Matos Helps Orioles Win 4th Straight
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
ARLINGTON, Tex., Sept. 13 -- Luis Matos waited until his last at-bat to snap a slump and keep up his torrid hitting against the Texas Rangers.
Matos, batting .492 (31 for 63) in his last 16 games against Texas, drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the ninth inning to lift the Baltimore Orioles to their fourth straight victory, a 4-3 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night.
"We've been struggling hitting but we're winning," said Matos, who is hitting .432 (32 for 74) in his career against Texas, but was in a 2-for-24 overall slide when he came to bat in the ninth. "The pitchers, they're doing their job and we step it up when we have to. That's how you start winning a lot of games, when you get both together."
Walter Young led off the ninth with a single off reliever C.J. Wilson (1-7). Pinch runner Ed Rogers went to second on Chris Gomez's sacrifice bunt.
Rangers closer Francisco Cordero entered the game and retired Eric Byrnes on a fly ball, but Matos' double to right center scored Rogers with the tiebreaking run.
"It was just time for somebody to step up and Luis did," said Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo, who is 18-19 since taking over on Aug. 4. "He had been struggling a little bit so that's a big hit for him. Hopefully that gets his confidence back."
Chris Ray (1-3) gave up the tying run in the eighth but got the win. B.J. Ryan got three outs for his 33rd save.
Wilson allowed one run and one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
The Orioles took a 3-2 lead into the eighth, but the Rangers tied it against the Baltimore bullpen when Alfonso Soriano's two-out RBI double off Ray drove in Michael Young.
Baltimore rookie starter John Maine allowed two hits -- solo homers by Kevin Mench and Hank Blalock -- in 6 1/3 innings.
Maine gave up Mench's 25th homer in the second and Blalock's 24th in the seventh, but held the rest of the Rangers hitless in his fifth major league start.
Maine, called up from Class AAA Ottawa on Aug. 13, struck out two and walked three.
"To take us into the seventh against an offensive club like [Texas], that was huge for John," Perlozzo said.
Note: Infielder Gomez and the Orioles agreed to a $850,000, one-year contract extension through 2006.