BALTIMORE (AP)—The Boston Red Sox smacked four home runs, got at least one hit in every inning and scored 10 runs on 16 hits.
Their numbers Monday night also included two ejections, four errors and one very bothersome defeat.
“Crazy game,” Boston’s Johnny Damon said. “We definitely weren’t sharp.”
The Orioles trailed 8-4 in the sixth, but came back with four runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth. Baltimore, which also had 16 hits, improved to 8-5 against the Red Sox this season.
“It’s tough when you lose a game when you score 10 runs, but nothing was going right for us,” Damon said.
Not in the final few innings, anyway.
“You’re going to run up against games like this where it goes back and forth, where both teams are going to score a lot of runs,” Boston manager Grady Little said. “Sometimes you’re going to come out on top, but what bothers me most is we lost the game.”
Damon hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs, and Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra and Bill Mueller also homered for Boston. The four home runs gave the Red Sox 213 for the season, tying the single-season mark set by the 1977 club.
Mueller had four hits, and Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Todd Walker had three apiece. But the Red Sox fell 3 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East and had their wild-card lead over idle Seattle shaved to one game.
Hairston led off the eighth with an infield hit off Byung-Hyun Kim (7-5) and advanced when Kim hit Luis Matos with a throw after Matos bunted. Hairston advanced to third on the play, then beat the throw home on Tony Batista’s grounder to Walker at second, making a sweeping tag with his left hand around catcher Doug Mirabelli.
“It was pure adrenaline,” Hairston said.
“It was a contact play,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. “Jerry fought for a good lead and made a great slide around Mirabelli.”
Melvin Mora added an RBI single and two runs scored when Damon dropped a fly ball to center after colliding with Walker.
“It’s something that will keep me up tonight,” Burkett said. “If I would have done my job, the whole game would have been different. I continued to give them hope, and they kept grinding away.”
Baltimore took the lead in a wacky seventh. Matos hit a leadoff double and got caught in a rundown on a grounder by Jay Gibbons. Matos reached third on a wild throw by Walker, but Gibbons was nailed at second after the carom off the wall bounced directly to Mueller at third base.
Hargrove argued, to no avail, that the ball should have been out of play. But Batista followed with an RBI single, and a single and a walk loaded the bases for Cruz, who grounded a three-run double inside third base to put Baltimore up 9-8.
Varitek was ejected by third base umpire Larry Poncino for arguing that the hit was a foul ball. Lowe was ejected by second base umpire Phil Cuzzi for yelling from the dugout.
Garciaparra tied it in the eighth with a drive to center off Kerry Ligtenberg (2-2) that traveled an estimated 440 feet. After Baltimore went up 13-9, Mueller homered in the ninth.
Ramirez put the Red Sox up 5-4 in the fifth with his 32nd homer, a towering drive to left.
Boston made it 8-4 with a three-run sixth against Rodrigo Lopez. Damon drove in a run with a groundout, Walker hit an RBI single and Ramirez chased Lopezwith a run-scoring single.
Damon had been stuck on 99 career homers since Aug. 3, when he hit his 11th of the season at Camden Yards. … Orioles DH David Segui underwent surgery Monday to repair tendon damage in his left wrist. He expects to be ready for spring training. … Orioles DH B.J. Surhoff was a late scratch with