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Cleveland gives short shrift to Manny's long ball

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Manny Ramirez's final strut was back to
Boston's dugout.

Ramirez hit a 459-foot homer in the sixth inning but struck out
with the tying run on in the ninth Tuesday night as the Red Sox
lost their fifth straight, 7-6 to the Cleveland Indians.

Boston, which started the season 15-6, hadn't been 0-5 in
May since 1976.

"Last week at this time, people were talking about how awesome
we were," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Rafael Betancourt fanned Ramirez for the final out to earn his
second save in two days as the Indians held on for their fourth win
in a row, highlighted by Jason Davis (1-2) and Ramirez jawing at
each other.

After Ramirez connected for his sixth homer -- a drive that
landed five rows from the top of the left-field bleachers -- to make
it 7-2, he and Boston's bench yelled at Davis, who apparently was upset with Ramirez for posing to watch the ball's flight.

"He's earned the right to do that," Boston center fielder
Johnny Damon said. "It wasn't like it just cleared the wall. The
ball was crushed. He has 354 career home runs, he can pimp. I hope
to see Manny pimp a lot more this season."

Ramirez wasn't available for comment.

Davis was, but the right-hander chose his words carefully when
discussing his on-field conversation with Ramirez.

"I'd rather not talk about it," said Davis, who walked down
off the mound to challenge Ramirez. "I don't worry about stuff
like that."

It was just Davis' second win in his last 17 starts, but he had
to survive yet another hair-raising ninth by Cleveland's shaky
bullpen to get it.

The Red Sox played poorly until rallying for four runs in the
ninth off Japanese rookie Kazuhito Tadano, who gave up a three-run
homer to Damon on a pitch he wasn't even supposed to throw.

With one out and two on, and left-hitting Damon coming up, the Indians needed to buy some time to get lefty Scott Stewart ready in the bullpen.

Manager Eric Wedge signaled for catcher Victor Martinez to have
Tadano throw over to first, but Martinez missed the sign and Damon
drove the reliever's first pitch over the wall in right.

"There was a miscommunication," Wedge said. "We had a young
catcher and a Japanese pitcher and the worst-case scenario happened
there. That can't happen again."

Stewart came on and got the second out before Betancourt,
the Indians' current closer, struck out Ramirez for his second save
-- and second in two nights.

"At least we gave it a run," Francona said.

Third baseman Bill Mueller's two throwing errors allowed the
Indians to score five unearned runs in the fourth off Derek Lowe
(3-2), who gave up just two earned runs but a season-high 10 hits
in five-plus innings.

Mueller took full blame for the miscues and Boston's loss.

"I'm stating the obvious when I say I lost the game," Mueller
said. "Derek was doing great, and I made two bad throws."

Martinez drove in two runs and Matt Lawton had three hits as the
Indians won their fifth straight at home, and their sixth of seven
overall.

Cleveland opened a 7-1 lead in the fourth, set up by Mueller's
bad throws.

Mueller twice threw wildly trying to get the lead runner on
force plays at second base, and the Indians capitalized on his
generosity as Casey Blake, Jody Gerut and Martinez delivered
run-scoring hits.

Lowe didn't fault anyone but himself.

"It's my job to make pitches, so the inning doesn't continue,"
Lowe said.

The Indians never gave Lowe a chance to settle in during the
first inning as they scored two quick runs against the
right-hander, who needed 28 pitches to get three outs.

Game notes
Red Sox DH David Ortiz couldn't hold back a smile after
Tadano blooped him a 52-mph pitch in the eighth inning. "What do
you call those pitches?" Ortiz said. "You have to have fun in
this game, especially with what we're going through." Later,
Tadano dropped a 56-mph floater on Jason Varitek, who fouled it
back. ... Indians utilityman Lou Merloni knows the Red Sox as well
as anyone, having spent 10 seasons in their organization. He says
"rebuilding" is not in Boston's vocabulary. "You'll never see
those guys doing that," he said. "Their rebuilding process is to
sign free agents to five-year deals." ... After his latest
solid outing on Monday, Indians' RHP Jake Westbrook lowered his ERA
to a league best 1.30 -- just ahead of teammate C.C. Sabathia's
1.61.