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Clement an out shy of complete game

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Matt Clement worked into the ninth
inning for his 10th victory and David Ortiz homered and drove in
three runs for the Boston Red Sox in a 7-4 victory over the Texas
Rangers on Wednesday night.

Clement (10-2), left off the AL All-Star roster by his own
manager, retired 10 straight after giving up consecutive homers to
David Dellucci and Michael Young in the third inning. The only
other runs he allowed were on Dellucci's second homer in the
seventh. He allowed nine hits, struck out nine and didn't walk a
batter.

After throwing a season-high 122 pitches (84 strikes), Clement
didn't get a chance for his second complete game after allowing
Sandy Alomar's two-out single in the ninth.

With struggling closer Keith Foulke on the 15-day disabled list
and scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday,
Alan Embree got the final out for his first save in three chances.

The Red Sox (48-35) go into their four-game series at Baltimore
with a four-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East, their
largest division lead since June 2002. The New York Yankees are 4
games back.

Ortiz hit a 431-foot homer high onto the grassy hill in center
field for Boston's first run, starting a three-run sixth that put
the Red Sox ahead to stay. It was his 21st of the season, and
second in two nights.

An inning later, Ortiz had a two-run single when the Red Sox
scored four runs.

Two outs after Ortiz's homer, Trot Nixon and Kevin Millar had
consecutive doubles before Jason Varitek's tiebreaking RBI single
chased Chan Ho Park (8-3).

Varitek and Millar drove in runs in the seventh off reliever
Kameron Loe. Varitek had another single and Millar got an RBI on a
strange fielder's choice when left fielder Kevin Mench couldn't
handle his sinking liner but forced Manny Ramirez at third when the
All-Star failed to run.

Johnny Damon extended his career-high hitting streak to 22 games
with a seventh-inning single. It's the longest in the majors this
season, surpassing Darin Erstad of the Los Angeles Angels, who hit
in 21 straight from May 28-June 21.

After Dellucci's first homer, Young followed with his 13th of
the season and Clement didn't allow another hit until Hank
Blalock's one-out single in the sixth. Dellucci's two-run homer in
the seventh was his 17th, matching his career high.

Park allowed one hit through the first five innings, but got
just two more outs after that. He allowed three runs and five hits
with five strikeouts and four walks.

Clement has one more victory in 18 starts for Boston than he did
in 30 for the Chicago Cubs last season. He signed a $25 million,
three-year free agent contract with the Red Sox.

Clement could still end up on the All-Star team. Boston's Terry
Francona, who will manage the AL team, said Clement would go if
Rangers left-hander Kenny Rogers decides against going to Detroit
next week.

Rogers apologized Wednesday for last week's tirade against two
TV cameramen that sent one to the hospital and prompted a police
investigation, but said he has not decided if he will go to next
week's All-Star game.

Rogers (9-4, 2.45 ERA), who is appealing his 20-game suspension
for the outburst, apologized to fans and the cameramen in his first
public comments since the June 29 episode. He read from a two-page,
handwritten statement and declined to take questions.

Game notes
Park hadn't allowed a home run in his six previous starts,
since May 29 against the White Sox. ... Texas leads the major
leagues with 138 homers, their most ever before the All-Star break.
... Boston has won nine of its last 10 road games.