BALTIMORE - Juan Samuel walked into the interview room after his first win as a major league manager and removed his cap, revealing a head full of tightly cropped salt-and-pepper hair.
"Just in case you guys were wondering, I did not get any more gray today," Samuel said with a broad grin after the Baltimore Orioles ended their 10-game losing streak Sunday by beating the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in 11 innings.
After being promoted from third base coach to interim manager Friday when Dave Trembley was fired, Samuel watched stoically from the dugout as the Orioles lost twice by a combined 19-2 score. This one, in contrast, was filled with drama throughout.
The Orioles broke a tie that existed since the second inning by scoring once in the eighth, then allowed Boston to pull even in the ninth. Baltimore finally won it in the 11th on an RBI single by slumping Nick Markakis, hitless in his previous 14 at-bats. "Obviously, we've had it rough the 10 games," Markakis said.
"We've had some battles, we were in games and lost them. We didn't let this one get away." Cesar Izturis led off the 11th with a walk against Hideki Okajima (2-2) and went to second on a sacrifice. After Miguel Tejada was walked intentionally, Markakis blooped a single to center that easily scored the winning run.
"He made a good pitch to Markakis, and he fought it off for a base hit," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
David Hernandez (2-5) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Orioles, who won for the first time since May 25. Baltimore still owns the worst record in the majors (16-41).
In the clubhouse, while Samuel was exchanging handshakes and hugs with several players, Markakis said, "He has his first win out of the way. It's like a rookie going up there and getting his first hit out of the way. Now he can relax and manage us and have fun with it."
Victor Martinez homered for the Red Sox, whose seven-game road winning streak ended.
"Those guys have been trying big-time to win a game," Boston's David Ortiz said. "If somebody plays the game the way they played today, you have to tip your hat."
But a series of injuries have left the Orioles without a proven closer, and Will Ohman couldn't make the advantage stand up. After Boston put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, Dustin Pedroia tied it with a sacrifice fly.