Clement stays on course, notches ninth win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With a runner on third, Matt Clement threw a
pitch that sailed over Jason Varitek's head and bounced right back
to the catcher.

Everything has been going right for Clement this season.

Clement pitched seven strong innings, leading the Boston Red Sox
to their sixth straight win, 7-1 over the Philadelphia Phillies on

"I learned a lot getting to pitch with the guys I pitched with
last year," said Clement, who played for the Cubs and with Greg
Maddux last season. "It helped me mature and develop a game

Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller each had two doubles and one RBI,
and Edgar Renteria had three hits and drove in a run to help the
defending World Series champions win for the 11th time in 12 games.

Manny Ramirez moved ahead of Duke Snider into 38th place on the
career list with 408 homers when he connected leading off the
ninth. He has seven homers in the last 11 games and 18 this season.

Chase Utley had a run-scoring double for the Phillies, who have
lost eight of 11 after going 12-1 on a homestand.

"We've not only got to start hitting, we've got to start making
plays and playing heads-up ball," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel
said. "We're better than what we're playing now."

Clement (9-1) allowed one run and seven hits. He retired his
first eight batters before reliever Geoff Geary lined a single to
center for his first hit in the majors.

The right-hander, who signed a $25 million, three-year deal last
December, has allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of 16 starts. He
was 9-13 with a 3.68 ERA for Chicago last year.

"He's been strong, durable," Red Sox manager Terry Francona
said. "His ball was moving. He's been outstanding."

Vicente Padilla (3-7) gave up five runs and eight hits -- five
doubles -- in 2 2/3 innings. A former All-Star, Padilla has
struggled since winning 14 games in both 2002 and 2003. He has a
6.79 ERA and hasn't pitched more than six innings in any of 11
starts this season.

Boston scored twice in the first on RBI doubles by David Ortiz
and Nixon. Renteria singled with one out and scored on Ortiz's high
fly off the center-field wall. Nixon lined a double to right with
two outs to make it 2-0.

Varitek's two-out double in the third scored Renteria, who had
singled. Ramirez, who also singled, scored when Utley made a wild
throw from second to the plate. Mueller followed with a double that
made it 5-0.

"We've been swing the bats good," Ortiz said. "When this team
gets hot swinging the bats, it's from top to bottom."

Utley's double in the seventh drove in Philadelphia's only run.
Clement then retired David Bell on a shallow fly and Todd Pratt on
a deep fly to leave runners on second and third.

Clement also pitched out of a jam in the fourth after Jason
Michaels and Bobby Abreu hit consecutive singles to start the
inning. Jim Thome grounded into a double play, and Clement struck
out Pat Burrell to end the inning.

Before he fanned Burrell, Clement threw a pitch over the
batter's head, but the ball hit a brick wall behind the plate and
came back to Varitek, forcing Michaels to stay at third base.

Boston has scored 25 runs in Clement's last three starts after
being shut out in his only loss on June 7.

"It's not so much the support, it's knowing that if you give up
runs, they're going to score runs," Clement said. "It's amazing.
It's fun to watch and have that offense on your side."

Game notes
Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a
triple in the eighth. ... Renteria's run-scoring infield single in
the eighth was his 1,500th career hit. ... The Red Sox are 4-6 in
Philadelphia and 12-12 against the Phillies since interleague play
started in 1997. ... Burrell struck out four times and has just
three hits in his last 39 at-bats. ... Geary pitched 3 1/3
scoreless innings, and hasn't allowed a run in his last 8 1/3
innings. ... The sellout crowd of 44,868 included many vocal Red
Sox fans.