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INTERLEAGUE

Nixon's Blast Lifts Red Sox

September 02, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Trot Nixon got back at the Philadelphia Phillies in a big way.

Nixon capped a six-run ninth inning with a grand slam, and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 13-9, Monday in an interleague game.

Nixon went three for four with a career-high six runs batted in to help the Red Sox, who began a crucial nine-game trip, move to within one game of idle Seattle for the American League wild card.

"We wanted to get them back for earlier in the year," Nixon said. "But these kind of games might take a few years off my life. As long as we win them, it's OK, though."

Nixon wanted revenge for a 6-5 loss to the Phillies in the teams' first meeting June 21. He also wanted to get payback for being hit in the right wrist by a pitch in the eighth inning Monday.

The Phillies took a 9-7 lead in the eighth, but the Red Sox rallied against closer Jose Mesa (5-7).

Doug Mirabelli drew a leadoff walk, Damian Jackson singled one out later and both advanced on Mesa's wild pitch. Mesa intentionally walked Nomar Garciaparra and gave up an infield single to Lou Merloni that made the score 9-8.

"It doesn't take them much to get ignited," Boston Manager Grady Little said.

Turk Wendell replaced Mesa and walked Kevin Millar to tie the score. Nixon followed with a grand slam off the facing of the upper deck at Veterans Stadium.

"I was looking for something off-speed, and he gave me a slider that was up -- it was a mistake pitch," said Nixon, who has seven career grand slams, including two this season.

Byung-Hyun Kim (6-4) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for the win.

"That was nothing but positive for BK," Little said.

Bobby Abreu, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, and Jim Thome each drove in two runs for the Phillies, who had their three-game winning streak ended and fell one game behind Florida in the National League wild-card standings.

Philadelphia Manager Larry Bowa, who let his players have it in a team meeting Thursday after being swept by Montreal, appeared frustrated after the loss Monday but kept his cool.

"We battled back but just couldn't stop them," he said. "No question, it was a peaks and valleys day. We gave up too many walks [12], and we blew a big opportunity early with the bases loaded and nobody out."

The game, which drew a season-high 61,068 on Mike Schmidt bobblehead day, was a makeup from a June 20 game that was rained out. The game took 4 hours 4 minutes to complete.

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