BOSTON The differences between big David Ortiz and bland J.D. Drew are striking. So are the similarities.
The streaking Drew kept filling the hole left by Boston's injured slugger on Thursday night when he hit a two-run homer and a double as the Red Sox kept rolling at home with a 9-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Mike Lowell hit his second grand slam of the season, Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer and Jon Lester pitched seven solid innings. But it's been Drew's surge in the 11 games Big Papi has missed that has sparked Boston's spurt that brought it from one game behind Tampa Bay to a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL East.
"It really seems like sometimes he's just bored at the plate," Lowell said. "He's really filled a big gap for us. And he's kind of been David big home runs, big hits."
Drew is 18-for-36 with six homers and 15 RBIs since the designated hitter has been sidelined with a wrist injury, raising his batting average from .282 to .324. He also has five doubles, a triple, 15 runs and 10 walks in that span.
On Thursday, batting in Ortiz's No. 3 spot, he went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 11 games while Boston improved to a major league best 28-7 at home and 18-3 in its last 21 games at Fenway Park.
"He's almost like David up there right now," Youkilis said.
That, the understated Drew said, "is a good compliment," but he hasn't changed his approach or his demeanor to pick up the slack for Ortiz.
"If you try to become somebody you're not it's not going to work out real well," he said. "I've dealt with that my whole career, people thinking that it may not exactly look like I'm as intense as you should be. I'm a firm believer that you have to be relaxed to play this game."
Boston lost the series opener 10-6 after squandering two leads but never trailed in winning the last two.
Lowell's grand slam gave the Red Sox a 5-0 lead in the fifth. They also led 5-0 after one inning of Wednesday's 6-3 win.
"You have to stay away from the big inning," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "They're patient. They foul them off with two strikes. They make you work for every out you get."Lester (5-3) allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out three in seven innings. in his return from a five-game suspension after he hit two Tampa Bay batters on June 5 during a game in which there was a benches-clearing brawl.
TIGERS 2, WHITE SOX 1: At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit a game-ending solo homer in the ninth inning and the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox to complete a three-game sweep. Magglio Ordonez led off the bottom of the ninth with a long drive to left, bringing the sold-out crowd to its feet, but Carlos Quentin made the catch at the wall. Cabrera then hit a 2-1 pitch from Octavio Dotel (3-3) into the stands in right-center field.
Cabrera's ninth homer of the season came after a nice pitching duel between Detroit's Kenny Rogers and White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle. Both starters allowed one run in eight innings.
Quentin started the ninth with a single off Todd Jones (2-0), but Paul Konerko grounded into a double play.Buehrle allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out six. Rogers gave up four hits, walked one and struck out one.
INDIANS 12, TWINS 2: At Cleveland, Ben Francisco and Jamey Carroll had four hits apiece to lead injury-depleted Cleveland over Minnesota. The Indians had 18 hits, including homers by Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore. Aaron Laffey (4-3) called up from Triple-A Buffalo when injuries hit Cleveland's starting staff, allowed one run and six hits over six innings. The left-hander walked one, struck out four and lowered his earned run average to 2.83 in nine starts. He is 4-2 with a 1.40 ERA in six home starts.Kelly Shoppach, starting in place of Martinez, had a pair of RBI singles. Second baseman Carroll went 4-for-4 with an RBI and was 8-for-9 in the three-game series. Francisco went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
ROYALS 6, RANGERS 5: At Kansas City, Mo., Alex Gordon and Mike Aviles each hit a two-run homer and the Royals beat the Rangers to avoid a three-game sweep.
The Rangers led 5-4 before Kansas City pushed across two runs in the eighth. Pinch-runner Tony Pena Jr. scampered home on Frank Francisco's wild pitch and Gordon scored on Jose Guillen's sacrifice fly to give the Royals the lead. Ron Mahay (2-0) recorded two outs to earn the win and Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 opportunities.
German Duran and Ian Kinsler hit back-to-back homers in the second for the Rangers.Aviles hit his first career homer in the fourth to tie it at 4.
