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Orioles 1, Red Sox 3: Just not good enough to win, again

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It’s a refrain Stacey has been repeating often in the past few weeks: Losing teams find a way to lose. And that was the case, again, tonight.

Tonight should have been a win. Really. The Red Sox's Brad Penny was rocked by the Orioles last time he faced them back in April. I mean, Dan Henderson leaving Michael Bisping KTFO rocked. I mean Titanic versus the North Atlantic rocked. The Scorpions versus hurricanes rocked. He pitched just 3.0 innings, gave up eight runs, and allowed six hits and five walks with just one strikeout.

And of course, Boston won, 10-8. Losing teams find a way to lose, you see.

Flash forward to tonight. We have our ace Brad Bergesen throwing (sorry, Jeremy Guthrie, it’s true), and he is as unflappable a rookie as you will find. He had a pretty bad 1st inning for him – 24 pitches, two singles and a walk, but no damage due to two strike outs and a fly out. He doesn’t exactly cruise through the next two innings, as the lead-off hitter reached, In fact, the lead-off hitter reached every inning for Boston until the 6th. But the Red Sox only scored three runs on Bergesen on a night where he was as bad as he's been in a month. Quality Starts are a dubious stat, but this was his 6th STRAIGHT Quality Start and his 10th in his last 11 starts. In 18 starts this year, Brad Beregesen has pitched at least 6.0 innings with three or fewer ER in two-thirds of them.

But if you give a team like the Red Sox enough chances, and they will score, and sure enough , they did. The O’s took a momentary lead with a single by Nolan Reimold that lead to two bases on a steal attempt of second as the ball didn’t come close to the bag. Jason Varitek saw six Texas Rangers baserunners steal in the Red Sox last game, and he was puttin’ a little sumthin’ extra on the throws tonight. I half expected the ball to 2nd base on Reimold’s attempt to roll to the CF wall. Reimold reached home on a SAC fly by Melvin Mora, which came only after three pick-off attempts (including the ill-fated throw) and 14 pitches to our #7 hitter. Brad Penny was on the ropes – he was at 23 pitches after one inning, at innings. He was seemingly ripe for the taking.

And yet it never happened. Sad part is, if it wasn't for Nick Markakis gunning down Boston's fastest baserunner, Jacoby Ellsbury, on a fantastc throw and the block by Matt Wieters, the game could have been worse than it was.

Inning after inning of Orioles hitters went by, and until the bases were loaded in the 9th against Jonathan Papelbon, the Orioles’ mounted exactly nothing resembling a comeback. In innings 3-8, the Orioles sent 20 batters to the plate - exactly two over the minimum. One runner reached second base. One.

Brad Bergesen pitched his butt off, people, and this team couldn’t score three lousy runs against a pitcher at 47 pitches after 2 innings. And even with two runners on and no outs in the 9th, and then with the bases loaded with one out in the 9th, the Orioles couldn’t even score a second run, let alone come back to win. The middle of our lineup – Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott, Melvin Mora – let us down again. The only exception was Nolan Reimold, who did go 3-for-3 and walked in the fateful 9th to load the bases. And our last image of the game was Melvin Mora, futilely flailing at a high fastball out of the zone.

Losing teams find ways to lose. And we did, again tonight.