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 Boston slugger David Ortiz finally let on that he has been hampered by a knee injury since last summer. The revelation followed a vintage performance.
Ortiz went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Manny Ramirez had two hits and three RBIs in the AL East-leading Red Sox's 7-4 home victory over the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4 on Thursday night, helping Tim Wakefield win his third straight start.
Afterward, Ortiz said he has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee since last summer. He said there has been no inflammation so he hasn't needed surgery.
``It wasn't anything major,'' said Ortiz, who has 14 homers and 54 RBIs this season after finishing with 54 homers and 137 RBIs last year. ``I just kept playing through it last year. This year, it's been bothering me more than it used to.''
Ortiz fouled a ball off the knee in the eighth inning but stayed in the game.
``I bet you it hurts,'' manager Terry Francona said. ``He wasn't going to come out. He's just a big guy that hit a ball off his knee. We'll check it again tomorrow.''
In other American League games, it was: Chicago 9, Baltimore 7; New York 7, Tampa Bay 3; Minnesota 6, Oakland 2; and Seattle 3, Detroit 2.
Wakefield (10-8) scattered nine hits, walked none and struck out two in six innings, allowing four runs - including back-to-back homers by Matt Stairs and Alex Rios in the sixth when Toronto cut a three-run deficit to one run. But in the bottom half, Ortiz hit an RBI double and scored on Ramirez's single to give Boston a 7-4 lead.
``Manny and Ortiz are just good hitters,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ``They'll have big second halves.''
Roy Halladay (10-4) allowed the first four Boston batters of the game to reach base and score, giving up five runs in all and eight hits. The 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out two and walked four - the first time he has walked more than three batters in a game in more than three years.
Halladay gave up J.D. Drew's single to lead off the Boston first, then walked Dustin Pedroia. Ortiz followed with an RBI single and Ramirez doubled in another run before Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell drove them in to make it 4-0.
``The start of the second half, we have a tough trip,'' Halladay said. ``It's frustrating to have this kind of start, but we have a long way to go.''
The Red Sox have a 10-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, and Ortiz was asked if it might make sense to fix his knee problem now and be 100 percent for the playoffs.
``I don't want to get out of the lineup right now,'' he said. ``I have days where I feel fine. I'm just going to get through the season.''
White Sox 9, Orioles 7
At Baltimore, Jim Thome's 487th homer ignited a four-run first for Chicago.
Jon Garland (7-6) allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings in winning his fourth straight start against Baltimore. Bobby Jenks got the final out for his 24th save.
Rookie Jeremy Guthrie (4-3) yielded six runs, five earned, and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.
Yankees 7, Devil Rays 3
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu homered to back New York starter Andy Pettitte (5-6).
Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 31st homer five pitches after Jeter hit his first in nearly a month. Abreu finished the fourth-inning power surge with a two-out solo shot off right-hander James Shields (7-5) that made it 4-1.
Twins 6, Athletics 2
At Minneapolis, Michael Cuddyer tied a career high with four hits and Minnesota took advantage of five walks issued by Oakland starter Chad Gaudin (8-4).
Scott Baker (4-3) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings for the Twins, who handed the A's their fifth loss in six games.
Mariners 3, Tigers 2
At Seattle, Adrian Beltre drove in two runs and stayed alive on the basepaths long enough to allow the go-ahead run to score, making a winner of Felix Hernandez (6-4).
After Andrew Miller (4-3) loaded the bases in the fifth, Beltre singled and tried to advance when catcher Mike Rabelo dropped a throw to home. Beltre beat Rabelo's throw to second but slid past the base, then evaded shortstop Carlos Guillen's tag attempts while Richie Sexson scored.
After Beltre reached third, the Tigers appealed the play and Beltre was ruled out for not touching second base - but the run was allowed to stand.
J.J. Putz closed out the ninth for his 25th save in 25 chances.
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