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Orioles 5, Red Sox 4: Daniel Bard's Tough Inning Wastes Red Sox Comeback

The Red Sox have followed up their winning streak with a losing streak, dropping their second straight to the Orioles on Wednesday, 5-4.

For the first time in three starts, Josh Beckett looked human, mainly thanks to a big three-run fourth inning. While he had kept the bats quiet for most of the night to that point, striking out three batters along the way, Derrek Lee’s one-out double seemed to flip a switch for the Orioles.

While Vlad Guerrero’s lineout didn’t do any damage, he was not so lucky against like Scott. Falling behind 1-0, Beckett delivered an 89 MPH cutter—the pitch that had been the source of many of his troubles in years past—and left it over the plate. When Scott made contact, there was no doubt: that ball was very gone.

Three pitches later, and it was just about the same story to Adam Jones. A 2-0 pitch that caught way too much of the plate, and ended up in the stands, if not nearly so far this time.

With Beckett allowing a fourth run on two singles and a sacrifice fly to start the fifth inning, the Red Sox entered the eighth facing a 4-0 deficit. For one bright moment, though, everything clicked, and momentum shifted. Jacoby Ellsbury singled—his third hit of the game—Dustin Pedroia walked, and Adrian Gonzalez lined one into left field to give the Red Sox their first run of the game.

Then up came Youkilis, and in came Koji Uehara to counter the slugger. It didn’t work. At all. Turning on a 2-1 fastball, Youkilis brought the Red Sox all the way back to even with a three-run shot to left.

The tie was short lived, however. After Tim Wakefield had managed a quiet seventh, the Sox turned to bard hoping for more of the same. Two straight singles to start the inning showed them they weren’t going to get it. A run almost even came in on a passed ball with Vlad Guerrero at the plate, but some quick work from Varitek and a good block by Bard had Nick Markakis out at the plate. It wouldn’t matter, though, since Vlad made it a 5-4 Orioles lead with a hard-hit shot up the middle. The Red Sox could not work their magic again in the ninth, and the Orioles walked away with the second game of the series.