- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 12, 2008

BOSTON | Brian Roberts was a home run short of the cycle as the Baltimore Orioles knocked around no-hit kid Clay Buchholz and beat Boston 7-3 on Friday night.

The Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak by handing Boston a rare home loss.

Brian Burres (7-5) pitched his longest outing in eight tries, allowing three runs and six hits before leaving with a 4-3 lead with one out in the seventh.

Buchholz, who no-hit the Orioles in his second major league start last Sept. 1, retired just one of the first five batters he faced and gave up four runs, five hits and five walks in five innings.

Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo pulled up lame and left the game after singling with two outs in the ninth. Brandon Fahey let Jacoby Ellsbury’s grounder go through his legs at shortstop, then George Sherrill came on and walked Dustin Pedroia to load the bases before striking out Kevin Youkilis to earn his 28th save.

In his first appearance for Boston since May 12 because of a split fingernail that turned into a trip to the minors for seasoning, Buchholz (2-4) spotted the Orioles two runs in the first and two in the fifth. Baltimore had seven hits, and Roberts and No. 9 hitter Fahey had five of them.

Roberts led off the game with a double, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Fahey singled and Roberts tripled him home before scoring on Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-3.

The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park from a 3-7 road trip to sweep Minnesota and - even with Friday’s loss - their 34-11 home record is the best in the AL.

But the home-crowd advantage didn’t help the Red Sox when a fan reached over the short wall in right and interfered with Sean Casey’s second-inning double. And it didn’t hold any sway with first base umpire Doug Eddings three batters later, with Casey on third, when Lugo was called out on a grounder to first even though replays showed he was safe by a step.

Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning, and the Red Sox were out a run.

They made it 3-2 in the fourth when Jason Varitek singled, took third on Brandon Moss’ double and scored on Lugo’s groundout.

Moss and Manny Ramirez both had two hits.

- Red Sox right-fielder J.D. Drew was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with a “tweaked” back. Manager Terry Francona said he thinks Drew will be back Saturday. Center fielder Coco Crisp sat out with a forearm injury of unknown nature and cause. …

Boston designated hitter David Ortiz, who has been on the DL since injuring a tendon sheath in his left wrist on May 30, took some practice swings in the batting cage before the game. …

Orioles right-fielder Nick Markakis walked twice but went 0-for-2 to snap a 17-game hitting streak. …

Pedroia walked twice and ended a 17-game hitting streak. …

Buchholz, who pitched three innings of one-hit relief on Sept. 6 in his other career appearance vs. Baltimore, was called up from Class AAA Pawtucket before the game.

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