Baltimore The Baltimore Orioles were on the verge of being swept by the Toronto Blue Jays when Sammy Sosa stepped to the plate with two runners on base in the eighth inning.
The slugger has won many a game with a home run, and the mighty swing he took early in the count indicated he was looking to do it again.
After working the count full against Toronto ace Roy Halladay, Sosa hit a sharp grounder inside the third-base line. The two-run double ended Baltimore's drought of 22 scoreless innings and carried the Orioles to a 5-1 victory Wednesday.
It was Sosa's biggest hit since joining the club in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in February, and he savored it every bit as much as a home run.
"All my life, I've been in a good position to hit a lot of home runs. And every time I go to the plate, everybody expects one from me," Sosa said. "Sometimes it's going to happen, but other times you don't win some games only hitting home runs. Sometimes you go up there and get a double or a base hit or something. Today I just battled; I win this one."
Baltimore wasted a fine pitching performance by Daniel Cabrera in a 1-0 loss Tuesday night and nearly got nothing out of a strong effort by Erik Bedard before Sosa came through.
Bedard (3-1) struck out a career-high 12 and allowed one run and four hits in eight innings, but he left with Toronto ahead 1-0.
"Bedard was throwing amazing, and losing a game by one run again would have been hard for us," said Javy Lopez, who added a three-run homer after Sosa's hit. "The key of the game was Sammy Sosa hitting that double."
Rangers 16, Athletics 7, 81/2 innings, rain
Oakland, Calif. -- Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano hit two-run homers in a seven-run fourth inning, and Texas routed Oakland to complete a three-game sweep.
Richard Hidalgo had a home run and four RBIs as the Rangers swept a series at Oakland for the first time since April 13-15, 2001. Sandy Alomar Jr. also drove in two runs.
Indians 5, Twins 4
Minneapolis -- Josh Bard's ninth-inning home run lifted Cleveland past Minnesota. Casey Blake drove in three runs for the Indians, who came back from an early 4-1 hole. Their bullpen excelled, with Bobby Howry (2-1) picking up the win with two perfect innings. Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine tries, retiring Lew Ford on a fielder's choice with the bases loaded to end it.
Justin Morneau homered for the second straight night for the Twins, who left nine men on base in the first four innings -- and didn't get anybody on after that until the ninth.
J.C. Romero (0-2) surrendered Bard's unlikely homer, just his third hit of the season.
Devil Rays 11, Yankees 8
St. Petersburg, Fla. -- With owner George Steinbrenner getting a close-up view from his suite at Tropicana Field, New York lost its second straight game to Tampa Bay. The loss was the sixth in eight games for New York, which made significant lineup changes the previous night to try to break out of a rut.
Rookie Damon Hollins led the Rays, going 3-for-3 with a solo homer and four RBIs.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3
Detroit -- Kevin Youkilis hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to lift Boston over Detroit. Tim Wakefield (3-1) allowed three runs, 10 hits and one walk while striking out five in seven innings. The 38-year-old knuckleballer earned his 117th win with the Red Sox, tying Pedro Martinez and Joe Wood for fifth on the franchise's all-time list.
Mike Timlin pitched the eighth, and Keith Foulke finished for his sixth save.
Jay Payton drew a leadoff walk against Kyle Farnsworth (1-1) in the eighth, advanced on another walk and scored on Youkilis' single to left. Farnsworth gave up one run on two walks and a single in 11/3 innings.
Angels 5, Mariners 2
Seattle -- Paul Byrd remained unbeaten against Seattle, and Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer, helping Los Angeles extend its winning streak to four. Byrd (2-3) improved to 5-0 against the Mariners, with four of the wins at Seattle. He allowed two runs and nine hits in 62/3 innings, struck out just three and walked none. Both his wins this year have come against the Mariners.