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Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Quick Reaction

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For the first time in too long, the Orioles have dropped a series to the Red Sox.

But how did it happen? It's the sort of thing you wouldn't believe without all the video evidence available. And even then, you have to wonder. I'll turn to regular reader/commenter Sean O, who sums it up better than I ever could:

Starting Red Sox center fielder Scott Podsednik hits game-winning home run over AL-best Baltimore Orioles

That actually happened. Scott Podsednik started in center, hitting what would ultimately prove to be the game-winning homer to right field in the eighth inning, and the Sox beat the best team in the American League by record: the Baltimore Orioles.

But that's not all!

The Red Sox, of course, had six runs today, and Podsednik's homer contributed just the one.

The first two were in no way unusual. Podsednik was involved in the first as well, but only in that he was the one who hit into a double play with the bases loaded and nobody out to make the first run of the game somehow disappointing. The second came in thanks to Will Middlebrooks, who doubled home Dustin Pedroia (and could have possibly had Youkilis in as well were it not for some miscommunication at third).

The other three runs, however, were accounted for by homers from Daniel Nava and Kelly Shoppach, the latter coming with Scott Podsednik on base for a kicker. If someone had said at the beginning of the year--no, the month--that Scott Podsednik, Daniel Nava, and Kelly Shoppach would produce almost single-handedly what was, frankly, a pretty big win, I think we all would have had a pretty big laugh at their expense.

Daniel Bard, for his part, was not great, struggling with his fastball command once again and allowing a run to score in each of the first two innings. Still, with the help of some defense (Mike Aviles turned a nice double play in the third to put a stop to a big inning before it even started), Bard managed to go 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs.

The bullpen was not so good, with Andrew Miller having Nick Johnson turn on an inside 95 MPH heater for a two-run shot and Vicente Padilla almost giving away the game when granted his own clean inning to work with. A tremendous diving grab from Che-Hsuan Lin helped to mitigate the damage there, however, and Alfredo Aceves recorded the last four outs of the game without trouble to push the Sox back up to .500.