Beckett, BoSox cap off successful year in Baltimore with win

" Turning point: Coco Crisp singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning. It was his only hit of the game.

" Not seeing the ball: Beckett struck out Brian Roberts three times.

" Figure this: Boston has had a winning record at Camden Yards every season since 1998, going 54-23 during that span. Baltimore, however, assured itself a 10th consecutive non-winning season.

" Quotable: "The Roberts at-bat in the seventh was a phenomenal at-bat, and it was even better because we got him out. [Beckett] had to be that good -- there was no margin for error." -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona

-- ESPN.com news services

Red Sox 3, Orioles 2

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Jonathan Papelbon was one strike from securing
another Boston win at Camden Yards, and many in the crowd of 39,234
stood and cheered.

When Papelbon struck out Freddie Bynum to seal a 3-2 victory
over the Baltimore Orioles, the roar from the thousands of red-clad
fans reached a crescendo.

That's only one reason the Red Sox will miss playing at their
favorite stadium besides Fenway Park. Not only do they receive
plenty of support in Baltimore, they usually find a way to win,

"For me, I just go out there and try to execute pitches like I
do in any other stadium. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it
doesn't," Boston ace Josh Beckett said.

Beckett allowed two runs in seven innings to earn his 18th
victory, and Coco Crisp singled in the tiebreaking run in the
eighth to help Boston close out another successful season at Camden
Yards on Sunday.

Mike Lowell drove in two runs and Dustin Pedroia had three hits
for the Red Sox, who finished 6-3 in Baltimore this year and stayed
5 games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

Boston has had a winning record at Camden Yards every season
since 1998, going 54-23 during that span.

Maybe it's because so many fans come down from Boston to cheer
for the Red Sox. More likely, it's because the Red Sox are simply

Beckett (18-6) yielded seven hits, struck out eight -- including
Brian Roberts three times -- and walked none. The right-hander is
4-1 lifetime against the Orioles, including 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in
four starts at Baltimore.

Asked if he was disappointed that he won't be seeing the Orioles
again this season, Beckett replied: "There are two ways you can
look at it. You can look at it as you are due for a loss."

Hideki Okajima worked the eighth and Papelbon got three outs for
his 35th save in 37 chances. The closer had retired 17 straight
batters before Melvin Mora singled with one in the ninth.

Mora and Nick Markakis homered for the Orioles, who have lost 16
of 19. The defeat assures Baltimore (61-81) a 10th consecutive
non-winning season.

Boston snapped a 2-all tie in the eighth against Chad Bradford
(3-7). J.D. Drew hit a leadoff single and reached third with two
outs before Crisp lined an RBI single to center. Crisp went
5-for-13 with five RBIs in the four-game series.

Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie gave up two runs and seven hits
in five-plus innings before leaving with a strained muscle in his
left rib cage. The rookie is 0-2 in his last eight starts and has
received 14 no-decisions this year.

The injury almost certainly put an end to his breakthrough

"I'll go light a candle tonight on the way home and expect a
miracle," Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said.

Earlier in the day, the Orioles placed left-hander Erik Bedard
on the 60-day disabled list with the same injury, so Guthrie wasn't
hopeful of avoiding a similar fate.

"The experience that everyone else has gone through shows that
the recovery does take two or three weeks to even eliminate pain,
doing nothing," Guthrie said. "If that were the case, then I
would be done. But I remain optimistic, and will hope for a

The Orioles have an off day Monday. Guthrie will be re-evaluated
Tuesday before a decision is made.

Boston went up 2-0 in the third when Pedroia hit a two-out
single, David Ortiz doubled and Lowell ended a 2-for-20 slump by
grounding a two-run single to center.

Beckett struck out the side in the third and fired a third
strike past Aubrey Huff leading off the fourth before Mora hit a
1-1 pitch into the left-field seats, his 14th home run.

Markakis tied it by leading off the sixth with an opposite-field
drive to left. It was his team-high 18th homer, the second in two

The Orioles got a runner to second base with one out in the
seventh before Beckett closed his performance by retiring
pinch-hitter Kevin Millar on a grounder and striking out Roberts.

"The Roberts at-bat in the seventh was a phenomenal at-bat, and
it was even better because we got him out," Boston manager Terry
Francona said. "[Beckett] had to be that good -- there was no
margin for error."

Roberts didn't deliver, but Crisp came through in the eighth.
That goes a long way toward explaining why first-place Boston won
the season series 12-6.

"The game came down to them getting the two-out RBI hit and we
didn't," Trembley said.

Game notes
To replace Bedard, the Orioles purchased the minor league
contract of RHP Victor Zambrano from Pittsburgh. ... Boston SS Alex
Cora went 0-for-4 and is in a 1-for-20 skid.