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Limited to one hit through four innings in Daisuke Matsuzaka's season debut, the Baltimore Orioles had no reason to believe this would be the game that ended their long offensive drought.
The Orioles set season highs in homers and runs, enjoyed their biggest inning of the year and overpowered the Boston Red Sox 12-9 Saturday night for their first series win.
Ty Wigginton and Matt Wieters homered in a six-run fifth against Matsuzaka, helping Baltimore overcome a 4-1 deficit. Then the Orioles staved off a potential comeback in a game that featured nine home runs - including two apiece by Wigginton and Boston's David Ortiz.
Baltimore hit five homers, had 12 hits and easily eclipsed its previous high of eight runs. The Orioles came in batting a collective .242 and were last in the AL with 3.2 runs per game.
"It came on a good night because obviously they were swinging the bats, too," Wigginton said. "Fortunately, we scored more points than they did."
Matsuzaka (0-1) gave up seven runs, six earned, and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. The right-
hander spent all of April on the disabled list with a neck strain.
"I felt OK," Matsuzaka said. "I think I got a little too greedy, even in this first start. It was an unfortunate waste."
Wigginton also connected in the sixth against Tim Wakefield, who ended a string of 162 consecutive starts with his first relief appearance since June 9, 2004. The knuckleballer yielded five runs in 2 1-3 innings.
"I wasn't very good today," Wakefield said. "I had an opportunity to keep us in the game the way our offense was going. I just didn't do it."
Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 with a homer and five RBIs for the Orioles, who also beat the Red Sox on Friday night. The two-game winning streak matches Baltimore's longest of the season, accomplished once previously.
"We got April behind us, which wasn't the most pleasant of circumstances," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Brad Bergesen (1-2) gave up four runs in five innings for the Orioles, who improved to 3-2 against the Red Sox after going 2-16 against Boston in 2009. The last time Baltimore won a series from the Red Sox was a two-game sweep May 13-14, 2008.
Ortiz had his 35th career multihomer game, and Jonathan Van Every and Kevin Youkilis also connected for Boston. All three of Ortiz's homers this season have come against the Orioles.
The Red Sox fell to 11-13, their worst start after 24 games since 1996.
"We're not playing that well," Ortiz said. "We have some games that we should have won, but things happened. We've got to play better, I guess. All of us. We have to develop a better mentality."
Matsuzaka took a one-hitter and a 4-1 lead into the fifth before everything unraveled.
"The game was going pretty well," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Dice was throwing the ball the way he was supposed to, and then we gave up 10 in two innings."
After Wigginton hit a solo homer, Adam Jones and Markakis delivered two-out RBI singles before Wieters hit an opposite-field, three-run drive to left.
"Everybody was tired of going to the plate and making an out," said Miguel Tejada, who chased Matsuzaka with a double.
"We just got some pitches to hit and didn't miss them," Trembley said. "Early in the game he really changed speeds very well, really changed speeds off his fastball. His fastball really fluctuated from high 80s (mph) to low 90s, and his breaking stuff was good. Then in that one inning, we just got to him."
In the sixth, Wigginton hit a leadoff homer and Markakis added a three-run shot for an 11-4 lead.
Boston got four runs back in the seventh when Victor Martinez hit a two-run single and Youkilis followed with his fourth home run.
Luke Scott homered in the bottom half, and Ortiz hit a towering drive in the eighth to get Boston to 12-9. Cla Meredith then got three straight outs, and Alfredo Simon worked the ninth for his second save.
Down 1-0, Boston bounced back against Bergesen, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day. Ortiz tied it in the second with a drive to right, and Van Every hit his second career homer in the third.
Boston used RBI doubles by J.D. Drew and Adrian Beltre to make it 4-1 in the fourth.
But Baltimore rallied, giving Bergesen his first win since last July.
"It was by far the ugliest `W' I have ever had," he said. "But I will take it."
This program aired on May 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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