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Orioles stage major comeback

JOHN Smoltz watched in disbelief as the Boston Red Sox wound up on the wrong end of the biggest comeback in Baltimore Orioles history.

Smoltz wasn't upset that he didn't earn his long-awaited 211th victory. He just couldn't believe that the Red Sox didn't win, either.

"No one would have ever dreamed it would play out the way it did," Smoltz said after the Orioles rallied from a nine-run deficit to win 11-10 on Tuesday night. "It's one of those games when you shake your head and can't believe what you just saw."

Nick Markakis hit a two-run double off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon to complete the comeback before a mixture of delirious hometown fans and stunned Red Sox backers.

Baltimore trailed 10-1 before scoring five runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth. The rally was even more shocking because it came against a Boston team that had defeated the Orioles eight straight times, including five this season.

Up by nine runs in the seventh, the Red Sox probably figured the only lamentable aspect of the night was that Smoltz wouldn't get his first win with Boston because of a lengthy rain delay.

Boston had no idea how bad it would get.

"It was a weird game, a terrible loss for us," Dustin Pedroia said. "Things just kind of spiraled on us."

Previously, the biggest comeback in Orioles history was September 2, 1956, when Baltimore rallied from an eight-run deficit at Boston. In this one, the Orioles got 13 of their 16 hits in the seventh and eighth innings.

"We just had no answer," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We went through everybody. Nothing we did worked."

Rodriguez homers

In other AL games on Tuesday, it was: White Sox 11, Indians 4; Yankees 8, Mariners 5; Rays 4, Blue Jays 1; Rangers 9, Angels 5; and Tigers 5, Athletics 3.

In the National League on Tuesday, it was: Giants 6, Cardinals 3; Dodgers 9, Rockies 3; Padres 4, Astros 3; Braves 5, Phillies 4, 10 innings; Brewers 6, Mets 3; Diamondbacks 6, Reds 2; and Pirates 3, Cubs 0.

In New York, the New York Yankees shrugged off a rain delay to record a sixth consecutive victory, an 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners set up by Melky Cabrera's tie-breaking double in the eighth inning.

Cabrera drove in three runs, but the one that mattered most was an extra-base blast to break a 5-5 deadlock after the gritty Mariners had twice rallied to tie the score.

Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run shot in the seventh, his 565th homer, for New York.

In St Louis, Randy Johnson won his third straight decision and 303rd of his career despite surrendering two home runs to Albert Pujols in San Francisco's 6-3 victory over St Louis.

Pujols leads the major leagues with 30 homers and 77 RBIs.


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