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Varitek's slam gives Red Sox 11th straight win over O's

BOSTON (AP) -- It took Jason Varitek nearly eight seasons to hit
his first grand slam. His second one came a lot sooner.

Varitek hit a grand slam Sunday and the Boston Red Sox beat
Baltimore 10-3 to tie a franchise record with their 11th
consecutive win over the Orioles.

Varitek hit a two-out 0-2 fastball from Kris Benson (4-3) into
the Baltimore bullpen in right field to give the Red Sox a 4-1
first-inning lead. It was the second career grand slam for Varitek
and first of the season for the Red Sox, who improved to 6-0
against Baltimore this season and have won four straight overall.

"I was actually looking out over the plate, and I just happened
to actually react to it," said Varitek, whose first grand slam
came in August. "I was able to get on top of it."

That was all the run support left-hander Lenny DiNardo needed to
earn his first career victory. DiNardo, making his fourth start of
the season and fifth of his career, pitched five sharp innings,
allowing two runs -- one earned -- and two hits. He struck out five
and walked five.

"I didn't think about it until after the game," DiNardo said.
"I was just sitting on the couch looking through game notes, and I
thought, 'Very cool.' Each start, I feel like I get something from
it. This one in particular was a confidence builder."

After getting two quick outs to start the game, DiNardo walked
four consecutive batters to force in a run. But Kevin Millar struck
out swinging with the bases loaded to end the first, and DiNardo
settled down from there.

"It was not a good start," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo
said. "It seems like we just can't seem to take advantage of some
situations lately."

DiNardo (1-1) needed just seven pitches to retire the side in
the second inning. He got Millar to ground into a double play to
strand two runners in the third and allowed just one hit total in
the fourth and fifth innings before being relieved by Julian
Tavarez.

"We haven't gotten the big hits when we needed to," said
Millar, who stranded six runners. "I'm as much to blame as anyone
right now."

Benson allowed nine runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings for
Baltimore, which ended its road trip 0-5 and has lost 12 of 15
games.

Melvin Mora scored on DiNardo's throwing error in the third to
pull Baltimore within two but the Red Sox scored five runs in the
fifth.

Trot Nixon and Mike Lowell each had two-run doubles in the
inning. Lowell's bases-loaded double with one out chased Benson
from the game. Wily Mo Pena then drove in a run with a sacrifice
fly to extend Boston's lead to 9-2.

"We swung the bats pretty well," Lowell said. "I think we're
playing a complete game of baseball right now. Our defense is
playing well, our pitchers our doing well, we're swinging the bats.
If we do that, I think it's a good recipe to win."

Mark Loretta and Kevin Youkilis had three hits and Manny Ramirez
went 2-for-2 for the Red Sox.

Jeff Conine went 1-for-2 with an RBI for the Orioles.
^Notes:@ Left-hander David Wells and right-handed reliever David
Riske threw bullpen sessions for Boston prior to the game. Wells is
scheduled to throw another bullpen session Wednesday, while Riske
is slated to pitch an inning for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday.
... DiNardo's error in the third inning was Boston's only error in
its six-game homestand. ... DiNardo became the first left-handed
pitcher to record a win for the Red Sox this season. ... It was the
shortest outing of the season for Benson. ... The Orioles fell to
1-9 in games started by left-handed pitchers. ... Baltimore hosts
Boston on May 15 in the next matchup between the two teams.