Orioles Rough Up Smoltz

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

BOSTON(AP) Nick Markakis homered and drove in three runs off a struggling John Smoltz and the Baltimore Orioles broke an 11-game losing streak at Fenway Park with a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

Markakis hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, an RBI double in the third and a solo homer in the fifth that gave the Orioles a 6-0 lead.

David Hernandez (3-2) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, helping Baltimore to its first win in Boston since July 11, 2008, and its third win in its last 30 games against AL East opponents.

The 24-year-old rookie outpitched 21-year veteran Smoltz (1-4), whose comeback from offseason shoulder surgery has been rocky. In 20 seasons with Atlanta, he became the only pitcher in major league history with at least 200 wins and 150 saves.

But Smoltz gave up six earned runs in five innings and increased his ERA to 7.03. He hasn't pitched more than six innings in any of his six starts.

He was in trouble from the start Sunday.

Brian Roberts led off the game by walking on a nine-pitch at-bat and took third on Felix Pie 's single. After Adam Jones struck out, Markakis hit a sacrifice fly.

Melvin Mora was stranded at third in the second, the only inning in which Smoltz held the Orioles scoreless. But the right-hander couldn't escape a two-out jam in the third.

Roberts started the inning with a single and was forced out at second on Pie's grounder. Pie took second on a groundout by Jones. Then the Orioles scored three runs on the next four pitches with RBI doubles by Markakis and Nolan Reimold and a run-scoring single by Ty Wigginton .

Pie made it 5-0 with an RBI double in the fourth before Markakis hit his 12th homer of the season.

Hernandez, meanwhile, retired Boston's first nine batters before Jacoby Ellsbury led off the fourth with a ground ball single that bounced off second base and into short left field. Ellsbury stole his 44th base of the year and took third on a fly out but stayed there when David Ortiz flied out for the third out.

Hernandez went at least six innings for his fourth straight start and allowed three earned runs or less for his sixth straight. He struck out two and walked none.

The Red Sox finally broke through in the sixth on singles by J.D. Drew and Adam LaRoche and a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie . Dustin Pedroia added an RBI double in the eighth off Jim Johnson .

NOTES: LaRoche, obtained from Pittsburgh last week, started at first base the day after homering in his Red Sox debut. Kevin Youkilis started at 3B and Mike Lowell got the day off. ... Baltimore's 16-34 road record is the worst in the AL. ... Orioles SS Robert Andino struck out on each of his first three at bats and grounded out to the pitcher on his fourth. ... Boston relievers have held opponents scoreless since the All-Star break, a stretch of 22 innings. ... Ellsbury stole his 103rd base, breaking a tie for 10th place in Red Sox history with Jimmy Collins and Duffy Lewis .


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