BOSTON (AP) -This was one special game for Cla Meredith.
Meredith, a former Red Sox prospect, escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the 10th inning for his first career save as the Orioles held off Boston 7-6 on Sunday for a much-needed victory.
``It's probably something I've waited three and a half, four years for. I never had the chance,' Meredith said of his first career save coming at Fenway Park.
Rhyne Hughes singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th and Matt Wieters followed with a two-run single, helping the Orioles snap a 10-game losing streak against the Red Sox and earn their third win of the season.
``Heartbreak does not do justice to what's gone on here,' Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said of his team's woes. ``Guys have come right back the next day and given everything they have.'
Miguel Tejada added a two-run homer for Baltimore, which overcame a 4-1 deficit to avoid its fourth straight series sweep against the Red Sox.
Jim Johnson (1-1) allowed two runs in the bottom of the 10th, and left with runners on first and second. Meredith got Darnell McDonald to foul out and Marco Scutaro on a liner to second to end the game.
``We dug ourselves too deep of a hole,' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Meredith, who was projected to be one of Boston's top relievers a few years ago, was traded to San Diego in 2006 when the Red Sox were desperate for a catcher - Doug Mirabelli - to handle Tim Wakefield's knuckleball.
``I'd be a liar if I said being in Fenway Park in front of a packed crowd didn't amp you up,' Meredith said. ``I was fortunate to be part of this ballclub.'
Kevin Youkilis had a double and two singles for the Red Sox, who went 4-6 on their 10-game homestand.
The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs against Scott Atchison (0-1) before Hughes, who struck out with two runners on in a 7-6 loss Saturday in his first major league game, singled to right. Wieters then grounded one up the middle and through a drawn-in infield, just past shortstop Scutaro's diving bid.
J.D. Drew doubled in a run and scored on Bill Hall's single in the bottom half, but Boston's rally ran out of gas.
Wakefield left with a runner on first and a 4-1 lead in the seventh, but Hideki Okajima gave up Nick Markakis' RBI double and Tejada's tying homer that caromed off the left-field foul pole.
Francona confirmed after the game that Wakefield will be taken out of the rotation when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns from the disabled list next weekend. The 43-year-old knuckleballer was charged with two runs and seven hits, and was saluted with a standing ovation when he left after 6 2-3 innings.
``I think we feel for various reasons that he's a guy that can handle this,' Francona said of the move. ``I understand emotions are involved and a lot of things are involved. This is not us turning him into a reliever.'
Wakefield was short when asked for his thoughts about going to the bullpen.
``I don't have any,' he said.
Unlike Wakefield's last start when the Texas Rangers set a club record with nine steals, the Orioles had just one.
Boston chased David Hernandez during its four-run sixth. Youkilis - Hernandez's last batter - tied it at 1 with a single to center. After hitting a long foul high off the Green Monster, David Ortiz, who entered with a .156 average, hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Mark Hendrickson.
Drew added a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Mike Lowell hit an RBI double off Jason Berken to make it 4-1.
Hernandez gave up three runs and four hits and five-plus innings.
The Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on Craig Tatum's RBI single.
Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre had a very busy first inning. Nolan Reimold, the game's first batter, hit a grounder that bounced off his chest for what was initially called an error, but later changed to a hit. Beltre then booted a grounder from Adam Jones - the second batter - for an error before making a nice backhanded stab on Tejada's roller down the line, saving at least one run.
Beltre also made a good play on Tejada's hard grounder in the fifth to help strand a runner on third. Tejada raised both arms in disbelief as he ran down the line.
NOTES: Orioles RHP Koji Uehara, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday. ... Matsuzaka, sidelined with a strained neck since spring training, is scheduled to throw a four-inning simulated game in Toronto on Monday, the last test before he's ready to return to the rotation.
The Associated Press News Service
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