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Red Sox Break the Game Open in the 9th as Lester, Bard Hold O's in Check

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This was a game for 8 innings.

In fact, for 6 innings, it was a tie game, as both teams sent their best pitchers to the mounds to shut down the opposing offenses. Through the first 6, Jon Lester and Jeremy Guthrie traded zeros on the board. Guthrie got out of an early jam in the first, and dodged a Marco Scutaro home run by inches (maybe--it was very tough to tell on replay if it hit or missed the foul pole), while Lester avoided damage with 2 on and no outs in the 6th.

It was in the 7th inning that the offense finally showed signs of life. Kevin Youkilis got things started with a bang, hitting his 12th home run of the season. In the bottom of the 7th, Lester loaded the bases with only 1 out before Daniel Bard came in to record 2 more clutch outs in a season of clutch outs. In the 8th, the Sox padded their lead after Josh Reddick tripled and scored on a Scutaro single.

After Daniel Bard shut down the O's in the 8th, though, the Sox put the game away with a huge 9th. They sent 12 batters to the plate, recording 4 walks and 4 hits, including 3 doubles. When all was said and done, the Sox had dropped an extra 6 on the Orioles, upping their lead to 8-0. Baltimore got a couple back in the 9th off a wild Joe Nelson, but it was hardly a game by that point as the Red Sox clinched the series win.

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