<
>

Fourth straight loss doesn't sit well

ATLANTA (AP) -- For the second straight night, extra innings
brought Boston extra misery.

Nick Green hit a tying sacrifice fly off Keith Foulke in the
10th inning, then hit a three-run homer off Anastacio Martinez in
the 12th Friday to give the Atlanta Braves a 6-3 win over the reeling Red Sox.

A night after Boston couldn't hold a 4-3 lead in the 13th inning
of a 5-4 loss at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox stumbled again.
Boston, which trails New York by 8½ games in the AL East, has
dropped four straight and 9 of 12, falling to 27-30 since April.

"We know we're a heck of a lot better ballclub than we're
showing," Foulke said after his third blown save in 16 opportunities.

"It doesn't matter how you lose or how long it takes you to
lose, but it's frustrating," Johnny Damon added.

Nomar Garciaparra, who couldn't play Thursday because of his
ailing right foot, was back in the lineup and went 3-for-5. But he
also grounded into an inning-ending double play in the 10th after
Manny Ramirez put Boston ahead 3-2 with an RBI single off Kevin
Gryboski following an intentional walk to David Ortiz.

Foulke allowed a leadoff double to Rafael Furcal in the 10th,
but he said the more crucial mistake was then throwing a wild pitch
that set up Green's sacrifice fly.

"That's the way it's going right now," Boston manager Terry
Francona said. "We didn't do enough to win the game. We did some
things, but we didn't do enough. There are always tests, and we're
definitely going through one of those now."

Mark DeRosa singled leading off the 12th against Martinez (2-1),
recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier Friday. After fouling off
a sacrifice bunt attempt, Furcal blooped a double to right-center,
putting runners on second and third and bringing up Green, who hit
his third homer of the season.

"I'll feel sorry for them when they leave here," Braves
manager Bobby Cox said.

Atlanta has won seven of nine. Still one game below .500 at
39-40, the Braves have had their own problems this season as they
try to stay in the NL East race.

Francona said Martinez had to try to strike out Green but
instead left a pitch too high over the plate.

"That's a difficult spot for a kid who just got here,"
Francona said.

Green delivered his first career game-ending homer. He struck on
his first three at-bats.

"I had a tough day and to top it off with something like that
makes it exciting," Green said.

Ramirez struck out four times, ending the top of the 12th by
fanning against Juan Cruz (2-0) with runners on first and second.

Atlanta improved to 5-3 in extra-inning games, while Boston fell
to 3-5.

Boston's bullpen pitched six innings a night earlier in New
York, with Foulke going two, and Mike Timlin, Alan Embree and
Curtis Leskanic also appearing.

Against the Braves, Embree pitched the eighth, Timlin the ninth
and Foulke the 10th. Martinez came in to start the 11th.

Boston took a 2-0 lead against Jaret Wright on Ortiz's
first-inning homer, which tied Ramirez for the AL lead at 22, and
an RBI single in the second by defending AL batting champion Bill
Mueller, activated by the disabled list before the game.

Chipper Jones led off the bottom of the second with his 11th
homer, and J.D. Drew tied the score in the third with his
team-leading 19th homer.

Wright allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. Bronson
Arroyo, making his fifth straight start against an NL team, gave up
two runs and five hits in seven innings.

Game notes
Boston batters struck out 15 times. ... Jones' homer was
his first since June 20 and his 11th this season. ... Ortiz has
nine homers in his last 14 games. ... Varitek's stolen base in the
second inning was his fifth of the year, setting a career high, one
more than in 2002.