Red Sox split doubleheader

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 19: Terry Francona #47

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 19: Terry Francona #47 of the Boston Red Sox takes issue with umpire Mike Winters #33 and umpire Mike Estabrook #83, ruling a ball hit by David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox was foul, at Fenway Park September 19, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty/Jim Rogash

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BOSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury hit an inside-the-park homer and Conor Jackson added a grand slam to cap a much-needed offensive outburst that helped the Boston Red Sox split their doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles Monday and stop, for now, their slide in the AL wild-card race.

The Red Sox won the late game, 18-9, after losing the opener, 6-5, for their 12th loss in 15 games, trimming their lead over Tampa Bay to 1 1/2 games in the chase for the wild card. The Rays were idle, with a four-game series against the Yankees starting Tuesday.

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Night game starter John Lackey fell behind 3-0, but the Red Sox took a 4-3 lead after one, made it 6-3 in the second and 11-5 after three innings. Then Lackey gave up another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth before Scott Atchison (1-0) came on for a one-pitch double play to end the inning.

Boston slugger Adrian Gonzalez reached base seven straight times in the doubleheader, Marco Scutaro had six hits and Dustin Pedroia drove in five runs on the day. Jed Lowrie hit a three-run homer in the nightcap that erased the early deficit and gave the Red Sox the lead for good.

Jeremy Guthrie pitched the last-place Orioles to the win in the day game.-- AP

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