Baltimore ends 9-game losing streak with 9-8 win over Boston

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BOSTON (AP)—Baltimore manager Dave Trembley blew his stack. For a change, his pitchers didn’t blow the game.

After Trembley was ejected in the fourth inning, the Orioles broke a nine-game losing streak with a 9-8 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. But they needed double plays in the last two innings to do it.

“This game is really going to relax everybody,” said Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, who called it “the toughest losing streak” he’s been involved in.

The Orioles came to town after being swept by Tampa Bay in a three-game series after leading in each of those games.

But Nick Markakis had three hits, including a three-run homer, Kurt Birkins (1-1) pitched three solid innings after starter Radhames Liz left with no outs in the fourth, and Trembley finally got some satisfaction.

Trembley, who got his first major league managing job when he succeeded Sam Perlozzo on June 18, was ejected by first base umpire Joe West after arguing with third base umpire Ed Hickox that Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash obstructed a runner.

“I just wanted to get Eddie’s opinion because it’s a judgment call whether or not (the runner) is going to be awarded another base,” Trembley said. “The next thing you know, Joe West was there. He had no business being there.”

Trembley said he had “no problem” with Hickox’s explanation but West directed an expletive toward him.

“No one is ever going to talk to me like that and get away with it,” Trembley said.

West was not available for comment after Trembley made his remarks.

The Red Sox seemed poised to get back on track as they returned home after being swept in a three-game series in New York that cut their AL East lead over the Yankees to five games. The lead remained unchanged since the Yankees were routed by Tampa Bay 9-1.

Trailing 9-6, Boston had a chance to tie it in the eighth with runners at first and second and David Ortiz, who had homered in the first, at the plate. He lined a ball into the stands to the right of the right-field foul pole. Then he hit a hard grounder to pitcher Chad Bradford for an inning-ending double play.

“I think the whole city of Boston was nervous, too, because they want Big Papi to come in there,” Tejada said. “When you have a situation like that, the last guy that you want to see at the plate is Big Papi.”

The Red Sox—with outfielders Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew both sidelined— had another chance to tie it in the ninth with runners at first and second, but Jason Varitek grounded into a game-ending double play.

“We dug ourselves a pretty big hole,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “Everybody that was out there gave probably more than they had.”

Baltimore pounded emergency starter Julian Tavarez (7-10), pressed into service when Tim Wakefield, tied for the major league lead with 16 wins, was scratched with a sore lower back.

After holding the Orioles to two hits in three scoreless innings, Tavarez allowed four runs in the fourth. Baltimore stretched its lead to 9-3 in the sixth with five runs, four off Mike Timlin in his 1,000th career appearance.

Danys Baez gave up Eric Hinske’s RBI single and a run on Melvin Mora’s error, before picking up his third save in five chances.

Boston took a 2-0 lead against Liz, making just his second major league start, on Ortiz’s 26th homer in the first and Hinske’s RBI double in the second. But Baltimore took a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

Markakis led off with a double and scored ahead of Tejada’s 17th homer. Mora and Ramon Hernandez added RBI singles.

Baltimore then teed off on Timlin, who replaced Javier Lopez after a leadoff single by Aubrey Huff in the sixth. The Orioles scored five runs on sacrifice flies by Jay Payton and Corey Patterson and Markakis’ 16th homer.

Birkins allowed one run in three innings before Jon Leicester gave up three runs in the seventh on Kevin Youkilis’ RBI single and Hinske’s two-run single.

“The streak’s over,” Birkins said. “Now it’s time to start a new one.”

Ramirez missed his third straight game with a strained muscle in his left side. Drew left the game after suffering a bruise when he fouled a ball off the top of his right foot in the second. He was replaced by Bobby Kielty, who had been sidelined with back spasms.

“It’s late in the year, guys are banged up, but we can’t use that as an excuse,” said Dustin Pedroia, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles for the Red Sox.

Notes

Timlin’s streak of 11 1-3 scoreless innings ended. … Lowell extended his hitting streak to 13 games. … Youkilis was hit by two pitches one day after Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain was ejected for throwing two consecutive pitches over his head.

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