – in seven innings.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the eighth and Mike Timlin got the last three outs to finish the four-hitter and earn his ninth save.

Dan Haren (13-11) settled down after allowing a first-inning run on three singles. He gave up just one more single before Ramirez hit a long shot onto the street behind the Green Monster seats in left field with one out in the sixth for his 36th homer and 125th RBI of the year.

The Red Sox kept their 1-game AL East lead over the New York Yankees, who beat Toronto 1-0. The Athletics’ fourth loss in five games dropped them 1 games off the AL West lead held by the Los Angeles Angels, who played at home against Detroit later Saturday.

Boston became the first team in the majors this season to win 50 home games and has won 14 consecutive games at Fenway Park that were decided by one run.

The Red Sox lead the majors in batting but have scored just 21 runs in their last seven games. They won four of them, with three victories coming by one run.

One night after Tim Wakefield went nine innings, Arroyo pitched deep into the game and improved to 3-0 in four starts. He struck out one, walked three and allowed only singles to Scutaro in the fifth and Jason Kendall and Mark Kotsay in the sixth.

But Kotsay was erased when Eric Chavez grounded into a double play before Scott Hatteberg grounded out.

Papelbon retired the first two batters in the eighth before Kendall doubled and took third on shortstop Edgar Renteria’s career-high 28th error. He failed to catch Trot Nixon’s throw to the infield., allowing Kendall to reach third, but Kotsay flied to left fielder Ramirez.

Haren gave up a run in the first on singles by Renteria, Ortiz and Ramirez, but struck out the side. He retired 13 consecutive batters before Johnny Damon singled in the fifth.

Notes: Ramirez’s homer was his 426th, tying Billy Williams of the Chicago Cubs for 36th on the career list. Jim Thome is 35th with 430. … The Athletics grounded into a double play for the eighth straight game, setting a season high. They have 17 in that stretch after grounding into two Saturday. … Jason Varitek is in a 4-for-39 slump after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. … Kevin Millar’s hitting streak ended at 13 games. … Haren was 3-0 in his previous four starts.

AP-ES-09-17-05 2143EDT


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