Series: Game 3 of 4

Boston leads 2-1 (as of 4/7)

Game 1: Sunday, April 4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 6
Game 3: Wednesday, April 7
Game 4: Thursday, April 8
in 13

Red Sox 10

(2-1, 2-1 away)

Orioles 3

(1-2, 1-2 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 7, 2004

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 070003000 10 14 0
    BAL 001001100 3 10 0

    W: D. Lowe (1-0)

    L: K. Ainsworth (0-1)

    Previously hitless Damon goes 5-for-5

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- Johnny Damon was delighted to snap his 0-for-9 slump with a perfect night at the plate, yet it was a sensational catch in center field that really made him smile.

    Red Sox to Nomar: Patience
    Nomar Garciaparra
    Nomar Garciaparra, who opened the season on the disabled list, told the Red Sox he'd like to test his injured Achilles tendon.

    However, manager Terry Francona nixed the idea, saying it was too ambitious. "I talked to Nomar, he's doing real good. He said he wishes he could play Friday but he's not improved that much," Francona said. "He's doing a lot of stuff in therapy and then a workout."

    Garciaparra was examined last week in Florida by Mark Slovenkai, an ankle and foot specialist from New England Baptist Hospital. No structural damage was found in the tendon, but the injury was diagnosed as a bruise in the cartilage that covers the tendon. The only treatment is rest. He is expected to miss the first three weeks of the season.

    Damon went 5-for-5 with two RBI, and the Boston Red Sox used a seven-run second inning to cruise past the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 Wednesday night.

    David Ortiz homered and Kevin Millar had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won two straight after losing to Baltimore on opening night.

    "Tonight everyone got to see what the Red Sox are all about," Damon said.

    The 28,373 at Camden Yards also found out just how good Damon can be. Besides matching his career high in hits and raising his batting average to .357, Damon stole a base, scored twice and robbed David Segui of a homer with a leaping catch at the wall.

    The play saved three runs and kept the score 10-2.

    "I had a bead on it. I had a good idea where the fence was," Damon said. "I timed it perfect."

    And so, on a night in which he excelled with his bat, Damon derived far more satisfaction from his defensive gem.

    "Five hits is nice. A great catch keeps your team well ahead," he said. "I was thankful for the catch."

    The second-inning outburst featured six hits, three walks and three defensive lapses by the Orioles. The seven runs, all of which scored with two outs, were more than Boston tallied in its first two games combined.

    Derek Lowe (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two.

    "I was able to throw most of my pitches for strikes," he said. "For the first game, I'm very pleased with the way it went."

    Millar led off the Boston second with a double off Kurt Ainsworth (0-1), making his first start with the Orioles. Jason Varitek then walked and Gabe Kapler hit into a double play.

    After Mark Bellhorn drew a walk to put runners on first and second, Pokey Reese hit a grounder to shortstop Miguel Tejada, who looked at third before throwing to first base -- too late to get Reese.

    "He thought he had a chance at third, but you don't really have a chance to set up when you have a guy like Reese running," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "You give a team like that four outs, it's going to hurt."

    Damon then hit a single to left, and Varitek easily scored before Bellhorn slid under catcher Javy Lopez, who failed to control the throw from left fielder Larry Bigbie. Bill Mueller followed with a two-run single and Ortiz walked before Manny Ramirez hit a fly to center that Luis Matos misjudged, resulting in a two-run double.

    "I saw it off the bat. That's it," Matos said.

    Millar hit an RBI single before Rick Bauer struck out Varitek to end the inning.

    Although Ainsworth probably deserved a better fate, he was charged with seven earned runs and seven hits in just 1 2-3 innings.

    "I felt like I was pitching out of the stretch the whole game," he said. "When bad things happen, you still have to make good pitches."

    Rafael Palmeiro singled in a run for Baltimore in the third, but Ortiz made it 10-1 in the sixth with his first homer, a three-run shot to right.

    "We scored 10 runs with two outs. You don't see that too often," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "That was huge."

    Jay Gibbons hit an RBI single in the bottom half, and Bigbie homered in the seventh.

    Game notes

    The top four batters in the Boston lineup combined to go 10-for-17 with nine RBI and seven runs scored. ... Lopez had two hits to raise his batting average to .545 (6-for-11). ... Both of Ainsworth's losses in the AL have come against Boston. ... Bigbie's homer was the Orioles' second of the season, the first since Lopez connected in the second inning of the opener. ... Kapler was the only Boston starter that failed to get a hit or walk.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press