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Sosa hops into tie with Robinson as Orioles hang on

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- After Sammy Sosa tied Frank Robinson for fifth place on the career home-run list, Javy Lopez made sure the milestone shot was not for naught.

Sosa hit his 586th homer, Lopez snapped a tie with an eighth-inning drive and the Baltimore Orioles ended a six-game skid by defeating the Texas Rangers 5-4 Tuesday night.

Luis Matos also connected for the Orioles, who avoided their longest losing streak of the season by winning for the first time since July 18.

"I believe that we're going to pick it up," Sosa said. "There's still a long, long way to go and we still believe in ourselves."

Sosa gave Baltimore a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning with his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot to center. He took his trademark hop out of the batter's box, but waited near first base to make sure the drive cleared the wall.

He then thrust his arm outward as the ball landed in the Baltimore bullpen. He was presented with the ball after the game and nonchalantly placed it in his locker.

"Right now is no time to celebrate. It's very nice to tie Frank Robinson, but there's still a lot of baseball left," Sosa said.

It was only his third home run since June 18, but the second in three games.

"Sammy's starting to swing the bat. He's moved his stance around a little bit," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He isn't so closed off and isn't getting tied up on some balls."

Texas starter Kenny Rogers gave up four runs and eight hits over seven innings in what could be his final appearance before serving a suspension for shoving two TV cameramen last month. The 40-year-old went before commissioner Bud Selig on Friday to appeal the 20-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball on July 1.

After Rogers left, James Baldwin (0-1) retired the first two batters before Lopez hit a shot to center. Lopez went 3-for-4 in his second game since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list with a broken hand.

"The first game, I didn't help. This one, I helped the team win," he said.

Baldwin was picked up by the Rangers last month after being released by the Orioles.

"It was a fastball that moved back over the plate," he said of the pitch to Lopez. "You can't throw it down the middle. If you do, nine guys out of 10 are going to hit it hard."

B.J. Ryan recorded three outs for his 22nd save.

Baltimore starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, but his bid to become a 10-game winner was denied by the bullpen.

Lopez left in the seventh after giving up an RBI double to Gary Matthews Jr., who scored on David Dellucci's two-out single off Chris Ray to bring Texas to 4-3.

The Rangers tied it in the eighth. Mark Teixeira beat out an infield hit off Steve Kline and took second on the pitcher's errant throw. After a single by Hank Blalock, Teixeira scored on a wild pitch by Jason Grimsley (1-1).

Matthews went 3-for-4 with a homer and two doubles, and he also made a sensational leaping catch in center to rob Melvin Mora of an eighth-inning hit. But Texas lost for the sixth time in seven games to fall to 3-10 since the All-Star break.

"It just seems like that's the way things have gone for us lately," Matthews said. "Kenny's been our anchor, but it wasn't enough tonight."

The Orioles took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first inning. Miguel Tejada reached second on a two-out throwing error by Blalock at third before Rafael Palmeiro hit an RBI single.

In the second, Baltimore's Eli Marrero hit a drive to left that bounced off the wall toward center. Dellucci recovered in time to throw to shortstop Michael Young, whose relay to catcher Sandy Alomar ruined Marrero's bid for an inside-the-park homer.

Marrero left the game in the fourth inning after being overcome by the 98-degree heat.

Matos hit his third home run in the third to make it 2-0, and Matthews homered in the fifth to bring the Rangers within a run.

Notes

  • Orioles RF Jay Gibbons was a late scratch because of back spasms. He is day-to-day.
  • Dellucci drew two walks to raise his AL-leading total to 62.
  • The Rangers battled the heat by wearing their batting practice jerseys, which have no names on the back.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Sammy Sosa climbs the home-run leaderboard with his 586th; Rafael Palmeiro is just 18 behind.  (AP)
Sammy Sosa climbs the home-run leaderboard with his 586th; Rafael Palmeiro is just 18 behind. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

J. Lopez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Texas

G. Matthews
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, LF2011200 .264
   a- Richard Hidalgo, PH1000010 .225
Michael Young, SS5010003 .322
Mark Teixeira, 1B4110011 .275
Hank Blalock, 3B4020001 .286
Alfonso Soriano, 2B4000012 .281
Adrian Gonzalez, DH3000111 .222
Kevin Mench, RF3110100 .269
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4232001 .250
Sandy Alomar Jr., C3000021 .287
Totals334934610 
a-struck out for Dellucci in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kevin Mench (24, Lopez), Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (12, Lopez, Lopez)
HR - Gary Matthews Jr. (8, Lopez)
SH - Sandy Alomar Jr. (2)
RBI - David Dellucci (37), Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - David Dellucci (11)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - David Dellucci 1
E - Hank Blalock (4, Wild throw)
Texas Rangers
Kenny Rogers 7843132 2.77
James Baldwin (L,0-1) 1111001 1.75
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 103-65, James Baldwin 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 10-8
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 30, James Baldwin 4
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4000010 .333
Melvin Mora, 3B3000100 .296
Miguel Tejada, SS4110001 .318
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B4121001 .284
Sammy Sosa, DH4112001 .234
Javy Lopez, C4131010 .282
    Sal Fasano, C0000000 .250
B.J. Surhoff, LF-RF4000001 .264
Eli Marrero, RF1010000 .181
   a- Larry Bigbie, PH-LF2000012 .252
Luis Matos, CF3111001 .270
Totals33595137 
a-struck out for Marrero in the 4th
Batting
3B - Eli Marrero (2, Rogers)
HR - Sammy Sosa (12, Rogers), Javy Lopez (8, Baldwin), Luis Matos (3, Rogers)
RBI - Rafael Palmeiro (56), Sammy Sosa 2 (36), Javy Lopez (23), Luis Matos (17)
2-OUT RBI - Rafael Palmeiro (14), Javy Lopez (8)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Mora-B. Roberts-Palmeiro, B. Roberts-Tejada-Palmeiro
E - Steve Kline (1, Wild throw)
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez 6.1633241 4.37
Chris Ray (H,3) 0.2100000 0.57
Steve Kline0211000 5.71
Jason Grimsley (BS,1; W,1-1) 1000200 9.82
B.J. Ryan (S,22) 1000020 2.80
IBB - Gonzalez by Jason Grimsley
WP - Jason Grimsley (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 106-63, Chris Ray 8-5, Steve Kline 6-4, Jason Grimsley 24-12, B.J. Ryan 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 7-7, Chris Ray 1-1, Jason Grimsley 2-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 26, Chris Ray 3, Steve Kline 2, Jason Grimsley 4, B.J. Ryan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25235
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 98
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Paul Nauert