Manny, Red Sox jump out early, cruise past O's at home

BOSTON (AP) -- In Tim Wakefield's previous three decisions, the
Boston Red Sox scored a total of two runs. They topped that in one
inning Saturday night.

Manny Ramirez walked twice in Boston's five-run second inning
and added a homer in the fourth as the Red Sox staked Wakefield to
a big early lead and helped him beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-3.

"It made my job a lot easier," said Wakefield, who lost three
straight before a no-decision against the New York Yankees on
Monday. "I was pitching well, but you're on the short end of the
stick sometimes."

Wakefield (2-4) allowed three runs, seven hits, two walks, a
wild pitch and a hit batter and struck out three as the Red Sox
beat the Orioles for the 10th straight time.

After the game, Boston manager Terry Francona announced his
pitching rotation for next week's series against the New York
Yankees: Josh Beckett will start the opener on Tuesday, Curt
Schilling will pitch Wednesday and Wakefield on Thursday. Matt
Clement, whose last pitched on Thursday, will be pushed back to

Baltimore has lost four in a row overall, and 11 of its last 14.

Erik Bedard (4-2) retired the Red Sox in order in the first
inning, fell apart in the second and faced three batters without
getting any out in the third. He gave up six runs -- five earned --
on seven hits and three walks, striking out two.

"He just didn't have his stuff tonight," manager Sam Perlozzo
said. "He's come out and had good outings every time. He just had
one bad one. ... If he has one bad one out of every seven I'll take

Bedard, who threw 50 pitches in the second inning alone, has
lost consecutive decisions after starting the season 4-0.

"The curveball and changeup weren't working. I just threw the
fastball," he said. "You can't go all fastballs against a
fastball-hitting team."

Ramirez and Mike Lowell walked to start the second, Wily Mo Pena
and Trot Nixon singled and, one out later, Alex Gonzalez hit a
two-run single. Kevin Youkilis singled in a run and another scored
on Mark Loretta's fielder's choice.

Gonzalez scored to make it 5-0 when Ramon Hernandez couldn't
handle strike three on David Ortiz, a potential inning-ender.
Ramirez walked for the second time in the inning before Lowell
popped foul to first base for the third out.

Melvin Mora had an RBI double in the third to make it 5-1 before
Doug Mirabelli hit an RBI double. Chris Gomez hit a two-run homer
in the fourth, but Boston scored again in the bottom half, on
Ramirez's homer over the seats above the Green Monster.

The benches cleared in the eighth when Julian Tavarez hit Luis
Matos in the hip. But the two were separated without further

Tavarez served a 10-day suspension for provoking a fight in
spring training.

"The first thing Julian said is, 'I'm running to left field. I
can't get in any more trouble," Francona said.

Up next, Gomez hit a wall-scraping double to put runners on
second and third and chase Tavarez. Mike Timlin got Nick Markakis
to pop up to the shortstop to end the inning.

Game notes
Gonzalez had five RBI in his first 24 games and three in
the last two. ... Orioles LHP Bruce Chen will be skipped in the
rotation and work out of the bullpen. His regular start was
scheduled on Wednesday. "He's been really ineffective," Perlozzo
said. "Right now it's a one-time thing." ... OF Jeff Conine, just
4-for-30 lifetime against Wakefield, was replaced in the starting
lineup by Gomez. Conine is expected to return to the lineup on
Sunday. ... Miguel Tejada started his second straight game at SS
after playing five as DH due to knee and hamstring soreness. ... OF
Trot Nixon, a lefty, stayed in the lineup against lefty Bedard.
Nixon entered the game 1-for-3 against lefties. ... OF Coco Crisp
is making progress in his recovery from a broken finger. He can't
yet grip a bat. ... LHP David Wells played long toss in the
outfield before the game.