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O's three-game winning streak ends

BOSTON (AP) -- The pitching of Matt Clement and the power of Kevin Millar and David Ortiz overcame poor fielding that nearly cost the Boston Red Sox a win.

The Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-6 on Saturday night despite allowing two unearned runs in the ninth and four overall. Boston made three errors and has seven in its last four games.

"Anytime you give extra outs, extra opportunities, it is not good," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "When things don't happen always perfect, we come back and don't let it throw us for a loop."

The Red Sox offense revived after a one-game dropoff. They scored at least seven runs in 14 consecutive home games, an AL record, before losing to Baltimore 7-3 on Friday night.

"What they've been doing lately is incredible," said Clement, who went eight innings. It's "nothing I've ever witnessed before."

Ortiz's 37th homer, a solo shot, gave Boston a 7-4 lead in the seventh. Clement (13-3) was replaced by Mike Timlin to start the ninth.

B.J. Surhoff singled, Eric Byrnes struck out and Luis Matos hit
a grounder to shortstop Edgar Renteria, who booted it as he tried to start a game-ending double play. Brian Roberts then doubled in a run and Melvin Mora hit a sacrifice fly.

But Timlin got his sixth save when he retired Miguel Tejada on a fly to right with runners at first and third.

"It takes a lot of guts and a lot of courage" to face Tejada in that situation, Clement said.

Boston won for the sixth time in seven games and maintained a 3-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. Baltimore's winning streak ended at three games.

Erik Bedard (6-6) dropped to 1-5 in 10 starts since returning from the disabled list after spraining a ligament in his left knee. He said the knee feels fine.

"I'm just throwing less strikes," he said. "If you don't get ahead, they're waiting for you to throw at least one strike."

Manny Ramirez broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single in a three-run fifth inning that included a run-scoring wild pitch by reliever Jorge Julio and Millar's RBI grounder.

Millar's two-run homer had tied it at 3 in the bottom of the fourth. After hitting four homers in the Red Sox first 123 games, he has four in the last 11 and three in the last four.

"You're not going to get good results all the time," he said. "It's just a matter of time until you get that swing and you get some hitters counts and you get some home runs here and there. It's nice to start swinging well."

Roberts and Johnny Damon had hit sacrifice flies in the third, and Baltimore took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on errors by Ramirez in left and Damon in center and Javy Lopez's RBI single.

Jay Gibbons' solo homer in the sixth pulled Baltimore to 6-4. But the Orioles couldn't do much against Clement, who allowed four runs -- two earned-- and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

"He threw outstanding," Mora said. "He mixed all of his pitches. The slider was working today [and] he worked out of jams."

Bedard gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"His offspeed stuff isn't as good as it was before," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "Before he had great command of his changeup and his slider."

Bedard and two relievers couldn't keep the Red Sox from scoring seven runs again -- the fourth time they had that exact amount in their last four wins.

"We score seven, we win. Now we know," Millar said. "It was sloppy, but we got a big 'W.'"

Game notes
Left-hander David Wells starts Sunday for Boston after serving a six-game suspension for a July 2 argument with umpires. ... Ortiz's homer gave him 100 runs for the first time in his career. ... Boston is 6-8 against Baltimore this season, with five of its 20 home losses coming against the Orioles. ... Baltimore has scored fewer than five runs in 14 of its last 22 games and has 78 runs in that span. ... Gibbons has four homers in his last six games ... Bedard is 1-5 in 10 starts since coming off the DL July 18. ... Boston is 7-2 in its season-long 14-game homestand.