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Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Just enough not to win. Again.

Last night’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox pretty well encapsulates all the frustration of an Orioles fan in 2009, aside from a overused bullpen melting down. There was an opponent with a pitcher who was ready to be knocked out seemingly at will. There was an offense that collected hits, but not enough runs. And there was an Orioles starter that did just enough to not win.

The Orioles had just about every chance you could ask for to win last night. John Smoltz of the Red Sox was rocked the last time the O’s faced him, which was Saturday. The Red Sox, aside from the series with us, of course, have been reeling since the All-Star Break. Their bench was thin, with the trade of Andy LaRoche, and the acquired pieces of Victor Martinez and Casey Kotchman had yet to arrive. Double-A callup Josh Reddick basically was their bench last night, and indeed was used in the 9th. This was a good team that could have been beaten.

And yet, the Orioles didn’t. On a night when the team learned Brad Bergesen was placed on the 15 day DL, and needed Jeremy Guthrie to be the staff ace of old, he was the Rich Hill of present, at least in results. Three Red Sox homers put this one way for Boston. Three times when the Orioles had a chance to take a game from a division foe, Jeremy Guthrie served up a high, flat pitch that was put over a wall. David Ortiz, he of the .228 average, hit one. Kevin Youkilis, who probably lost playing time the moment Casey Kotchman signed that contract, hit one. And Jacoby Ellsbury hit his sixth of the season.

Here's Diamond Dave's take on last night:

"We busted our butts to win the game tonight and I left Guthrie in the game one hitter too long," Trembley said. "I'll take that. I really believed that he was going to get him out."

Frustrating is the only word I can think of, honestly. For so many things the O’s did right – Nolan Reimold’s homerun and defense, Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff collecting multi-hit games in adjacent lineup positions, Matt Wieters throwing out Dustin Pedroia – it wasn’t enough. Again. And it should have been.