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It was aggravating but not unexpected.  The Orioles' bullpen has been vulnerable all year and last night's 5-4 loss to Boston at Fenway Park was evidence that despite an admirable run since the All-Star break, Baltimore fans still need to hold their breath in the late innings.

If you missed it, Baltimore starter Steve Trachsel gave up just one run (and that was  unearned) in nursing a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning.  But in the Boston half of the seventh, three Orioles relief pitchers contributed in giving up four runs on three hits and three walks.  Miguel Tejada brought the O's to within a run with a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning but Boston has a genuine closer in Jonathan Papelbon so the Orioles couldn't even manage a decent scare in the ninth.  The Aubrey Huff detractors got more ammo when the expensive one-time power-hitter looked badly overmatched as a pinch-hitter in the ninth striking out on a high fastball.

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But overall, it's a good sign when the Orioles can lead the Red Sox for 15 consecutive innings at Fenway and have had a decent chance for a series sweep.  Today, Jeremy Guthrie pitches looking to chase the goblins of the Mother's Day Meltdown.

*  Severna Park's Mark Teixeira has been getting nothing but standing ovations since he arrived in Atlanta in a trade with Texas.  Two days ago, he got a round of applause from Atlanta fans just for showing up in the dugout in the seventh inning of a game against Houston. Then, he got another ovation last night in his first plate appearance against the Astros (a bases-loaded walk).  And still another one when he hit a three-run homer later in a 12-3 Braves rout.

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*  The Giants' Barry Bonds (0-for-3 with an intentional walk) is still chasing home run No. 755 and the Yankee's Alex Rodriguez is still looking for No. 500.  The Yanks beat the White Sox and the Giants lost to the Dodgers.

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