Orioles starter Radhames Liz gave up three hits through the first five innings, and none of them was a single. Xavier Nady and Freddy Sanchez hit solo homers, and former Oriole Jose Bautista doubled. Bautista hit a three-run homer off Matt Albers in the seventh, Nick Markakis allowed the Orioles to reclaim the lead, 6-5, with a two-run shot onto Eutaw Street in the bottom half. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer off George Sherrill in the ninth to give the Pirates the lead, but Oscar Salazar led off the bottom half with a homer, his first since April 20, 2002, to tie the score. Ramon Hernandez won the game with a single in the bottom of the ninth. Markakis' homer was the 50th of his career.
Shortstop Alex Cintron batted ninth, but he ranked among the Orioles' leaders in clutch hits. Cintron doubled with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth to score Kevin Millar and Luke Scott and break a tie at 2. Hernandez tried to come around from first base but was thrown out at the plate. Cintron had one RBI coming into the game, a walk-off single against the New York Yankees. He also laid down two sacrifice bunts last night.
The big hurts
The game was delayed three times in the first two innings because of mishaps involving an infielder, umpire and pitcher. Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora left the game in the first inning after fouling a ball off his left knee. He suffered a bruise, didn't require X-rays and is listed as day-to-day. Plate umpire Gary Cederstrom needed assistance from both teams' athletic trainers in the second after getting some debris in his eye. Once play resumed, Millar sent a sharp grounder up the middle that deflected off Pirates starter Zach Duke's leg, bringing a visit from catcher Ryan Doumit.
The three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates concludes today (1:35 p.m.) with Daniel Cabrera looking for his first win since May 20. The Orioles will face a third straight left-hander in this series - Paul Maholm, who hasn't lost since May 20. Maholm has gone at least six innings in his past seven starts. Cabrera, meanwhile, is coming off a poor outing in Boston, in which he allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked four and served up two home runs.