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Red Sox snap Phillies' win streak

Ken Rosenthal talks with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney after Boston's victory.
Ken Rosenthal talks with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney after Boston's victory.
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PHILADELPHIA (AP)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia wanted to make sure Bobby Valentine put him in the Boston Red Sox's lineup Saturday night.

GREAT AMERICAN RACE

The Junior Circuit is poised for epic AL pennant chases this season.

So the catcher texted Valentine on Friday night from the hospital, where he received 12 stitches after taking a ball off his ear, and told the manager that he was feeling good and predicted a homer Saturday.

Saltalamacchia kept his word, going 3 for 4 and falling a triple shy of the cycle, as Boston hit four home runs in a 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

David Ortiz homered, singled and drove in two runs to help Boston snap the Phillies' six-game winning streak. Mike Aviles and Will Middlebrooks also homered for Boston, which won for the seventh time in nine games.

''Everything came back good, I'm cleared to play, plus I'm due to hit a bomb,'' Valentine said, reading the text sent by Saltalamacchia.

''I wanted to make sure he knew I could play,'' Saltalamacchia said. ''Sometimes if you tell the manager you are going to hit one out, he'll put you in there. I felt good. The ear didn't bother or affect me.''

Jon Lester (3-3) improved to 3-0 in four career starts against the Phillies despite matching a season high for hits allowed with eight and giving up four runs in six innings.

''I didn't have my best stuff, but I tried to battle through it and keep the ball down,'' Lester said.

Freddy Galvis homered, and John Mayberry Jr., Hector Luna and Shane Victorino each had three hits for the Phillies as the teams combined for 26 hits.

Alfredo Aceves got four outs for his ninth save in 11 chances.

Joe Blanton (4-4) pitched a season-low 4 1/3 innings while surrendering seven runs — six earned — on nine hits.

''I threw a lot of pitches down the middle, not good results when you do that,'' Blanton said. ''They have a lot of good hitters and when you make mistakes, a lot of times a lineup like that will make you pay.''

Aviles gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with the club's first leadoff homer of the season.

Boston extended the margin to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the second, with Saltalamacchia scoring on Daniel Nava's grounder and Ryan Sweeney reaching on Lester's double-play groundout.

Philadelphia got a run back in the third on Shane Victorino's RBI double off the metal fence above the 10-foot, 6-inch wall in left. But Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia opened the fourth with consecutive homers to put Boston up 5-1.

Philadelphia scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Galvis' two-run homer to left, to make it a one-run game. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel had Pete Orr in the on-deck circle ready to pinch-hit for Blanton, but pulled Orr back with the bases clear.

''I thought he still had something left, thought he might settle in and give us two (more) innings,'' Manuel said of Blanton.

But after Dustin Pedroia singled to lead off the fifth, Ortiz launched the first pitch he saw off Blanton in the fifth over the wall in straightaway center to give the Red Sox a 7-4 advantage.

''That was a big blow,'' Manuel said. ''We couldn't catch up.''

Said Blanton: ''It was supposed to be away and I threw it down the middle.''

Sweeney saved two runs in the seventh when the Red Sox center fielder robbed Carlos Ruiz of extra bases with a highlight-reel diving catch just in front of the warning track in right-center with two outs and runners on first and second.

''I thought it saved the game,'' Valentine said. ''I didn't think he had anything left. It was full extension, a top-tenner (highlight).''

The Phillies trimmed the lead to 7-5 in the eight on Jimmy Rollins' RBI infield single, but stranded the bases loaded when Victorino popped out to shortstop off of Aceves.

Victorino defended his swinging at the first pitch despite Aceves walking the previous batter, Mayberry, on four pitches.

''I was looking for a cutter and he threw a cutter, I'll swing at that every single time,'' he said. ''He just beat me. I want to be the hero, but I was the goat tonight.''

Notes: Red Sox OF Cody Ross did not play after fouling a ball off his left leg in Friday's game. Boston manager Bobby Valentine said before the game that X-rays were negative. ... The crowd of 45,656 was the Phillies' 224th straight sellout and 240th counting postseason play. ... Former Philadelphia OF Pat Burrell was honored in a pregame ceremony after signing a one-day contract and officially retiring as a member of the Phillies. ... Boston right-hander Josh Beckett (3-4, 4.97) is scheduled to face Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee (0-1 1.95) at 1:35 on Sunday.

Tagged: Red Sox, Phillies, Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, Jon Lester, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Alfredo Aceves

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