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Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2003 11:30 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Boston Red Sox
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 7 1
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 11 0
W Boehringer (3-1)
L Mendoza (1-2)
S Williams (16)
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PITTSBURGH 5, BOSTON 4
 

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- It may have looked like a pajama party, but Kenny Lofton helped the Pittsburgh Pirates salvage some pride.

Lofton homered and drove in the tiebreaking run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning as the Pirates avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox .

Pittsburgh and Boston wore baggy uniforms similar to the style from the teams' last meeting, in the 1903 World Series. The uniforms, which resembled pajamas, drew numerous chuckles from both sides, but the Pirates had the last laugh with the winning rally in the eighth inning.

"It was a fun thing to do once," Lofton said. "I wouldn't want to wear these uniforms all the time."

Jeff Reboulet reached on an infield single with one out in the eighth off Red Sox reliever Ramiro Mendoza (1-2). Reboulet stole second - his first stolen base since August 25, 2000 - and moved to third on pinch hitter Abraham Nunez 's single.

"We just were finding a way to get it done," Reboulet said. "In the eighth, I made contact and was able to get on. That was a hit-and-run, I'm definitely not trying to steal bases."

Lefthander Alan Embree entered to face Lofton, who lifted a 1-0 pitch deep to left center field to score Reboulet.

Closer Mike Williams worked a perfect ninth inning to notch his 16th save in 19 chances. Brian Boehringer (3-1) got the final two outs of the eighth inning for the win after being greeted by a one-out single by Nomar Garciaparra .

Williams had a battle with the last hitter, Johnny Damon , falling behind 3-1. He came back with a strike before getting Damon to swing and miss as the crowd of 33,372 fans at PNC Park roared.

"With 3-2 in the ninth and two outs, I just wanted to step back and listen to the fans," Williams said. "In fact, I paused a little on the mound. The fans were tremendous, I just wanted to take it in."

One day after being swept by Boston in a doubleheader, Pittsburgh built a 3-0 lead and blew it before Reboulet and Lofton combined to produce the winning run in the eighth. The Pirates improved the National League's worst home record to 9-21.

"A lot of good things happened today," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It's about time we played well at home. The fans really picked us up today, good old-fashioned baseball."

Pittsburgh starter Jeff Suppan , a former member of the Red Sox , exited with a 4-3 lead after allowing three runs and four hits in six innings. Suppan entered having won just one of his last six decisions.

The bullpen failed to hold it as Scott Sauerbeck was greeted by a leadoff homer by Trot Nixon in the seventh inning. Nixon belted his sixth homer of the season.

After Suppan set down the side in the top of the first, the Pirates scored twice in the bottom half, thanks in part to an error by first baseman David Ortiz . Brian Giles and Randall Simon each had RBI singles as four of the first five hitters for Pittsburgh reached base against Red Sox starter John Burkett .

"I thought Burkett was hurt by the runs in the first inning, two runs that probably shouldn't have scored," Boston manager Grady Little said. "Pittsburgh tonight got things happening. The balls they hit were just out of someone's reach."

Jack Wilson 's sacrifice fly in the third inning made it 3-0.

Suppan set down the first 10 hitters before Todd Walker 's one-out single in the fourth inning that extended Walker's career-high hitting streak to 20 games. Manny Ramirez delivered a two-run homer with two outs to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Lofton answered with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fourth inning, his seventh of the season. Lofton, whose 26-game hitting streak ended last week, has hit safely in 30 of his last 31 games.

Burkett, a Western Pennsylvania native, allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. The righthander is winless in his last five road starts.

"I didn't have as good a stuff as I possibly could have," Burkett said. "The object is to win, we didn't. We look forward to sweeping the series and didn't get it done. Every time I made an adjustment, it just got worse. I was trying everything."

Nixon and Jason Varitek opened the fifth inning with singles and Nixon scored on a groundout by Damon. After Burkett sacrificed, Bill Mueller struck out.

Mueller was hitless in four at-bats, snapping his string of 29 straight starts with at least one hit.


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