BALTIMORE (AP) - Four innings into their game against the Baltimore Orioles, the Cincinnati Reds found themselves in a familiar position: in desperate need of a comeback.
The Reds rebounded from a four-run deficit to force extra innings, but Derrek Lee homered leading off the bottom of the 12th inning to provide Baltimore with a 5-4 victory.
Lee's shot ruined a nice rally by Cincinnati, which trailed 4-0 after four innings.
``Unfortunately, we've been down a lot early,' designated hitter Jonny Gomes said. ``This team is definitely resilient. The pitching staff is resilient, being able to give up some runs early and then toeing that rubber and getting back out there and throwing up zeros.'
In the end, though, the Reds dropped their fourth straight extra-inning game and lost for the fifth time in their last seven games overall.
``One-nothing, 5-4, 10-0, it's still a loss,' Gomes lamented.
Lee sent a 1-2 pitch from Jose Arredondo (0-3) into the seats in left field to end the 3 hour, 55-minute marathon. It was Lee's fifth home run, the first since May 8.
``It felt good to finally get one over the fence,' he said.
Lee came into the game with a .238 batting average and had only 18 RBIs. He knew he wasn't contributing as much as expected, but on this night he went 3 for 5 and scored twice.
``I'm happy for him. I'm happy for us, too,' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
It was his third career walkoff homer, the first since May 11, 2005.
Cincinnati missed a chance to take the lead in the top of the 12th when Joey Votto was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a two-out double by Jay Bruce. Votto headed for home after the ball eluded Adam Jones in center field, but he recovered in time to throw the relay to shortstop J.J. Hardy, whose throw home arrived just in time.
``Yeah, Jones got a glove on it. The ball just stopped. That ball rolls another two feet it's no problem,' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ``We didn't get any breaks tonight.'
Mike Gonzalez (1-1) worked the 12th for the Orioles, who led 4-0 after four innings. Baltimore stranded 13 and went 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
``It was a game that we thought we had in hand. We would hate to see that one get away,' Lee said. ``We didn't execute great, but we grinded it out and were able to get a win.'
A sellout crowd of 45,382 watched Cincinnati's first appearance in Baltimore since the 1970 World Series. During the 15 years that interleague play has been in existence, the Reds faced every AL team on the road except the Orioles.
Reds starter Edinson Volquez gave up four runs, seven hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings.
Volquez entered with a 13.85 ERA in the first inning, but he kept the Orioles scoreless despite walking two batters.
In the second inning, however, Volquez surrendered the game's first run for the 12th time in 14 starts. Lee walked and took third on a double by Matt Wieters before rookie Blake Davis tripled to right-center - his first major league hit.
Jones led off the third with his 12th homer for a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, Wieters doubled and came home on a broken-bat bloop by Hardy.
Cincinnati closed to 4-3 in the fifth against Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas. Brandon Phillips hit a two-run, two-out double and scored on a double by Votto.
In the bottom half, Baltimore got runners on second and third with one out before Sam LeCure struck out Wieters and Davis around an intentional walk to Mark Reynolds.
The Reds pulled even in the sixth against Jason Berken, who yielded a double to Gomes and a two-out RBI single to No. 9 hitter Paul Janish.
NOTES: Baltimore's Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Former Oriole Ramon Hernandez went 2 for 4 with a walk. ... Volquez has 84 career starts without a complete game. ... Orioles LHP Brian Matusz seeks his first interleague win Saturday. He's 0-3 in four starts lifetime. ... Lee had his 15th multihit game, the fifth in his last seven starts. ... Reds DHs are 2 for 16 (.125) this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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