Then, nearly four hours later, they reacted passionately to a spikes-high slide by the Baltimore Orioles’ slugger.
Gary Matthews hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to complete his first career two-homer game and lead Texas to an 11-8 victory Wednesday night.
Sosa hit his 587th home run to take over sole possession of fifth place on the career list and give Baltimore a 4-0 first-inning lead. The Orioles increased the margin to 5-0 in the second, but the Rangers used home runs by Rod Barajas, Matthews and Mark Teixeira to pull even in the fourth.
Teixeira’s homer was the switch-hitter’s 28th of the season, but first from the right side of the plate.
It was 8-all in the 10th when Sosa was thrown out at the plate by Matthews trying to score on a two-out single to center by Luis Matos. Sosa slid into Barajas with his right leg up in the air, causing both benches to empty before order was quickly restored.
“Rod has a pretty ugly bruise on his right arm,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “That was a great throw by Gary and a bad slide. That play at the plate got us juiced back up. It was a gutsy play by Rod, and I think we responded to the play real well.”
“The play at the plate definitely fired us up,” Teixeira said. “I’m not sure it was the difference in the game, because anytime you’re in extra innings anything can happen. But it got us fired up.”
Sosa refused to talk after the game, saying only, “I’m not in the mood today.”
Sosa’s 13th homer, his third in four games, broke a tie on the career chart with Frank Robinson that had lasted about 24 hours. The opposite-field solo shot to right came on a 2-1 pitch from rookie Chris Young.
Baltimore stranded 16 and was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
“We had chances to win the game numerous times,” Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said.
With the score at 6, Alfonso Soriano led off the Texas ninth with a single off B.J. Ryan. Soriano stole second and Hidalgo was intentionally walked before DeRosa, who started the game batting .170, hit a two-run double.
But Cordero couldn’t hold the lead. Sosa reached on an error and Lopez followed with his ninth homer and second in two games, to tie it. Baltimore then loaded the bases with one out before Cordero struck out Melvin Mora and retired Tejada on a fly ball.
“You come back in the ninth and then get the bases loaded with your top guys up, you’ll take that every day of the week,” Mazzilli said.
After loading the bases in the fifth and sixth innings with two outs but failing to score, the Orioles pulled even in the eighth when Mora hit a bases-loaded single off Kameron Loe, who then struck out Tejada and retired Rafael Palmeiro on a grounder.
Baltimore starter Bruce Chen was staked to 5-0 lead, but the left-hander lost it in the fourth. After Barajas hit a two-run drive, Matthews homered two pitches later, the sixth time this season Texas connected on successive at-bats. Michael Young followed with a single, and Teixeira capped the rally with a shot to right.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 37 minutes. … Sosa’s homer came on a night in which the Orioles gave out Sammy Sosa bobblehead dolls. … Texas increased its major league-leading home run total to 168.