Huff Hits For Cycle In Orioles Loss

Saturday, June 30th 2007, 3:46 pm
By: News On 6

Aubrey Huff had a memorable game with four swings of the bat. Howie Kendrick spoiled it all with just one.

Huff hit for the cycle, but the Los Angeles Angels got a tiebreaking two-run homer from Kendrick in the ninth inning to beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-7 Friday night.

Kendrick connected off Chris Ray (4-6) with two outs, helping Los Angeles _ which blew a five-run lead and trailed 7-5 in the seventh _ end a three-game losing streak.

Scot Shields (2-2) got the final two outs in the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth for his 23rd save.

``We were fortunate tonight. Those guys outplayed us a lot of ways,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``With the night Huff had, we were lucky to have recovered a win.''

Huff tripled in the second, doubled in the fourth and hit a three-run homer in the fifth.

``As a 235-pound fat guy, you get a triple out of the way, that's something. After I got the double, it kind of snuck in my mind. But I haven't been hitting homers lately, so I'm thinking that's going to be a long shot, and I hit that,'' Huff said.

Before coming to the plate in the seventh, teammate Kevin Millar told Huff, ``You've got to get that single for all the fat guys out there.''

Right-hander Chris Bootcheck jammed Huff, but his blooper fell for a base hit. He left for a pinch-runner after going 4-for-4 with three RBIs, getting a curtain call.

``Obviously it would have been better if we won,'' Huff said, ``but we didn't get it done.''

In other AL games, it was Boston 2, Texas 1; the New York Yankees 2, Oakland 1; Cleveland 2, Tampa Bay 1; Minnesota 11, Detroit 1; Kansas City 8, Chicago White Sox 1 and Seattle 5, Toronto 3.

The last Oriole to hit for the cycle was Cal Ripken in 1984. The only other Oriole to do it was Brooks Robinson in 1960; Huff is the first Baltimore player to hit for the cycle at home.

Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Huff tied a career high with four hits. He is the third major leaguer to hit for the cycle this season, joining Fred Lewis of San Francisco and Mark Ellis of Oakland.

``Obviously for me, that's probably one of the most special days of my baseball career,'' Huff said. ``The triple was my 1,000th hit, the double was my 200th double. The homer, we were lucky enough to get that back from a fan. And the single, I got it back. So I got all four balls. That's going to be a pretty good memento.''

Red Sox 2, Rangers 1

At Boston, Manny Delcarmen and Jonathan Papelbon escaped late-inning jams to preserve the win for Tim Wakefield (8-8).

Kenny Lofton had four hits and stole four bases, but was left stranded as the tying run in the ninth when Papelbon struck out Michael Young for his 19th save.

Jamey Wright (1-2) left with nobody out in the sixth, allowing two runs and six hits.

Yankees 2, Athletics 1

At New York, Mike Mussina (4-5) pitched seven sharp innings, Alex Rodriguez had three hits and New York won for the first time in a week.

Joe Kennedy (2-6) allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked three, one intentionally in six innings. He's winless in four starts since beating Boston on June 6.

Indians 2, Devil Rays 1

At Cleveland, Ben Francisco led off the bottom of the ninth inning with his first major league home run, making a winner of reliever Joe Borowski (1-3).

The homer off Shawn Camp (0-2) came on a 2-2 pitch and landed in the left-field bleachers. Francisco, who was making the first start of his career, also got his first major league hit, a fourth-inning single.

Twins 11, Tigers 1

At Detroit, Joe Mauer hit his first career grand slam and Johan Santana (9-6) allowed five hits over six innings to beat Tigers ace Justin Verlander (9-3).

The anticipated pitching duel between Santana and Verlander never really materialized. Verlander gave up two runs in the first inning and Mauer broke the game open with his grand slam in the fifth.

Royals 8, White Sox 1

At Kansas City, Mo., Shane Costa and Esteban German drove in two runs apiece, Brian Bannister (5-4) pitched six strong innings and Kansas City won its fifth straight game for the first time in two years.

Jose Contreras (5-9) took his fifth loss in his past six decisions as the White Sox saw their season-best four-game win streak end.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3

At Seattle, Jose Guillen had hits in his first three at-bats, Seattle scored all of its runs with two outs, and the surging Mariners won their sixth straight.

Jarrod Washburn (7-6) pitched six innings as the Mariners improved to 43-33, the first time they've been 10 games above .500 since the end of the 2003 season. J.J. Putz got out of a jam in the eighth and finished off the ninth for his 23rd save.

Dustin McGowan (4-4) was pulled after the fifth, giving up five runs and eight hits.