There were plenty of other reasons to celebrate the accomplishment.
Ty Wigginton(notes) doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning following a throwing error by Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes), giving the Orioles a 3-2 victory Sunday and their first three-game sweep of the Red Sox at home in 36 years.
None of the Orioles really cared that disco was the craze or that Gerald Ford was President the last time Baltimore swept a three-game home set from Boston. What mattered was that they had their first three-game winning streak of the season and seemingly had restored a sense of dignity in the clubhouse after a 2-16 start.
“It’s just great for the team, individuals who have gone through a lot of pain and mimicry for 30 days,” manager Dave Trembley said. “I believe we’ve gotten through the worst. The good days are ahead.”
And what about the Red Sox? After going 16-2 against Baltimore last season and reaching the playoffs, Boston is 11-14 overall and 2-4 against the Orioles.
“We’re going to have to regroup in a hurry and figure it out,” manager Terry Francona said.
Miguel Tejada(notes) had two hits and scored a run for the Orioles, who swept a four-game series from Boston at Camden Yards in 1998 but hadn’t swept three against the Red Sox in Baltimore since Sept. 2-4, 1974.
“We’re starting to learn how to win a little bit,” Orioles starter Kevin Millwood(notes) said. “I think we’re starting to realize that we’re a better team than people give us credit for. It really was a very good homestand.”
After going 0-6 on its first homestand, Baltimore went 4-2 against the Yankees and Red Sox.
Nick Markakis(notes) led off the 10th with a walk against Papelbon (1-2). Markakis went to second on an errant throw to first by the reliever, then scored without a throw when Wigginton doubled to left-center.
Papelbon came in with a 0.87 ERA against Baltimore in 33 career appearances.
“It wasn’t like he was wild. He just missed,” Boston catcher Jason Varitek(notes) said. “His cleat sticks on a pick, he makes a little errant throw, left a breaking ball up to Wigginton and that was it.”
“Anytime you can get some wins against Boston, you’re accomplishing something,” Wigginton said. “They always have a winning, championship-type team over there. So it’s nice to get three.”
Said Markakis: “Things are coming around now. Hopefully it will continue.”
Both starting pitchers were impressive, but neither received a decision.
Beckett allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking none.
Millwood remained winless in his first season with Baltimore despite giving up only five hits and two runs over eight innings. The right-hander has a 3.15 ERA over six starts but has repeatedly been hurt by poor run support.
Both teams had a chance to break the 2-all tie in the eighth. The Red Sox had runners at first and second with two outs when Dustin Pedroia(notes) singled to left, but Varitek was easily thrown out at the plate by Nolan Reimold(notes).
NOTES: Boston 1B Kevin Youkilis(notes) was a late scratch with a strained left groin. Mike Lowell(notes) started at 1B for the first time and 3B Adrian Beltre(notes), who was going to get the day off, ended up in the starting lineup. … Tejada has seven multihit games in his last 10. … Seven of Varitek’s 11 hits this season have been for extra bases.