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Schilling, Red Sox blow lead, but rally to beat Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Officially, Curt Schilling was the winning
pitcher in Boston's 13th straight victory over the Baltimore
Orioles.

The right-hander questioned whether his contribution was worthy
of that distinction.

Schilling earned his sixth win despite giving up three home
runs, and the Red Sox got homers from Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon
in a 6-5 victory Tuesday night.

Schilling (6-2) allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 2-3
innings. He also yielded three homers in his previous start, a loss
to the New York Yankees, but this time the Red Sox were able to
mount enough offense to overcome the blows.

"It's a win. It's a win because our bullpen is what it is and
offensively we do what we have to do," Schilling said. "I had
about zero input in this game, other than getting the first 17
outs."

The Red Sox went up 4-0 after four, but Schilling surrendered
three homers and five runs over a two-inning span before Boston
rallied to go in front for good.

"We had a 4-0 lead and in my mind, when I'm on the mound and
it's 4-0, the game's over," he said. "I'm not pitching that way
and that's got to change."

David Ortiz singled in the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning
and Mark Loretta had three hits for the Red Sox, who improved to
8-0 against Baltimore this season.

Ramon Hernandez, Brandon Fahey and Jay Gibbons homered for the
Orioles, who turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 lead before Boston
rallied for its eighth win in 10 games. It was Fahey's first major
league homer, although he wasn't particularly impressed with
getting it off Schilling.

"It doesn't matter who it was," the 160-pound rookie said.
"Anytime you hit your first home run in the major leagues, it's an
exciting moment."

After Nixon and Kevin Youkilis drew walks in the sixth inning,
Loretta and Ortiz hit two-out RBI singles off Todd Williams (1-1)
to put the Red Sox up 6-5.

"We talked about it on the bench -- let's get it right back, try
to score right away," Loretta said. "It's always deflating when
the other team comes back to tie it or take the lead."

The Boston bullpen made the advantage stand up. Mike Timlin
retired all six batters he faced and Jonathan Papelbon worked a
perfect ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances.

"We came up with some big hits when we needed and the bullpen
was lights out," Loretta said.

The Orioles trailed 4-0 before Hernandez hit an opposite-field
solo shot to right in the fourth inning.

Baltimore followed up with a four-run fifth. After Nick Markakis
hit a one-out single, Fahey homered to right. One out later, Miguel
Tejada doubled and Gibbons hit his 10th homer on a 3-2 pitch.

Schilling lamented his inability to close out the Orioles when
given the opportunity.

"Seven two-strike hits, four 0-2 hits -- I'm still overthrowing
the ball in situations I can't be," he said.

"I know, stuff-wise, I'm different than I was two years ago. I
don't have that 96, 97 anymore consistently when I need it with two
strikes. But I'm not translating that on the field. I'm
overthrowing the ball with two strikes and it's costing me and it's
costing us."

Baltimore starter Bruce Chen gave up four runs, five hits and
two walks in four innings. The two homers he allowed raised his
season total to 13 -- in only 35 innings. That, and the .351 batting
average by opposing batters, are two reasons why the left-hander is
winless in eight starts with an 8.23 ERA.

Chen retired the side in order in the first inning, but reverted
to form in the second. Ramirez hit his seventh homer on an 0-1
count, and two outs later Nixon connected.

The Orioles stranded runners at second and third in the second,
and Boston made it 4-0 in the fourth. Mike Lowell hit his
AL-leading 20th double and scored from third when Gibbons dropped
Wily Mo Pena's fly ball to right. After a wild pitch, Pena scored
on a two-out double by Youkilis.

Game notes
Ramirez now has 442 homers, tied with Dave Kingman for 33rd
place on the career list. ... The Red Sox went nine games over .500
(23-14) for the first time this season. ... Boston LHP David Wells
threw 82 pitches in a simulated game. Barring any complications, he
will have a rehabilitation start Sunday for Triple-A Pawtucket and
pitch on May 26 versus Tampa Bay. ... The Orioles fell to 4-16
against teams above .500.