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Ortiz homers twice, but Orioles hold off Red Sox

• Unsung hero: Brian Roberts homered and also added an RBI double in the Orioles' three-run third.

• Figure this: Bedard, who struck out six, leads the majors with 181 strikeouts.

• Cool front: Josh Beckett, who won his first nine starts, is 4-5 since a victory on June 8.

• Quotable: "The greatest compliment I could give [Bedard] is that I have coached some of the greatest rotations, and he could fit in with any of them." -- Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who worked with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine in Atlanta

-- ESPN.com news services

Orioles 5, Red Sox 3

BOSTON -- Erik Bedard overcame David Ortiz and dehydration
to earn his seventh consecutive victory.

Stretching into the sixth inning after convincing his doctors
and coaches to let him stay in the game, the Baltimore left-hander
held the Boston Red Sox to two hits in a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.

"He might be the best pitcher in baseball right now," said
Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone, who worked with Greg Maddux,
John Smoltz and Tom Glavine when he was with the Atlanta Braves.
"The greatest compliment I could give him is that I have coached
some of the greatest rotations, and he could fit in with any of
them."

Bedard (11-4) struck out six and walked five to give Baltimore
its sixth victory in seven games. Ortiz hit a two-run homer in the
third that accounted for the only runs off Bedard, and a solo shot
in the eighth that made it 5-3.

Bedard complained of dehydration after four innings, but he
replenished his fluids and told manager Dave Trembley he would try
to get three more outs. They repeated the routine after the fifth.

"When he came out of the fifth, I said, 'You're done' and he
said, 'No, I want to go back out and start another inning,"'
Trembley said. "He said, 'I'm feeling a little bit better,' so I
let him go back out."

Jamie Walker got the last two outs for his fourth save.

Brian Roberts homered on the first pitch from Josh Beckett
(13-5) and added an RBI double in the Orioles' three-run third.

"I still think one of the hardest things you can do is hit the
first pitch you see out," Beckett said in an expletive-laden
postgame news conference.

Asked if he took any solace in preserving the bullpen by lasting
eight innings, he said, "Eight [expletive] innings instead of
five? Not really."

Beckett, who also took out his anger on a dugout water cooler,
allowed five runs, nine hits and two walks, striking out six to
lose consecutive starts for the first time this year.

"The way they tried to attack Josh, from the first pitch of the
game, it was obvious they were going to be aggressive," Boston
manager Terry Francona said.

Beckett, who won his first nine starts, is 4-5 since a victory
on June 8 put Boston 10½ games up in the AL East. Tuesday's loss
cut the lead to just seven games over the New York Yankees, who
beat the Chicago White Sox 16-3.

The Red Sox added former Texas closer Eric Gagne at Tuesday's
trading deadline to help in the pennant chase, but they didn't even
get to use either of the All-Star relievers they already had in the
bullpen. Boston sent lefty Kason Gabbard and two minor-league
outfielders to the Rangers so Gagne could take some of the load off
closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Hideki Okajima.

Baltimore went ahead when Roberts hit a looping fly ball that
landed on the top of the wall behind Pesky's Pole, about 325 feet
from home plate, and bounced into the seats. It was Roberts' ninth
homer of the season and his third in the last five games.

Roberts doubled and scored in the third, when the Orioles took a
4-0 lead. Ortiz cut it to 4-2 with his first homer off a lefty this
season. Baltimore made it 5-2 on three consecutive hits, including
Ramon Hernandez's RBI double.

Beckett retired the next eight batters.

Bedard, who leads the majors with 181 strikeouts, has allowed
four earned runs in his last 35 innings.

Game Notes
Ortiz had the 26th multihomer game of his career. ... RHP
Curt Schilling (right shoulder tendinitis) threw 77 pitches over
seven shutout innings in a Triple-A rehab outing for Pawtucket,
allowing four hits and striking out four. ... The Orioles announced
that Trembley will remove the interim tag from his title and finish
the season. ... Red Sox RHP Mike Timlin (achy shoulder) threw 24
pitches on the side before the game and would be available
Wednesday if needed. ... Boston RHP Brendan Donnelly will have
season-ending elbow surgery. ... The grass in center field was
dotted with sod to repair sections where the stage stood for last
week's Police concert. ... The Red Sox lost for just the fifth time
in 29 games against Baltimore dating to the end of the 2005 season.