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If there's a word to describe the Orioles these days, it's resilient.

That the O's endured bitter disappointments twice in this week's series against the Yankees, gritted their teeth and recovered by posting wins on both occasions speaks volumes. A year ago, even a few months ago, those same types of letdowns would have had a demoralizing effect. Yesterday, the O's were just one out from their second straight shutout over New York when Yankee Shelley Duncan muscled a three-run homer to tie it, 3-3, and send the Yankee crowd into a jubilant frenzy. But Baltimore came back immediately in the top of the 10th with three runs off Mariano Rivera no less, two on another homer by Aubrey Huff (and what's up with him all of the sudden?). The Orioles squelched the Yankees in the bottom of the inning to win, 6-3, and left the Bronx with two wins in the three-game set. The O's had let the first game on Monday get away in the bottom of the ninth but roared back Tuesday, 12-0.

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Marring yesterday's victory was that Erik Bedard -- looking more and more like a Cy Young candidate -- was not rewarded with a win for his seven scoreless innings when he struck out eight, which put his season total over 200 (actually an AL-best 207), the first time an Oriole has done that since Mike Mussina (210) seven years ago.

*  The horse race in the AL Central is neck-and-neck with Cleveland getting a much-needed victory at home against Detroit, 6-2. The teams are tied for the the division lead and with Seattle and New York in the wild-card chase. The second-place finisher in the AL Central could wind up out of luck for the postseason. The Indians, just 14-18 since the All-Star break, have seen their Jacobs Field dominance mysteriously vanish (they're 5-13 there after being plus-20 in their first 46 home games). But the Detroit roster is riddled with the flu just as the Tigers get to Yankee Stadium for a series with New York.

*  And soccer superstar import David Beckham started earning his multimillion-dollar paycheck with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham, who had been sidelined mostly with an ankle injury since arriving in America with great fanfare, scored a goal and had an assist in a 2-0 win over D.C. United.

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