Nomar's streak reaches 24 games


BOSTON (AP) -- The Red Sox are doing all they can to ditch
their reputation as comeback kids.

David Ortiz homered to cap a five-run first inning and lead Boston to a
12-3 victory over the Indians Saturday, a day after the Red Sox scored six
runs in the first inning to beat Cleveland.

"It makes it a lot easier for a pitching staff," said John
Burkett (3-2) who cruised through five innings while allowing two
runs on two hits. "I'll take 12 runs every game. I'm pretty good
over my career with 12 runs."

Nomar Garciaparra homered to extend his hitting streak to 24
games and was one of three Boston batters -- along with Ortiz and
Manny Ramirez -- with three hits and a homer. Bill Mueller singled
and scored three times.

The Red Sox have 13 come-from-behind wins this season, eight of
them in their last at-bat. But lately, they have been jumping on
opponents early and often. On Friday night, Boston took a 6-0 lead
in the first and coasted to a 9-2 win.

"It certainly is more relaxing than the other way we were doing
it," manager Grady Little said. "We'll take them any way we can
get them."

Brian Anderson (2-5) took the loss despite two Cleveland errors
that accounted for all five first-inning runs. He is winless in his
last seven starts, giving up eight runs -- just three
earned -- Saturday on eight hits in five innings.

"We didn't help him out," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
"We were out of that inning with no runs. We can't come out and
start games like that. It's not acceptable."

With one out in the first, Mueller singled and Garciaparra
reached when his grounder went through third baseman John
McDonald's legs. Ramirez was intentionally walked, then right
fielder Shane Spencer dropped Kevin Millar's sacrifice fly to make
it 2-0.

Ortiz followed with a three-run homer.

Josh Bard hit a sacrifice fly and McDonald doubled in the second
to cut the Boston lead to 6-2.

Garciaparra homered to lead off the third, then Boston made it
8-2 when Mueller and Ramirez singled and scored on Millar's double.

Matt Lawton homered to lead off the sixth for Cleveland to make
it 8-3. But Boston got two in the seventh on Ramirez's homer, then
added two in the eighth.

Boston third baseman Shea Hillenbrand picked up a throwing error
in the sixth after a ground ball pulled him to the foul side of the
bag. When he saw he'd been charged with an error, he threw his
glove in the air, put his hands up and made a signal to indicate he
thought the official scorer, retired Boston Herald writer Joe
Giuliotti, was crazy.

Game notes
The last time the Red Sox scored five runs in the first inning in consecutive
games was June 2-3, 1950, at Fenway Park against the Indians ...
Indians LHP C.C. Sabathia threw in the bullpen before the game and
his next start has been pushed back to Wednesday from Monday. He
sprained his left ankle when he stepped on the foot of Detroit's
Dmitri Young during a close play at first base Wednesday night ...
Red Sox coach Jerry Narron was back with the team after missing
Friday's game to be at his daughter's high school graduation ...
Mueller has hit safely in 21 consecutive starts. He was 3-for-5 on
Saturday and is averaging .456 in May ... Ramirez was
intentionally walked for a 10th time ... The Indians are an
AL-worst 6-17 on the road.