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While you're applauding Oscar Salazar for that two-run home run off struggling Twins starter Nick Blackburn, you might want to tip your hat (if you're wearing one) to Luke Scott for making Salazar's big swing more probable.

Scott fell behind on the count 0-2 and ended up forcing Blackburn to throw 11 pitches in exchange for a deflating single. I've got to think that kind of frustrating outcome can cause a pitcher to compress the strike zone for the next hitter.

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If you were wondering if the veteran Orioles still care what happens at this point in the season, that at-bat ought to serve as evidence that they still want to win. Nobody gets to the major leagues without having a lot of pride, though the overall pitching performance of the club the past few weeks made it fair to wonder.

And don't discount the possible impact of Scott's at-bat on the rest of the game. Essentially, he forced Blackburn to use a 10th of his likely pitch count on a single matchup that turned out badly for him and the Twins.

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