Road rally: O's win in Boston

Team scores 3 runs off Okajima in seventh

Orioles 10 Red Sox 6

June 11, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

BOSTON -- There is nothing that seems to get the Orioles' offense going more than the sight of Hideki Okajima running in from the bullpen to protect a Boston Red Sox lead.

For nearly everyone else, Okajima's entrance, followed by the inevitable Jonathan Papelbon sighting, signifies that the game is just about over. For the Orioles, it has meant an opportunity is at hand.

Trailing by two heading into the seventh after Daniel Cabrera couldn't hold a three-run lead, the Orioles rallied for three runs off Okajima and got clutch outs from their bullpen in a 10-6 victory over the Red Sox before an announced 37,858 last night at Fenway Park.

It was the Orioles' fifth victory in seven games away from Camden Yards, guaranteeing a winning road trip no matter what happens the next two nights. The Orioles (32-31) beat the Red Sox (40-27) for the fourth time in seven games this season and dealt them just their third loss over their past 20 games at Fenway Park.

"People went into panic mode when we lost at home and coming off the Tampa trip," said second baseman Brian Roberts, who hit a two-run double off Josh Beckett in the Orioles' four-run second and drew a key walk in their three-run seventh off Okajima. "It's a long season, man. We're a good team, and every good team is going to go through those phases. This team seems to bounce back pretty well."

Aubrey Huff had four hits, including a two-run single in the seventh off Okajima with the bases loaded that tied the game at 6. Kevin Millar drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly off Manny Delcarmen. The Orioles tacked on three more runs in the ninth.

Okajima has surrendered eight earned runs to the Orioles in 5 1/3 innings this season. A left-hander with an unorthodox delivery, Okajima has a 13.50 ERA and three blown leads in five appearances against the Orioles this season. He has a 0.40 ERA, having surrendered just one earned run in 22 2/3 innings against everyone else.

"He's had my number the last couple of years," Huff said. "I'm just fortunate he left a changeup up today."

Said Roberts: "It's just probably one of those freak things. ... It's not like we're doing anything everybody else isn't trying to do."

Leading 7-6, the Orioles used three pitchers in a scoreless seventh. Dennis Sarfate retired Dustin Pedroia, Jamie Walker struck out the red-hot J.D. Drew, whose two-run fifth-inning homer off Cabrera gave Boston the lead, and Chad Bradford retired Manny Ramirez, who had followed Drew's homer with one of his own off Cabrera.

The bullpen allowed just one hit and a walk over the final four innings.

"That's the way it's been all year," said Sarfate, who pitched 1 1/3 innings to pick up his fourth win. "We know if we give our hitters a chance, keep it to two or three runs, they're going to come back. They proved it again tonight against a pretty good reliever."

The only negative was Cabrera squandering a 4-1 lead and allowing six earned runs for the second straight start. His line included seven hits, four walks, two home runs, a wild pitch and a hit batsman. It was his shortest outing since he logged four innings against the Tampa Bay Rays in his first start of the season.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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