MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It took six homers and solid relief pitching for the Boston Red Sox to earn their biggest comeback victory in 2½ years.
Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek hit consecutive homers off Mike DeJean in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox rallied from a pair of six-run deficits to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-10 Saturday night."We were pecking away and pecking away and eventually got the win," said Kevin Millar, who had a pinch-hit grand slam for the Red Sox.Boston lost starter Casey Fossum to a sore shoulder after one inning, yet won for only the fourth time in 12 games and moved within a half-game of the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.The Red Sox have won 10 times when trailing after six innings, but had been 0-24 when behind after eight."We're continually battling back, but to finally win one from behind on this trip is big," said Varitek, whose homer snapped a 10-10 tie.It was the biggest comeback win for the Red Sox since overcoming a 7-0 deficit against Cleveland for a 9-8 victory on Sept. 21, 2000, at Boston."They kept grinding and the results were good," Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "They are very resilient."Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and pinch-hitter Bill Mueller also homered, and the Boston bullpen held Milwaukee scoreless for the final four innings."The key was our last four innings of pitching," Varitek said. "They put zeros up there and that allowed us to come back."Nixon connected off DeJean (2-4) with one out in the ninth for his seventh homer of the season, tying the score at 10. Varitek followed with his eighth of the year, giving Boston its first lead of the game."I didn't pitch well enough to get a save," said DeJean, who has blown four saves in 18 chances. "I threw some pretty bad pitches to some pretty good hitters."Milwaukee had a 10-4 lead after five, but Millar's third career slam made it 10-9 in the seventh."No doubt, I had home run on my mind," Millar said.Brandon Lyon (2-2) worked two scoreless innings for the victory. Mike Timlin got three outs for his first save since July 19, 2001, with St. Louis.Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer for the Brewers, who were looking for their first five-game winning streak in more than two years.The loss cost Milwaukee a chance to climb out of the NL Central cellar for the first time since April 26."You want to win those games when you have that type of lead," manager Ned Yost said. "It was a good game. I wish we'd have won it."The crowd of 34,242 was the second-largest this season at Miller Park behind an opening day sellout.Fossum gave up two unearned runs in the first before leaving with soreness in his left shoulder.Ortiz's third home run of the year in the second brought the Red Sox to 2-1.Milwaukee made it 6-1 in the third on an RBI single by Richie Sexson, a sacrifice fly by Brady Clark and a two-run single by Eddie Perez.Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the fourth to make it 6-3, but the Brewers got an RBI single by Scott Podsednik and Jenkins' two-run homer to take a 9-3 lead after four innings.Nixon hit an RBI double in the fifth, but Milwaukee pinch-hitter John Vander Wal had an RBI double in the bottom half to make it 10-4.Mueller's fourth homer of the year in the sixth made it 10-5.With two outs in the seventh, Ortiz singled before Nixon and Varitek walked to load the bases against reliever Jayson Durocher.Millar then hit a 1-0 pitch into the left-field stands.
The Marquette men's basketball team was honored before the game for its NCAA Final Four appearance. The Marquette campus is about 3 miles from Miller Park. & Fossum has not won since May 14, against Texas. & Brewers starter Ruben Quevedo has given up six home runs in 22 2/3 innings after allowing 28 homers in 139 innings last season. He has not won since July 24, 2002, at Houston, a span of nine starts.