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Millar knocks in go-ahead run as Orioles rally in ninth

Oct 1, 2006 - 3:06 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Kevin Millar pulled his old team a little closer to his new team in the American League East standings.

Millar connected for a two-run single in the ninth inning as the Baltimore Orioles rallied to edge the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, in the middle game of season-ending three-game series.

With the setback, the Red Sox (85-76) fell a full game back of the Toronto Blue Jays (86-75) for second place in the AL East. The Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees, 6-5, earlier Saturday. Boston is in jeopardy of not finishing second in the league for the first time in eight seasons.

Millar, who spent his previous three years in a Red Sox uniform and enjoyed the 2004 World Series title, erased the fourth-place Orioles' 4-3 deficit in the ninth.

"It's been a dogfight all year," Millar said. "They know what I hit they know what my holes are they know what my strengths are, so it's kind of been a game of cat and mouse with (catchers Jason) Varitek and (Doug) Mirabelli back there," Millar said.

With two runners on and batting against Mike Timlin (6-6), Millar singled off the fence in left field, allowing pinch runner Corey Patterson and Ramon Hernandez to score easily for a 5-4 edge.

"I've hit that wall enough times to know that was not going to be a home run. You have to hit the ball up to get it out," Millar said. "A big win for us; we haven't won a game here all year so it was nice to get a win and help your team contribute somehow to help the team win."

The Orioles snapped a nine-game losing streak at Fenway Park.

Chris Ray (4-4) pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn the win. He survived a close call as David Ortiz hit a pinch-hit shot that was caught at the warning track in center field by Patterson.

"I wasn't going to put the tying run on base so I had to go after him and luckily he hit it to the right part of the ballpark" said Ray of facing Ortiz to lead off the ninth.

Boston starter Tim Wakefield gave up three runs and five hits in six innings.

His counterpart, rookie Adam Loewen surrendered four runs, three hits and five walks in 5 1/3 frames.

Boston scored three runs in the sixth to rally from a 3-1 hole. Manny Ramirez, who made his first start since September 9, highlighted and sparked the comeback with his 35th homer. Carlos Pena capped the uprising with an RBI single to right, making it 4-3.

Gomez extended his hitting streak to 18 games for Baltimore (70-91).

"Gosh, he's (Gomez) been hot," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "The way we're set up you want to get him in there as much as you can, it's hard to find a spot but every time he comes in he's really helped us here lately and he did again tonight."

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