- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 9, 2003

BALTIMORE — Derek Lowe made certain the Boston Red Sox wouldn’t waste another offensive barrage against the Baltimore Orioles.

Lowe pitched six innings of six-hit ball, and David Ortiz homered and drove in four runs to lead the Red Sox to a 9-2 victory last night.

Boston got four homers and 16 hits Monday but still lost 13-10 in a game in which Lowe was ejected for arguing an umpire’s call.

On this night, Lowe departed only because his pitch count was at 109.

Lowe (15-6) struck out five and walked two in winning his fourth straight decision since losing two in a row to Baltimore in early August.

“He’s been very consistent,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “That’s what we’ve been looking for. I think the kid is getting hot at the right time for us.”

Boston remained 31/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East and widened its wild-card lead over Seattle to 11/2 games, pending the Mariners’ late home game with Texas.

Lowe was delighted with the performance, especially because he didn’t have his best stuff.

“These are the games you’re most proud of because it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that I wasn’t exactly accurate with a lot of pitches,” he said. “After yesterday we were looking forward to bouncing back and getting a win, and we did.”

Lowe may not have been incredibly sharp, but he still proved difficult to hit.

“He had really great movement on his pitches tonight,” Orioles outfielder Larry Bigbie said. “I had two hits, but one was on a broken bat. As soon as you’d start to swing, the ball would drop off the table.”

With his towering home run in the third inning, Ortiz enabled the Red Sox to set a club single-season record for homers (214) and extra-base hits (591).

The shot also gave Boston a 4-0 lead and propelled the Red Sox to their sixth win in eight games.

Bill Mueller and Jason Varitek also homered for the Red Sox, who improved to 6-8 against the pesky Orioles.

Boston now has 216 home runs and 593 extra-base hits, 14 short of the Seattle Mariners’ major league record of 607, set in 1996.

Bigbie and Jack Cust each had an RBI for the Orioles, whose three-game winning streak ended.

The Red Sox went up 2-0 in the second inning against Damian Moss (1-4). Damian Jackson drove in a run with the third of four straight Boston singles, and Mueller added a sacrifice fly.

Manny Ramirez opened the third with a single, and Ortiz followed with his 26th homer, a titanic shot to right that became the 33rd drive in the 12-year history of Camden Yards to land on Eutaw Street.

Moss, obtained in the trade the sent Sidney Ponson to San Francisco, allowed four runs and seven hits in three innings. The left-hander has yielded 14 runs in his last three starts.

“I’m doing everything I can to get back on track,” Moss said. “It’s getting there, but it’s just a slow process for me right now.”

A run-scoring grounder by Ortiz made it 5-0 in the fourth against Sean Douglass, making his 2003 debut for the Orioles.

Bigbie singled in a run with two outs in the fifth, but Boston went ahead 7-1 in the sixth on Mueller’s 19th homer and an RBI single by Ortiz.

The Red Sox scored an unearned run in the eighth, and Varitek hit his 24th homer in the ninth.

Cust drove in Baltimore’s last run with an RBI double in the eighth.

Notes — Boston eclipsed its home run mark set in 1977 and the extra-base record of 1997. … Red Sox right-fielder Trot Nixon left in the second inning with a strained left calf. … Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts was a late scratch with a sprained ankle. … Mueller needs one more homer to enable Boston to become the third team to have seven players hit 20 HR in the same season. Boston is also one sacrifice fly shot of tying the club record of 59. …

The Orioles organization fired Stan Hough, the manager of the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds. It’s the second year in a row that a Shorebirds’ skipper has been fired. Joe Ferguson was fired last year.

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