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Ramirez, Ortiz power surging Sox in Seattle

SEATTLE -- Gather the young ones around the breakfast table and remind them to watch closely. They may not witness anything like the show the Dominican dandies -- Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz -- are staging for another generation. Oh, the kids also may want to keep an eye on Curt Schilling.

In the latest chapter of a storybook season for the slugging pals, Ramirez and Ortiz set a franchise record by homering in the same game for the 12th time this season as they helped Schilling rinse away the sour taste of a rare defeat the night before by blowing away the Mariners, 13-2, before 38,100 at Safeco Field.

Ramirez and Ortiz eclipsed the team record set by Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, who homered in the same game 11 times in 1940, and matched by Jim Rice and George Scott in 1977. If that weren't enough, Ramirez went deep a second time as he smashed his 17th career grand slam to tie Foxx and Williams for fifth place on the all-time list. Only Lou Gehrig (23), Eddie Murray (19), Willie McCovey (18), and Robin Ventura (18) rank ahead of him.

"No disrespect to Vladi or Gary," Schilling said of Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero and New York's Gary Sheffield, "and I'm probably biased because I've watched it every day, but my goodness, I can't imagine two guys having a more significant impact on a club, on a division, on a pennant race, than these two guys."

Thanks to their power surge and seven strong innings from Schilling, the Sox climbed back within 2 1/2 games of the division-leading Yankees and maintained their five-game lead over the Angels in the wild-card sprint with 22 games to play.

The slam was Ramirez's 40th homer of the year, making him the 14th player in Sox history to hit that many in a season.

"I just go out there and play my game," Ramirez said. "I don't worry about stats, I don't worry about numbers. I have nothing to lose. I'm blessed. I have 11 years, a lot of good numbers, I'm not looking back or looking forward. I've already had a good time."

Ramirez seemed to marvel more at Ortiz striking his 37th homer soon after Ramirez launched his 39th homer than anything else.

"It's unbelievable, man, every time I hit one, he hits another one," Ramirez said. "He's great. It's been an awesome ride."

Boston's big boppers helped Schilling post his 19th win, tops in the majors, as he improved to 19-6 with a 3.35 ERA in his late charge for the Cy Young Award. Schilling allowed two runs on four hits, including Bret Boone's solo homer and RBI double. He walked none, struck out five, and managed to silence the hit machine, Ichiro Suzuki, who failed to extend his 14-game hitting streak.

"I wanted to come here and help this team get to a World Series, and right now it's working out that way," Schilling said. "We're playing great basbeall and things are going well for us."

Schilling improved to 7-0 in his last seven starts after Sox losses and 10-3 this season after a Boston loss as he completed the cycle by beating Seattle for the first time, giving him at least one victory over all 30 teams in the majors. Asked what the feat meant to him, he said, "I'm old. I've been around. You've got to be on good teams to do something like that."

The Sox, who came within Orlando Cabrera's one-out homer in the ninth inning the night before of being shut out for the first time by the Mariners since Chris Bosio's no-hitter in 1993, roared back against Seattle starter Ryan Franklin and a parade of relievers. After the Sox extended Franklin's winless streak to 17 starts by torching him for seven runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings, they throttled two of his successors -- Masao Kida and Aaron Taylor -- in a six-run seventh inning capped by Ramirez's slam off Taylor. Franklin (3-15) became the first Mariner to lose 15 games since former Sox righthander Erik Hanson went 8-17 in 1992.

With Ramirez and Ortiz combining for three homers and six RBIs, they rocketed to fourth place in franchise history in home runs by two teammates in a season (77) and to ninth place in combined RBIs (241). The only duos who have combined for more homers in a season are Williams and Vern Stephens (82 in 1949), Carl Yastrzemski and Rico Petrocelli (80 in '69), and Rice and Fred Lynn (78 in '79).

"That's what everybody expects of us, to go out there and produce, especially with the kind of pitching we have," Ortiz said.

As for their big night, Ortiz said of himself and Ramirez, "I guess it must be in the food. We ate the same thing today."

What else, he said: Chicken, rice, and beans.

The rout allowed Sox manager Terry Francona to send out Scott Williamson in the ninth inning to test his condition after missing 79 games this season with right elbow and forearm injuries. Williamson, who regularly hit 90-91 on the radar gun, finished off the Mariners in the ninth, walking one and striking out one without letting the ball out of the infield. He followed Curtis Leskanic, who pitched a scoreless eighth.

Ramirez made Boston's first hit against Franklin a big one as he socked the first pitch of the fourth inning over the wall in left for the 386th homer of his career, moving him past Dwight Evans into sole possession of 45th place on the all-time list. The homer was Ramirez's 150th with the Sox as he passed Reggie Smith for 14th in franchise history.

The blast seemed to invigorate the Sox as Ortiz walked and rumbled to second when Jason Varitek extended his hitting streak to 15 games by singling to center. Kevin Millar moved the runners up by grounding back to Franklin, and Cabrera capitalized by driving a sacrifice fly to right, handing Schilling a 2-1 edge.

Amid a 2-2 tie in the sixth, Ortiz weighed in, taking Franklin deep and creating some momentum for the guys behind him. Jose Lopez, the Seattle shortstop, helped by booting a one-out grounder by Millar for an error. A batter later, the Sox rocked Franklin for three straight hits, a single by Bill Mueller, an RBI double by Dave Roberts, and a two-run triple by Johnny Damon, making it 6-2 and chasing Franklin.

On came Kida, and Mark Bellhorn wasted no time stroking an RBI single to right to reach safely in his 23d straight game and stake Schilling to a 7-2 advantage.

Then came the six-run seventh. But despite all the damage he inflicted, Ramirez patted Schilling on the back.

"He gave us a chance to win and we did it," Ramirez said. "You have to give Schilling credit."

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