Baltimore overcomes blown 3-run lead

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles apparently learned some lessons this week on how to walk off the field a winner.

Miguel Tejada hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Orioles to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Even though the Orioles split their four-game series at Boston, the Red Sox got both of their wins in their final at-bat.

While there was nothing close to a playoff spot at stake Friday, it didn't stop the Orioles from enjoying their fourth walk-off win of the season.

"Watching all those, you tend to want to get one," said Baltimore reliever John Parrish (6-3), who worked a perfect eighth to get the win. "It was nice watching from the dugout and being at home when he hit one. Anytime you can score that many runs, come
back at the end and still win, it's great."

Tejada, who went 4-for-5 with four RBI, hit a 1-0 pitch from
Esteban Yan over the center-field wall for his 31st homer. David Newhan led off the ninth with a single to right and Melvin Mora drew a walk, setting up Tejada with his chance to end it.

"When we got first and second, no out, I was just trying to get a hit to bring the run the home," Tejada said. "I'm just to happy to do it."

Yan (3-6) gave up three runs and two hits in one-third of an inning.

Tejada's homer spoiled a solid outing by Detroit starter Jason Johnson, who spotted his former team three runs in a shaky first inning but kept them from scoring over his final 5 2/3.

Johnson was in line for his first win since July 29, but Javy Lopez homered in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-4. However, Johnson said missing out on the win was disappointing enough and the fact that it was his former team really didn't matter.

"I don't care about the Orioles anymore," Johnson said. "I'm a Tiger now and when I go out there to pitch, I try to do well for the Tigers."

Lopez homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who blew a 3-0 lead but rallied from a 5-3 deficit.

After the first, Johnson allowed just five hits, worked out of one tight spot in the third and gave Detroit's offense a chance to catch up against Bruce Chen.

"Jason's stuff tonight was the best he has been in a while. He gave us a great outing. He gave us a chance to win," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "Unfortunately, we've been going through a rough stretch here a week or so now, we've lost some leads, and they're all tough."

Chen was making his first start in Baltimore since joining the Orioles in late August. The Tigers finally got to Chen in the fifth when Craig Monroe tripled off the right-field wall to start a four-run inning. Monroe scored on a single by Marcus Thames two batters later.

Omar Infante kept the inning going with a double to left that scored Thames and cut Baltimore's lead to 3-2. Brandon Inge's RBI groundout tied it and Ivan Rodriguez's single put the Tigers ahead.

Carlos Pena ended Chen's night one inning later with his 26th homer, an opposite-field shot to left that made it 5-3.

With two outs in the seventh, Johnson allowed Mora and Tejada to reach on consecutive singles, ending his night. Jamie Walker came in and got Rafael Palmeiro to fly out to left to end the inning.

Lopez picked up his third RBI of the night with his 21st homer in the next inning.

Brian Roberts and Newhan started the bottom of the first with singles, and Roberts scored on Tejada's infield single. Lopez hit a two-run single to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

Game notes
Rondell White started in left field for Detroit, his first game since aggravating a nagging hip flexor injury running to first base on Sept. 10. ... Pena's homer was the 32nd for the Tigers in September, which leads AL teams.