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Boston gets eighth last at-bat win this season

5/14/2003

BOSTON (AP) -- When the Red Sox trail late in the game, it's time
for the opponent to worry.

Boston gots its eighth last at-bat win this season as Nomar
Garciaparra's RBI double capped a three-run eighth inning Tuesday
night in a 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

"Nobody ever puts their head down," Garciaparra said. "Even
when we're down by a lot, you never know."

On Sunday, Boston (24-14) trailed Minnesota 9-1 after five
innings. Then the Red Sox began a comeback that featured three
homers but just fell short in a 9-8 loss.

"I think that was our biggest game of the season," said Todd
Walker, who singled in the tying run in the eighth inning Tuesday.
"Everybody believes when that happens you can do it again. So now
two runs down doesn't seem that much."

Texas starter John Thomson allowed three hits in six innings,
and the Rangers led 4-2 in the eighth when third baseman Hank
Blalock let Shea Hillenbrand's hard grounder off Francisco Cordero
(1-4) get by him for an error.

One out later, Jason Varitek
singled, and Johnny Damon followed with another single that cut the
deficit to 4-3.

Walker then singled, and Garciaparra's double put Boston ahead.
Some of the balls weren't hit hard.

"Sometimes they're going to hit me hard and right at guys,"
Cordero said. "Other times they're not going to hit it as hard and
it's going to go through."

Alan Embree (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Brandon Lyon
finished for his fifth save in five chances.

Juan Gonzalez singled leading off the ninth and Herbert Perry's
two-out infield single went off Kevin Millar's glove at first to
put runners at the corners. Michael Young then grounded to
Garciaparra at shortstop, and he threw to second for the final out.

"Any time you lose a game, it's frustrating, especially a game
where we felt like we were going to win," Rafael Palmeiro said.

Texas had taken a 4-2 lead in the sixth when Blalock hit a solo
homer and Gonzalez hit a three-run drive. The Rangers have a major
league-leading 66 homers, accounting for 105 of 211 runs this
season.

Palmeiro, who on Sunday became the 19th player to hit 500
homers, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Boston went ahead 2-0 on solo homers by Manny Ramirez in the
second and Nixon in the third, but Thomson allowed just one other
hit.

"John pitched real well on three days' rest," Texas manager
Buck Showalter said.

Red Sox starter John Burkett allowed just three singles and a
walk through five innings before walking two leading up to
Gonzalez's 13th homer of the season.

"He put one pitch where he didn't want to put it and he paid
for it dearly with Gonzalez," Boston manager Grady Little said.
"But Burkett was outstanding."

Last Wednesday, Burkett faced the minimum 15 batters through
five innings, allowing one hit against Kansas City. But in the
sixth, he gave up six runs and five hits as the Royals went up 6-1.
The Red Sox ended up winning 9-6.

Game notes
Einar Diaz of Texas grounded into double plays in his first
two at-bats. Then he beat out a bunt single to third. ... Boston
activated RHP Robert Person from the 15-day disabled list and sent
RHP Steve Woodard to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Only eight of the 21
outs Burkett recorded came on grounders. ... ... The Red Sox hit
two solo homers after hitting four Sunday.

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