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Chicago had its St. Valentine's Day Masscare, and now Baltimore has its Mother's Day Meltdown.

Ahead 5-0 with one out in the ninth against the Red Sox in Fenway Park, the Orioles needed an error by catcher Ramon Hernandez, a bobble by outfielder Nick Markakis and a train wreck of a performance by reliever Chris Ray to nail down a 6-5 loss. In case you missed it, Ray dropped a short toss from Kevin Millar while covering first with two outs to allow the tying and winning runs to score. A key victim in all this was starter Jeremy Guthrie, who carried a three-hit shutout into the ninth.

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* Ninth-inning boneheaded plays were contagious apparently.  The Phillies' Chase Utley ended his team's 4-1 loss to the Cubs yesterday by getting thrown out at second after foolishly trying to stretch a hit into a double.  Utley switched from a pink bat many big-leaguers used yesterday to a regular one.  It helpd his hitting -- he had struck out a couple of times previously -- but not his thinking.

* The Anaheim Ducks evened their NHL playoff series with the Detroit Red Wings at one game each last night, something we point out because Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek happens to 42 years old.  That's something all us codgers can take some solace in.  Hasek turned away 29 shots but was beaten by a goal in overtime by Scott Niedermayer off an assist by his brother, Rob, giving the Ducks (who aren't Mighty any longer for some reason) a 4-3 victory.

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