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Orioles 5, Red Sox 3

June 23, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Albert Belle hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning Tuesday night to give the resurgent Baltimore Orioles their 11th win in 12 games, 5-3 over the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 before rallying against three Boston pitchers in a four-run eighth. Three straight singles, two against Mark Guthrie (0-1) loaded the bases for B.J. Surhoff, who hit a sacrifice fly. Belle then hit his 14th homer off Jason Wasdin.

Surhoff went 0-for-3, ending his career-high hitting streak at 21 games.

Arthur Rhodes (3-2) got two outs and Mike Timlin worked the ninth for his ninth save as the Orioles moved within five games of .500 (32-37) for the first time since April 17.

Troy O’Leary and Jason Varitek homered and Lou Merloni had three hits for the Red Sox, whose three-game winning streak ended.

Boston starter Pat Rapp allowed one run, three hits and a season-high six walks in 6 1-3 innings but failed to get his first win since May 21 when the Boston bullpen gave away the lead.

Rapp was locked in a 1-1 duel with Sidney Ponson until the seventh, when O’Leary led off with a 415-foot shot over the right-field wall, his 15th homer of the season and second in two games. It was the 20th ball hit onto Eutaw Street in the eight-year history of Camden Yards.

Boston added a run in the eighth on successive doubles by Jose Offerman and Merloni, who started for the first time since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday.

The Orioles got a gift-wrapped run in the second inning. Rapp walked two batters before Cal Ripken’s fly ball to left-center became an RBI double when outfielders O’Leary and Darren Lewis both backed off. Will Clark then tagged up too early from third base, costing Baltimore a chance to go up 2-0.

Varitek made it 1-1 by leading off the fifth with his eighth homer. In the Orioles’ half, Merloni saved a run with a diving stab of Mike Bordick’s two-out grounder to third base with a runner on second.

Notes: Baltimore’s Brady Anderson stole two bases, leaving him one short of Al Bumbry’s team record of 252. ... Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He’s 19-for-34 in that span. ... Ponson has yielded 12 homers in his last nine starts. ... Baltimore catcher Charles Johnson was in an 0-for-13 skid before leading off the third with a single.