- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 23, 2004

BOSTON (AP) — Orlando Cabrera homered in the bottom of the 12th inning to lead the Boston Red Sox to their second straight win in their last at-bat, 7-6 over the Baltimore Orioles last night.

Cabrera lined a 2-2 pitch from Rick Bauer into the Green Monster seats in left field. On Tuesday, Mark Bellhorn’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Red Sox to a 3-2 win.

The victory moved Boston, which leads the AL wild-card race, 3 games behind the New York Yankees in the East. The teams play a three-game series at Fenway Park over the weekend.

Curtis Leskanic (3-5) worked out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the top of the inning for the win.

Baltimore loaded the bases with one out against Leskanic, but the Red Sox turned a 3-2-4 double play on Jay Gibbons’ grounder when first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz threw home before Jason Varitek fired to Pokey Reese, covering first.

David Ortiz gave Boston a 6-5 lead with his 40th homer in the seventh, but Rafael Palmeiro belted a pinch-hit homer leading off the ninth against Boston closer Keith Foulke to tie it. It was Palmeiro’s 549th homer, moving him into 10th place on the career list ahead of Mike Schmidt.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Jason Grimsley got Cabrera and Bill Mueller to ground into fielder’s choice grounders. Third baseman Melvin Mora barehanded Cabrera’s high chop and fired home, cutting down pinch-runner Dave Roberts. Mueller followed by grounding out to second.

The Orioles had the best chance in the next two innings, but Larry Bigbie grounded out to end the 10th with runners on first and second.

Foulke also blew a save in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 3-2 win, allowing a two-run homer to Javy Lopez, before Bellhorn won it.

Ortiz became the 10th player in team history to hit 40 for Boston. He joined Manny Ramirez, who leads the AL with 41 homers, as the first Red Sox teammates to each hit 40 since Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski and Rico Petrocelli each hit 40 in 1969.

David Newhan hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who had won five of six meetings at Fenway Park before dropping the last two.

The Orioles went ahead 5-4 in the sixth on Larry Bigbie’s RBI double off reliever Mike Myers.

Orioles starter Sidney Ponson gave up six runs and 11 hits in seven innings.

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