Henderson gets 2 RBI in relief of Manny

BOSTON (AP) -- Rickey Henderson is filling in nicely for the
injured Manny Ramirez.

Henderson went 2-for-5 with two RBI as Boston improved to 2-0
without Ramirez, who is out four to six weeks with a broken finger, with
a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

"We can't lay down and die because we're missing one of our key
ballplayers," Henderson said.

The 43-year-old Henderson increased his career hits total to
3,015. His two singles gave him 2,154, tying Roberto Clemente for
26th place on the career list. Since taking over for Ramirez,
Henderson is 4-for-10 with three RBI and a stolen base.

"Rickey Henderson brings a winning spirit to this ballclub,"
Boston manager Grady Little said. "We're starting to believe we
can win a game every day we play."

John Burkett (4-0) scattered nine hits in six innings, but
walked none as Boston opened a 13-game homestand by winning for the
ninth time in 11 games and improving baseball's best record to
26-9. Boston's .302 batting average leads the majors.

Ramirez, who leads the majors with a .372 average, broke his
left index finger sliding into home at Seattle on Saturday.
Starting right fielder Trot Nixon missed the game with a stomach
virus and will be out three more while serving a four-game
suspension for throwing a bat toward Tampa Bay pitcher Ryan Rupe.

"Playing without these two guys, they are a big loss to our
ballclub," Little said. "We had a little talk about it before the
game and we decided that everybody is just going to pick up a
little bit of the slack."

Henderson, playing left field, went 0-for-2 before driving in
two runs with singles in the fifth and sixth off Tim Hudson (3-5),
who lost his third straight decision for the first time in his

"It's just a little bit of bad luck, maybe a little control
problems," said Hudson, who lost his second game to Boston in six
days. "I'm not worried about anything I've done. I know I can go
out there and get the job done."

He hurt himself with six walks to tie a career high in 5 1/3
innings for Oakland, which is 2-9 in its last 11.

"At least we had opportunities tonight," A's manager Art Howe
said. "We haven't had many opportunities of late, so it's a step
in the right direction."

Trailing 1-0, Boston put runners at first and second with two
outs in the sixth on walks to Tony Clark and Rey Sanchez. Henderson
singled to left, scoring Clark, and Sanchez raced home with the
tiebreaking run when left fielder Jeremy Giambi's bad throw eluded
third baseman Eric Chavez.

The Red Sox made it 6-1 with four runs in the sixth when Hudson
allowed hits to four of the five batters he faced.

Nomar Garciaparra doubled and scored on a single by Brian
Daubach, filling Ramirez's cleanup spot. Singles by Shea
Hillenbrand and Clark made it 4-1 and chased Hudson.

Sanchez walked, and Henderson and Johnny Damon followed with RBI

Oakland added a run in the seventh off Rolando Arrojo on a walk
to Giambi, a double by Chavez and a groundout by Jermaine Dye.

The A's went ahead 1-0 in the fourth on Miguel Tejada's double
and Ramon Hernandez's run-scoring single. That was their only run
in the first six innings despite getting hits in each one off

"He did a good job of minimizing the damage," Howe said.

Improved pitching with Ramirez sidelined "is definitely
important," Burkett said, but "if we keep doing what we're doing,
we're going to score enough runs."

Tejada and Scott Hatteberg singled in the second to put runners
at first and second with no outs. But Burkett retired two of the
next three, getting Terrence Long and Carlos Pena on strikeouts.

Pena also made the third out in the fourth after Oakland scored.
In the sixth, Tejada led off with a single, his third hit, and took
second on Long's one-out single. But Hernandez and Pena struck

Game notes
Bryant Nelson, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket after
Ramirez went on the disabled list, made his major league debut as a
defensive replacement for right fielder Daubach in the eighth. ...
The start of the game was delayed 52 minutes by rain. ...
Henderson's has 1,100 career RBI. ... Sanchez's 14-game hitting
streak ended when he went 0-for-2 with two walks. ... Oakland fell
to 14-35 in its last 49 games in Boston. ... Pena, who played at
Northeastern in Boston, went 0-for-4 and has just two hits in his
last 30 at-bats.