Toronto at Baltimore

W: E. Bedard (3-1) L: R. Halladay (4-2)
HR: TOR - None   BAL - J. Lopez (5)

Sosa comes up huge as Orioles avoid sweep to Jays

CBS wire reports

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."

And the Orioles got an uplifting victory. Baltimore wasted a fine pitching performance by Daniel Cabrera in a 1-0 loss Tuesday night, and nearly got nothing out of an excellent 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."

Brian Roberts led off the inning with a single, the fifth time that Baltimore got the leadoff hitter aboard. After Melvin Mora flied out, Roberts took second on a single by Miguel Tejada.

Sosa then pulled a grounder past third baseman Corey Koskie into the left-field corner. Tejada ran through the stop sign of third-base coach Tom Trebelhorn and scored with a headfirst slide to give Baltimore its first lead of the series.

"I was thinking, it's only one out. I've got to try," Tejada said.

After the game, Tejada apologized to Trebelhorn, who replied, "Don't worry about it. It's the result that counts."

Sosa reached third on the play, and after Halladay issued an intentional walk to Rafael Palmeiro, Lopez homered into the left-field seats.

Halladay (4-2) gave up five runs and 12 hits in 7 1/3 innings. Both his losses this season have come against the Orioles.

"I wasn't tired. It's a tough situation, two guys on," he said. "It's just baseball, you get a ground ball a couple inches one way foul, hopefully the other way you get an out. Those two runs scored, they grabbed the momentum and I made a bad pitch to Javy."

Tejada had three hits for Baltimore, which avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season. The Orioles stretched their lead in the AL East to three games over Toronto, which came in having won seven of eight.

Before the game, Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli pulled Sosa aside and told him to have fun.

"I don't know if he was trying too hard or not, but it was a big hit for him," Mazzilli said. "Good timing."

Said Sosa: "I'm a competitive person. I like to be there in a situation like that. Sometimes you try to do too much that sometimes you come up empty. You've got to keep fighting."

Bedard gave up only two hits over the first seven innings, but lost his shutout in the eighth. After Eric Hinske doubled to left, Ken Huckaby sacrificed and John McDonald grounded a hit through the drawn-in infield.

That ended Bedard's run of 22 consecutive scoreless innings, but he capped his outstanding effort with two straight strikeouts.

Bedard gave up a leadoff single to Reed Johnson in the first inning and did not allow another hit until Vernon Wells opened the seventh with a single.

Halladay was nearly as effective. He did not allow a runner to reach second base until the sixth inning.


  • Longtime Orioles bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks returned to the team for the first time since his mild stroke on April 14. He will resume his duties on Friday.
  • Toronto is 4-0-2 in road series.
  • Palmeiro's second-inning single tied Frank Robinson for 28th place on the career hit list with 2,942.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Miguel Tejada celebrates after scoring on Sammy Sosa's double in the eighth inning. (AP)
Miguel Tejada celebrates after scoring on Sammy Sosa's double in the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

S. Sosa
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0

E. Bedard
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 12

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF4010020 .295
Orlando Hudson, 2B3000121 .267
Vernon Wells, CF4020012 .212
Corey Koskie, 3B3000124 .259
Shea Hillenbrand, DH4000004 .374
Alex Rios, RF3000021 .309
Eric Hinske, 1B3110020 .276
Ken Huckaby, C2000020 .250
John McDonald, SS3011000 .333
2B - Eric Hinske (6, Bedard)
SH - Ken Huckaby (1)
RBI - John McDonald (5)
SB - John McDonald (2, 2nd base off Bedard/Lopez)
CS - Corey Koskie (1, 2nd base by Bedard/Lopez)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Hudson-Hinske, McDonald-Hudson-Hinske
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay (L,4-2) 7.11255221 3.78
Scott Schoeneweis 0.2000000 5.79
IBB - Palmeiro by Roy Halladay
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Halladay 113-76, Scott Schoeneweis 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Halladay 11-6, Scott Schoeneweis 2-0
Batters Faced - Roy Halladay 33, Scott Schoeneweis 2
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4120000 .372
Melvin Mora, 3B4020002 .306
Miguel Tejada, SS4130001 .360
Sammy Sosa, RF3112102 .269
Rafael Palmeiro, DH3010113 .230
    David Newhan, PR-DH0100000 .222
Javy Lopez, C4123001 .326
    Geronimo Gil, C0000000 .226
Jay Gibbons, 1B4010011 .250
Luis Matos, CF4000002 .277
Larry Bigbie, LF3000002 .254
2B - Sammy Sosa (6, Halladay)
HR - Javy Lopez (5, Halladay)
RBI - Sammy Sosa 2 (13), Javy Lopez 3 (16)
CS - Melvin Mora (1, 2nd base by Halladay/Huckaby)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Gibbons
Baltimore Orioles
Erik Bedard (W,3-1) 84112120 2.50
B.J. Ryan 1100010 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Erik Bedard 126-81, B.J. Ryan 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Erik Bedard 5-6, B.J. Ryan 1-0
Batters Faced - Erik Bedard 29, B.J. Ryan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17645
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Brian Gorman