BOSTON — This was one special game for Cla Meredith.
Meredith, a former Red Sox prospect, escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the 10th inning for his first career save as the Orioles held off Boston 7-6 on Sunday for a much-needed victory.
“It’s probably something I’ve waited three and a half, four years for. I never had the chance,” Meredith said of his first career save coming at Fenway Park.
Rhyne Hughes singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th and Matt Wieters followed with a two-run single, helping the Orioles snap a 10-game losing streak against the Red Sox and earn their third win of the season.
“Heartbreak does not do justice to what’s gone on here,” Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said of his team’s woes. “Guys have come right back the next day and given everything they have.”
Miguel Tejada added a two-run homer for Baltimore, which overcame a 4-1 deficit to avoid its fourth straight series sweep against the Red Sox.
Jim Johnson (1-1) allowed two runs in the bottom of the 10th, and left with runners on first and second. Meredith got Darnell McDonald to foul out and Marco Scutaro on a liner to second to end the game.
“We dug ourselves too deep of a hole,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Meredith, who was projected to be one of Boston’s top relievers a few years ago, was traded to San Diego in 2006 when the Red Sox were desperate for a catcher — Doug Mirabelli — to handle Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball.
“I’d be a liar if I said being in Fenway Park in front of a packed crowd didn’t amp you up,” Meredith said. “I was fortunate to be part of this ballclub.”
Kevin Youkilis had a double and two singles for the Red Sox, who went 4-6 on their 10-game homestand.
The Orioles loaded the bases with no outs against Scott Atchison (0-1) before Hughes, who struck out with two runners on in a 7-6 loss Saturday in his first major league game, singled to right. Wieters then grounded one up the middle and through a drawn-in infield, just past shortstop Scutaro’s diving bid.
J.D. Drew doubled in a run and scored on Bill Hall’s single in the bottom half, but Boston’s rally ran out of gas.
Wakefield left with a runner on first and a 4-1 lead in the seventh, but Hideki Okajima gave up Nick Markakis’ RBI double and Tejada’s tying homer that caromed off the left-field foul pole.
Francona confirmed after the game that Wakefield will be taken out of the rotation when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns from the disabled list next weekend. The 43-year-old knuckleballer was charged with two runs and seven hits, and was saluted with a standing ovation when he left after 6 2-3 innings.
“I think we feel for various reasons that he’s a guy that can handle this,” Francona said of the move. “I understand emotions are involved and a lot of things are involved. This is not us turning him into a reliever.”
Wakefield was short when asked for his thoughts about going to the bullpen.
“I don’t have any,” he said.
Unlike Wakefield’s last start when the Texas Rangers set a club record with nine steals, the Orioles had just one.
Boston chased David Hernandez during its four-run sixth. Youkilis — Hernandez’s last batter — tied it at 1 with a single to center. After hitting a long foul high off the Green Monster, David Ortiz, who entered with a .156 average, hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Mark Hendrickson.
Drew added a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Mike Lowell hit an RBI double off Jason Berken to make it 4-1.
Hernandez gave up three runs and four hits and five-plus innings.
The Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second on Craig Tatum’s RBI single.
Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre had a very busy first inning. Nolan Reimold, the game’s first batter, hit a grounder that bounced off his chest for what was initially called an error, but later changed to a hit. Beltre then booted a grounder from Adam Jones — the second batter — for an error before making a nice backhanded stab on Tejada’s roller down the line, saving at least one run.
Beltre also made a good play on Tejada’s hard grounder in the fifth to help strand a runner on third. Tejada raised both arms in disbelief as he ran down the line.
NOTES: Orioles RHP Koji Uehara, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday. … Matsuzaka, sidelined with a strained neck since spring training, is scheduled to throw a four-inning simulated game in Toronto on Monday, the last test before he’s ready to return to the rotation.