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Millar homers twice as Lowe stymies Brewers

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Kevin Millar might not be ready to go home yet.

Millar homered twice and drove in four runs, backing a strong
outing by Derek Lowe as the Boston Red Sox beat the Milwaukee
Brewers 9-1 Sunday.

Millar, who had a pinch-hit grand slam to help Boston rally from
a pair of six-run deficits in Saturday night's 11-10 victory,
batted .387 (12-for-31) as the Red Sox went 5-7 on their road trip.

"It's just a situation where I got some good at-bats going and
that carried me over,'' said Millar, who is happy about getting
more playing time recently. "I got my stroke back and it feels
good.''

Millar's second career mult-ihomer game gave him 10 homers this
season. Todd Walker added a two-run double for the Red Sox, who
became the latest team to tee off against struggling lefty Glendon Rusch.

Leading 2-1, Boston scored three runs off Rusch (1-9) with two
outs in the third inning.

Nomar Garciaparra singled and advanced to second on an error by
center fielder Scott Podsednik. With first base open, the Brewers
intentionally walked Manny Ramirez before Millar hit a three-run
homer.

"In that situation, you're not trying to hit a home run,''
Millar said. "You just want to get a good pitch to hit and drive
in some runs.''

The 5-1 lead was enough for Lowe (6-3), who was pulled for a
pinch-hitter in the seventh because of a blister on his right
thumb. He scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one,
facing only 22 batters -- four over the minimum -- in six innings.

"We need this man to pitch well,'' Red Sox manager Grady Little
said. "He came into the season thinking he was going to match last
year's performance (21-8, 2.58 ERA) and that's tough to do. Now
he's settling in.''

Ramiro Mendoza followed with two perfect innings for Boston, and
Hector Almonte allowed two baserunners before retiring the side in
the ninth.

Rusch allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings, raising
his ERA to 7.73.

He gave up singles to Johnny Damon, Walker and Garciaparra to
start the game. Damon scored on Garciaparra's hit, and Walker made
it 2-0 when he came home on a double-play grounder by Ramirez.

"It's embarrassing when you go out and throw the way I have
been,'' Rusch said. "It won't be hard to be more successful than I
have been. I need to go in the opposite direction, that's for
sure.''

Milwaukee's only run against Lowe came in the third when John Vander Wal led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout and
scored on another groundout by Eddie Perez to make it 2-1.

But Millar's home run and three more insurance runs on an RBI
single by Damon and a two-run double by Walker in the seventh made
it easy for the Boston bullpen in the final three innings.

The Brewers are 11-21 at home and 14-15 on the road.

"I don't have an answer for that,'' manager Ned Yost said. "If
I knew why, we'd fix it. But I don't make a big deal out of it
because we could have won two out of three this weekend against one
of the best teams in the American League.''

Game notes
The Red Sox said RHP Pedro Martinez would come off the
disabled list and pitch Wednesday at home against St. Louis. He
threw two simulated innings in the bullpen Sunday. ... Rusch has
allowed 113 hits, most in the majors. ... Boston is 4-2 in
interleague play this season. The Red Sox were 5-13 against the NL
in 2002. ... Milwaukee RHP Ben Sheets, who pitches Tuesday against
Florida, has gone six or more innings in 13 of 14 starts this
season. He also leads the majors in home runs allowed with 18. ...
Boston started six players -- and the Brewers none -- with batting
averages higher than .300. ... Boston has 10 or more hits in 37 of
61 games in 2003. ... Millar also hit two homers against the New
York Mets on July 7, 2002.