BOSTON (AP) – Miguel Tejada and Sammy Sosa hit back-to-back homers, Geronimo Gil added a three-run shot, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 9-3 on Wednesday night.

Sosa’s homer was his fifth of the season, first since April 24 and 579th of his career, leaving him four behind Mark McGwire for sixth place on the all-time list. It came in the same stadium where he hit his first career homer with Texas on June 21, 1989, off Roger Clemens.

Tejada added three doubles and scored three runs for the Orioles, who won for only the second time in six games.

Sidney Ponson (6-3) had a shutout until allowing three unearned runs in the seventh inning. But Boston left the bases loaded when reliever Todd Williams retired rookie Kelly Shoppach, who is hitless in six major league at-bats, on a groundball.

Tim Wakefield (4-5) lost his fourth consecutive start, a span in which his ERA is 8.74. Wakefield, who allowed just two homers in five starts in May, gave up three in three innings Wednesday.

Gil homered in the second to give Baltimore a 3-0 lead after a walk to B.J. Surhoff and a double by Chris Gomez, who started at second base because Brian Roberts rested with a sore shoulder.

Tejada and Sosa homered with one out in the third for a 5-0 lead. The Orioles made it 6-0 in the fifth on a double by Tejada, a walk to Rafael Palmeiro and an RBI single by Surhoff.

Wakefield was still on the mound when Baltimore built the lead to 7-0 in the fifth. Gomez was hit by a pitch and stole second but was thrown out by right fielder Trot Nixon on David Newhan’s single. Newhan took second on the throw and scored on Melvin Mora’s single.

Then manager Terry Francona made a potential costly decision. After Jason Varitek ended the sixth by grounding out to first, Francona took him out of the game with Boston trailing by seven runs and brought in Shoppach to catch.

Shoppach had been called up to the majors for the first time last Friday and was 0-for-5 when he failed in the seventh as the potential tying run.

The Red Sox already had cut the lead to 7-3 on Johnny Damon’s sacrifice fly and Manny Ramirez’s two-run single that brought Steve Kline in to pitch. He walked Jay Payton, loading the bases, and right-hander Williams came in to face righty Shoppach.

With a 3-2 count, Shoppach was retired on a routine grounder to second.

Baltimore’s last two runs scored on sacrifice flies in the ninth by Palmeiro and Surhoff.

Notes: Baltimore’s 15-6 road record is the best in the majors. … The start of the game was delayed a few minutes when Damon retrieved a cell phone from the warning track in left-center field. … The Orioles have 74 homers, second in the majors to Texas. … Ponson had been 1-4 at Fenway Park with a 7.55 ERA in his other seven starts. … Boston’s David Ortiz reached base four times on two singles and two walks.

AP-ES-06-01-05 2227EDT


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