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Tejada's 11th-inning blast propels O's to win at Fenway

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Tejada's 11th-inning blast propels O's to win at Fenway

Postby WebHamster » Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:00 am

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Miguel Tejada's leadoff homer in the 11th proved to be the difference, as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Boston Red Sox, 12-7, at Fenway Park.

Tejada's homer was his first as an Oriole and ignited a five-run frame that helped Baltimore win the only game played in this series, a scheduled three- game set that was shortened by two days of rain.

Brian Roberts added a solo homer and two runs batted in for Baltimore, which won for just the third time in seven games. David Segui had three hits, including a three-run homer, as the Orioles benefited from strong bullpen pitching in the win.

The Orioles won the game in the 11th when Tejada smacked a leadoff homer over the Green Monster off Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Baltimore continued to pour it on when Jay Gibbons tripled home Rafael Palmeiro from first with one out for a two-run lead. Then, after the Orioles loaded the bases, forcing Arroyo from the game, Kevin Millar booted a Larry Bigbie grounder to allow another run to cross the plate.

Phil Seibel, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game, then walked Roberts to force home the fourth run of the inning. Seibel was then lifted after facing just two batters. Frank Castillo didn't fare much better, allowing an RBI single to Melvin Mora before finally getting Tejada to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The homer for Tejada also marked the first RBI of the season for the former AL MVP.

"I really wanted to hit one out for this team and now I've done it," Tejada said. "I don't worry about home runs. I don't worry about RBI because my day is going to come and the good thing right now is other guys are [contributing] and that's what we need. That's the way we're going to win."

Arroyo (0-1), the seventh of nine Boston pitchers, suffered the loss. He was charged with five runs, two earned, on three hits in just one-third of an inning.

Jorge Julio worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th to secure the win for Buddy Groom (1-0), who got the final out of the 10th.

Johnny Damon had two hits and drove in three runs for the Red Sox, who can now focus on an important early season matchup against the New York Yankees that begins Friday night at Fenway.

Bill Mueller added a three-run homer for the Boston, which had a two-game win streak halted.

What was expected to be a pitchers' duel between Boston's Pedro Martinez and Baltimore's Sidney Ponson, turned out to be the complete opposite. Although, after the two starters were knocked from the game each team's bullpen pitched solidly.

Martinez was smacked around for seven runs on eight hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked four.

"I thought he had better stuff last Saturday," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said about Martinez. "I still have a lot of confidence that even when he doesn't have his A-game, he's still a pretty good pitcher. I will be very excited to send him out on his next outing."

Ponson surrendered seven runs on eight hits in four innings. The hefty righthander struck out two and walked two in his worst start of the season.

The Orioles got a run in the first on Roberts' leadoff homer and added another in the second on a Bigbie RBI double. In the fourth, Baltimore tacked on two more runs. Luis Matos knocked in the first run by grounding into a fielder's choice. He later scored on a single by Bigbie, who finished 2-for-6 with two RBI.

Boston scored five times in the second, as Damon drove in a pair with a bases- loaded single and Mueller followed with a three-run homer.

The homer for Mueller was his first of the season and ended an 0-for-20 slump for the reigning American League batting champ. His last hit prior to that came on April 7 against Baltimore.

The Red Sox added two more runs in the fourth for a 7-4 lead. A Damon RBI single and a run-scoring ground out by David Ortiz accounted for the scoring.

In the fifth, however, Baltimore would tie it and get Ponson off the hook. With two outs Javy Lopez smacked a double and Gibbons followed with a walk, setting the table for Segui's first homer of the season.

The bullpens calmed things down after that. Baltimore's Rodrigo Lopez and B.J. Ryan combined to get the Orioles to extra innings, while Mark Malaska, Scott Williamson, Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke worked until the 10th for Boston.

Boston threatened in the 10th, loading the bases with two outs. However, Mueller's long drive into the left-center field gap was tracked down by Matos for the final out of the inning. Mike DeJean started the inning on the hill for the Orioles and was lifted in favor of Groom with two outs and Damon coming to the plate. Groom hit Damon with his second pitch to load the bases and then Mueller drove the first pitch he saw to the warning track, where Matos made the running catch.

"That was the ballgame right there," said Matos. "I'm struggling right now at the plate, so to make a play like that is a plus for me."

Baltimore's five relievers combined to work seven innings of three-hit ball.

The nine pitchers used by Boston marked the most in one game since an August 25, 2001, 19-inning loss to Texas. Nine pitchers were also used in that game.
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