Final in 15

Series: Game 4 of 4

Boston won 4-0

Game 1: Friday, September 20
Boston 4Final
Baltimore 2
Game 2: Saturday, September 21
Boston 3Final
Baltimore 0
Game 3: Sunday, September 22
Boston 13Final
Baltimore 2
Game 4: Monday, September 23
Boston 5Final
in 15
Baltimore 4

Red Sox 5

(90-66, 50-28 away)

Orioles 4

(67-89, 34-44 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 23, 2002

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    56789101112131415 R H E
    BOS 10000000011 5 - -
    BAL 00001000010 4 - -

    W: A. Embree (4-6)

    L: W. Roberts (5-4)

    S: W. Gomes (1)

    Unearned run pushes Red Sox past Orioles 5-4

    BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox aren't done yet.

    Boston's Johnny Damon comes across with the go-ahead run and all Baltimore relief pitcher Willis Roberts can do is watch the damage done by his wild pitch in the 15th inning.

    Johnny Damon scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch in the 15th inning, and the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Monday night to avoid elimination from the American League wild-card race.

    One more Boston defeat or one Anaheim victory will bounce the Red Sox from playoff contention, but Boston didn't look like a team going through the motions in sweeping the four-game series.

    ''We're still alive,'' Red Sox manager Grady Little said. ''We know it's a tough battle right at this point in time. But there's a lot of pride in that room. They continue to play hard.''

    With two outs in the 15th, Damon reached on a walk by Willis Roberts (5-4). Damon then took third when Roberts threw wildly to first on a pickoff attempt, and scored the unearned run when Roberts uncorked a high fastball with a 1-1 count on Shea Hillenbrand.

    The Red Sox, who earlier blew one-run leads in the ninth and 14th innings, made their final run stand up.

    ''A lot of people are going to say we're out of it -- and we might be,'' Damon said. ''But we might as well make a run out of it. It's going to be a real late night, but I'm glad we pulled this one off.''

    Jay Gibbons hit two solo homers for the Orioles and Jeff Conine connected in the 14th, but Baltimore lost its sixth in a row.

    ''We made a couple of errors that really cost us a chance to win,'' Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. ''But I'm really proud of the way we battled tonight.''

    Boston took a 4-3 lead in the 14th when pinch-runner Rickey Henderson scored on a single by Tony Clark following an error by Conine at first. But Conine made amends by leading off the bottom half with a home run on the first pitch from Alan Embree (1-2).

    ''That's kind of bittersweet,'' Hargrove said. ''I'm sure Jeff was thinking that if he didn't miss the ball, that would have been a game-winner.''

    Exactly.

    ''We should have been turning to walk home,'' Conine said of his home run.

    Embree avoided further damage, and Wayne Gomes got three outs for his first save. He struck out Tony Batista with runners on first and second to end it.

    Hillenbrand homered for the Red Sox, who earned their third four-game road sweep of the season. The other two came at Tampa Bay.

    The Orioles have lost 26 of 30. Baltimore has also endured losing streaks of 10 and eight games during its monthlong skid.

    ''It would have been easy to lay down when we fell behind,'' Hargrove said, ''but the effort we put out is typical of the whole season.''

    Gibbons' second home run, off Boston closer Ugueth Urbina in the bottom of the ninth, denied Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield his fifth consecutive victory.

    Wakefield allowed two runs, four hits and three walks in eight innings. It was the first time in eight starts that the knuckleballer gave up more than one run.

    Urbina, who was 8-for-8 in save opportunities in September, had his first blown save since Aug. 20.

    Hillenbrand's 18th homer, a fifth-inning solo shot off rookie John Stephens, put the Red Sox up 3-2. The lead stood up until Gibbons hit his 28th homer in the ninth.

    Boston's Manny Ramirez went 1-for-5, dropping his batting average to .344 -- three points behind Mike Sweeney of Kansas City in the duel for the AL batting title.

    The Red Sox jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first on a run-scoring single by Ramirez and a sacrifice fly by Cliff Floyd.

    Baltimore tied it in the second on Gibbons' leadoff homer and a run-scoring grounder by Mike Bordick.

    Game notes


    Floyd left in the 10th with a strained tendon in his right ankle. ... Bordick played his 104th consecutive errorless game at shortstop, extending his own major league record. He's made one error this year, on April 10. ... Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra committed his 25th error in the eighth. ... Baltimore has allowed at least one first-inning run in five consecutive games. ... The Red Sox won the season series 13-6 and improved to 24-7 at Camden Yards since 1999.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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