YANKEES 4, ATHLETICS 1: At Oakland, Calif., Hideki Matsui hit a grand slamhome run on his 34th birthday to help Andy Pettitte move into a tie for fourth place on the New York Yankees' career wins list with a victory over the Athletics. Pettitte tied Ron Guidry with his 170th victory with New York. Pettitte (6-5) bounced back after giving up a career high-tying 10 runs last Saturday against Kansas City to shut down the A's and tie with Ron Guidry with his 170th victory with New York. Pettitte allowed one run and five hits in a season-high eight innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, METS 4 (10 INNINGS): At New York, Billy Wagner coughed up his third consecutive save chance, this time wasting a splendid pitching performance by Johan Santana and allowing Arizona to rally past the Mets. Justin Upton doubled leading off the 10th against Aaron Heilman (0-3) and scored on Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly to help the Diamondbacks take two of three in the series.
After Santana struck out 10 in seven shutout innings, Wagner squandered a two-run lead in the ninth and screamed at himself several times while walking back to the dugout.Brandon Lyon (2-1) worked two scoreless innings for the win and the NL West leaders won for only the sixth time in 20 road games.
PADRES 9, DODGERS 0: At San Diego, Jake Peavy made a triumphant return with six strong innings and San Diego scored five first-inning runs in a win over Los Angeles. Peavy (5-3) combined with three relievers on a five-hitter in his first start in nearly a month since being sidelined by a strained right elbow. Brian Giles and Adrian Gonzalez homered for the Padres.
The Padres gave Peavy plenty of support, hitting consecutive home runs in the first a three-run shot by Brian Giles and a solo homer by Adrian Gonzalez off Hiroki Kuroda (3-6).
Rookie Edgar Gonzalez had his first three-hit game and scored two runs. His younger brother, Adrian, also drive in two runs to take over the NL lead with 60.San Diego won for the sixth time in seven games. Los Angeles has lost eight of 12.
BREWERS 9, ASTROS 6: At Houston, Ben Sheets struck out a season-high nine, Mike Cameron and Corey Hart homered for the second straight game and Milwaukee beat Houston to take two of three in the series. Prince Fielder and Gabe Kapler also homered for the Brewers.
Darin Erstad, Miguel Tejada and Mark Loretta homered for the Astros, who've lost 11 of their last 14 games and five consecutive series.Sheets (7-1) allowed seven hits and two walks.
CUBS 3, BRAVES 2 (11 INNINGS): At Chicago, Jeff Ridgway hit pinch-hitter Reed Johnson with the bases loaded in the 11th inning and Chicago beat reeling Atlanta. The Braves have lost six straight and fell to 7-24 on the road this season. They have lost their last 21 one-run games on the road since August, matching the longest such streak in major league history. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kansas City lost 21 straight one-run games on the road from 2000-01.
Chicago's Jim Edmonds tied it at 2 with a one-out solo homer in the ninth, setting the stage for the comeback victory.
Manny Acosta (3-5) loaded the bases on two walks one intentional and a hit before Ridgway replaced him.Kerry Wood (3-1) struck out four in two scoreless innings to get the win.
PIRATES 7, NATIONALS 5: At Pittsburgh, Ryan Doumit finished an outstanding series against the Nationals, hitting another home run in Pittsburgh's win. In the three-game series, the Pirates catcher went 9-for-11 with four home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs to help the Pirates win two of three. Nate McLouth, Doug Mientkiewicz and Chris Gomez also each had two hits, and Tom Gorzelanny (5-5) won for the first time in four starts for the Pirates (33-34), who moved within a game of .500 for the first time since May 17.f-b
Cristian Guzman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Elijah Dukes 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Washington, which has lost 10 of 12.Jason Bergmann (1-4) was charged with six runs four earned and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.
GIANTS 10, ROCKIES 7: At Denver, Fred Lewis hit a three-run homer, Ray Durham picked up his 2,000th career hit and San Francisco avoided being swept. Jonathan Sanchez (6-3) pitched five shaky innings for his fourth straight win. The left hander gave up seven runs and a season-high nine hits. He finished with five strikeouts, none bigger than fanning pinch hitter Ian Stewart in the fifth with two on, two out and the score 8-7. John Bowker had three hits as part of a 14-hit attack and Rich Aurilia drove in three runs to help the Giants salvage the final contest of the three-game series.
PHILLIES 3, MARLINS 0: At Miami, Jamie Moyer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and Philadelphia scored two runs off a wild pitch on the way to avoiding a three-game sweep. The first-place Phillies, who moved three games ahead of the Marlins in the NL East. Moyer (7-3) allowed only two hits in eight innings. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 18th save.