Orioles 8, Red Sox 3, 1st game; Red Sox 4, Orioles 0, 2nd game

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BOSTON (AP)—Tim Wakefield gave the slumping Boston Red Sox a huge lift five days after getting smacked on his pitching shoulder by a line drive—and one day before they renew their rivalry with the New York Yankees.

Wakefield pitched seven shutout innings, and David McCarty drove in two runs and threw out a runner at home plate, giving the Red Sox a 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles and a split of their day-night doubleheader Thursday.

“I felt good enough,” Wakefield said of his right shoulder. “Hopefully, this win will give us some momentum going into the Yankees series.”

The Orioles won the opener 8-3 behind Melvin Mora’s two homers and four RBIs, and the pitching of Rodrigo Lopez.

Boston salvaged the finale of the three-game series, ending its first three-game home losing streak of the season. The Red Sox trail AL East leader New York by 8 1/2 games and host the Yankees in a three-game series starting Friday night.

“This weekend might be good for us,” manager Terry Francona said, “having a little added electricity here.”

Wakefield (6-6) didn’t miss a start after being hit in the shoulder in the fourth inning of last Saturday night’s 8-3 loss at Anaheim. He left after that inning.

On Thursday night, he allowed eight hits, all singles, struck out four and walked none.

“Barring a broken shoulder, he was going to take the ball,” Boston catcher Doug Mirabelli said. “He didn’t show any kind of aftereffects.”

Mike Timlin pitched the eighth and Alan Embree finished the 10-hitter, Boston’s major league-best ninth shutout of the season.

Baltimore’s best chance came in the first when the first two hitters, Brian Roberts and David Newhan, singled. Then Mora flied out to McCarty, making his sixth start of the year in left field, and Roberts was thrown out trying to score.

“We had an opportunity in the first inning,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. “You’ve got to be sure” when tagging up with no outs.

“We’ve been falling behind in ballgames and I think that kind of took some of the pressure off of us,” McCarty said.

Wakefield also held the Orioles scoreless after he allowed two singles in both the second and fifth.

The Red Sox went ahead 3-0 in the first against Dave Borkowski (1-2).

Mark Bellhorn walked and advanced to third on a balk and a wild pitch. David Ortiz walked, and Bellhorn scored when Manny Ramirez hit into a forceout at second. Singles by Trot Nixon and Kevin Youkilis loaded the bases before McCarty’s two-run single.

Youkilis’ homer made it 4-0 in the fourth.

In the day game, the Orioles scored three runs in the first against rookie Abe Alvarez, and Lopez earned his eighth career win against the Red Sox.

“I like to pitch here,” he said as a smile flashed across his face. “The history of the ballpark and the fans create an awesome atmosphere.”

Miguel Tejada added a two-run shot for Baltimore.

Kevin Millar hit a two-run homer, and the slow-footed Ortiz had two triples for Boston.

“That kid’s been tough on us before,” Francona said of Lopez. “But we’re going to have to do better. We have the people to do better.”

Lopez (8-6) gave up one run and 10 hits in six innings, improving to 8-2 in his career against the Red Sox. He is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA against them this season.

Buddy Groom pitched two innings and allowed Millar’s homer before Jorge Julio worked a hitless ninth.

Alvarez (0-1) lost his major league debut after being recalled from Double-A Portland before the game. He gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, with five walks and two strikeouts.

Tejada made a splendid play up the middle to end the game on Bill Mueller’s grounder, but sat on the grass for a few minutes before limping off.

“It was just a cramp,” he said as he pointed to his left calf. He played the entire night game.

The Orioles took a 3-0 lead in the first on Mora’s RBI double and Tejada’s homer.

Gabe Kapler’s RBI single cut it to 3-1 in the second, but Mora hit a solo homer in the third. Jerry Hairston’s had an RBI double in the fifth, and Roberts tripled in a run in the sixth before Millar’s homer cut the lead to 6-3 in the eighth.

Mora’s second homer made it 8-3 in the ninth. He had three hits and three runs.

Notes

Mueller shaved his head between games but did not play in the night game. … Mora had his second career two-homer game. … Alvarez was sent back to the minors after the first game. Ricky Gutierrez, acquired Wednesday from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named or cash, was activated and started at shortstop in the second game. … LHP Jimmy Anderson was designated for assignment when Alvarez was called up. … Alvarez, at 21 years, 9 months, was the youngest pitcher to make his debut with the Red Sox since Jeff Sellers on Sept. 15, 1985. Sellers was five months younger.

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