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Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:16 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Boston Red Sox
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
8 12 2
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 7 0
W Lowe (5-3)
L D'Amico (4-6)
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BOSTON 8, PITTSBURGH 3 (2ND GAME)
 

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Derek Lowe finally found some success away from Fenway Park.

Lowe pitched seven effective innings and Johnny Damon knocked in three runs as the Boston Red Sox completed a doubleheader sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 8-3 victory.

Entering the contest with a 1-3 record and an astounding 10.33 ERA in six road starts, Lowe (5-3) looked like a different pitcher as he limited the Pirates to two runs - one earned - and five hits. The righthander walked three and struck out one.

"You guys (in the media) have been talking a lot about how I've pitched on the road," Lowe said. "I haven't given it that much thought. Just continue to go out and throw as well as I can."

"Derek was as close to last year as he has been all season long," Red Sox manager Grady Little said. "Very aggressive, stayed mainly with the sinker. That was what the difference was in his performance tonight."

Damon provided some of the offense, delivering a two-run single in the seventh and an RBI double in the ninth. He finished 3-for-4 and scored twice.

Trot Nixon added a solo homer for Boston, which stopped a five-game losing streak in the opener with an 11-4 victory.

Pirates starter Jeff D'Amico (4-6) was roughed up for five runs and seven hits in six innings.

It looked like Lowe might be in for another tough time on the road after Kenny Lofton started the bottom of the first with a triple into the left-center field gap. But Lowe was able to work out of trouble.

After Jack Wilson lined out, Brian Giles walked but was erased when Aramis Ramirez grounded into an inning-ending double play. Ramirez did double in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to 17 games.

"I think the key to the whole game was Lofton starting off the game with a triple and not crossing the plate," Little said. "That got Derek off on the right foot. We continue to swing the bats well."

Lowe had his sinker working the entire night, recording 17 of 21 outs via the ground ball.

Nixon, who hit a two-run blast in the ninth inning in the opener, got the Red Sox on the board with one out in the second when he deposited a fastball from D'Amico over the right-center field wall.

Lowe retired the side in order in the second and third and the Red Sox gave him another run to work with in the fourth.

Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez opened the inning with singles to put runners on the corners. Kevin Millar bounced into a double play to plate Garciaparra.

The Pirates stranded two runners in the fourth but got on the board in the fifth on Lofton's infield hit. With Lofton on second and two outs, Lowe retired Wilson on a comebacker.

In the seventh, the Red Sox broke open the tight game by scoring four times.

Millar drew a leadoff walk and Nixon singled. Backup catcher Doug Mirabelli laced an RBI double into right field to chase D'Amico and bring on Joe Beimel .

"They're a typical American League team," D'Amico said. "Everybody can swing the bats. You can't lock in on any one player. They're strong throughout the lineup. They have no outs in there whatsoever. They're experienced hitters. They wait for you to make mistakes. The seventh inning, I gave up a leadoff walk, a hit, and then Mirabelli just drives a pitch. There's not much else you can do."

Damon greeted Beimel with a two-run single, extending the lead to 5-1. After Lowe sacrificed, Bill Mueller stroked an RBI single.

"I like pitching in the National League, getting to bat keeps your mind in the game," Lowe said. "You're not just sitting around waiting for something to happen. I enjoy playing this kind of baseball."

Jeff Reboulet bounced into a double play in the bottom of the inning before the Red Sox scored twice in the ninth. Damon plated a run with a double and Todd Walker extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a run-scoring base hit.

Reboulet capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.


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