Orioles blast past Red Sox for 2nd straight win

Orioles 12, Red Sox 9

O's hit season-high five home runs against Red Sox

May 01, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

The Orioles kept preaching it, even with their team average and total runs hovering around the basement of the American League.

Just a matter of time, the Orioles said, before their slumbering bats would wake up.

The alarm sounded Saturday night in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka, when the Orioles scored a season-high six runs on their way to a 12-9 victory before a crowd of 35,164

The Orioles scored in double digits for the first time this season and hit a season-high five home runs, including two by Ty Wigginton, who now has eight in 21 games after having 11 all last season.

The win -- the Orioles' sixth of the season, half occurring against Boston -- didn't come easily, of course. Not for a team (6-18) that can't seem to get good pitching and timely hitting in the same game.

On Saturday, they had to settle for good hitting and good pitching in two innings, and then they hold on.

They had to survive a shaky outing by Brad Bergesen, who was making his first start since being demoted to the minors April 20 with a 12.19 ERA.

They had to survive a Red Sox rally, one that included a four-run seventh paced by Kevin Youkilis' fourth homer of the season.

They had to survive four Boston homers, including David Ortiz's 35th multi-home run game of his career.

In the end, the Orioles survived it all and have now beaten the Red Sox three times in 2010, once more than they did in all of 2009, when they were 2-16 against Boston.

Saturday night's rocket show, in which the Orioles and Red Sox combined for nine homers, was the 12th time in club history that the Orioles and their opponent hit eight or more homers. It was the first time since the Orioles and Yankees hit nine homers on May 27, 2008.

Bergesen (1-2) was the willing recipient of the offensive explosion, giving him his first win since July 30, 2009, when his season ended prematurely after being struck in the shin by a liner.

He wasn't at his best, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings -- but that beats his previous three starts in which he yielded 14 earned runs in a total of 10 1/3 innings.

Bergesen turned the game over to four relievers, including Alfredo Simon, who picked up his second career save with a scoreless ninth.

Bergesen wasn't the only one making a return to the big-league mound. Matsuzaka (0-1), who hadn't pitched this season due to back and neck injuries, gave up a run on a Nick Markakis' RBI single in the first.

Matsuzaka then settled down, mixing a biting slider and a 95-mph fastball to limit the Orioles without another hit until the fifth, when the Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate, led by homers from Wigginton and Matt Wieters, who hit a three-run shot for his second of the year.

The six runs were not only a season high in an inning for the Orioles, but more than they scored in 18 games this year.

Wigginton and Nick Markakis had homers in the four-run sixth and Luke Scott added a home run in the seventh. Markakis tied a career high with five RBIs.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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