Big League Stew - MLB

This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Camden Yards, where the Red Sox collectively lost track of one of baseball's basic rules and then forgot how to protect what should have been a safe lead. Instead, it was only a prelude to the biggest Orioles' comeback since ... ever.

Game of the Day
Orioles Magic 11, Red Sox 10

Funny peculiar: The Red Sox laughed it up after realizing the entire infield forgot how many outs there were in the sixth inning; Dustin Pedroia(notes), Kevin Youkilis(notes), Jason Varitek(notes), et al, came off the field when only two Orioles had been retired. They could afford to laugh; the AL East leaders had a huge lead and appeared on their way to their ninth-straight victory against the last-place Birds (VIDEO).

Wipeout: Trailing 10-1 with nine outs to go, the O's staged a rally for the ages, putting up five runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth. The go-ahead run, scoring on Nick Markakis'(notes) RBI double with Teflon-coated Jonathan Papelbund on the mound, capped the biggest comeback in Baltimore's franchise history (VIDEO).

"When you talk about playing all 27 outs," O's manager Dave Trembley said, "that's tonight."

All 27 outs, Red Sox. Not 26. Twenty-seven.

Sometimes a monkey: Oscar Salazar(notes) hit a three-run homer in the seventh — one of seven hits the O's had in the inning against the Boston bullpen — to help get his team closer. Markakis (VIDEO) had been 0-for-7 with four strikeouts against Papelbon (who came in 20-for-20 in save opportunities against the Orioles) before he lined a two-run double off the left-field wall. Pinch-runner Jeremy Guthrie(notes), a pitcher, scored the tying run.

Oft times, a passionate speech will inspire a comeback. Other times, a team will rely on a Rally Monkey. Some places let loose the Kraken. In Baltimore, when they have no other option, the local baseball wizards perform a little Orioles Magic.

"It happened real fast. We beat them up pretty good and then they beat us up pretty good," Pedroia said.

Disbelief: The night appeared to belong to another comeback kid, John Smoltz(notes), who pitched well for four innings in his second start for the Red Sox that had followed a rough debut. But a 71-minute rain delay cut his outing short, and the O's resurgence really put a damper on things.

"No one would have ever dreamed it would play out the way it did," said the 42-year-old Smoltz, who was seeking his first victory in 438 days. "It's one of those games when you shake your head and can't believe what you just saw."

Feelin' Rundown (Babe Ruth's outhouse was nowhere to be found in these parts):

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0: A positively Maddux-like, two-hit, no-walk stunner for Jason Marquis(notes), who needed 86 pitches to become the NL's first 10-game winner. Cubs' GM Jim Hendry is spinning in his freshly dug grave.

The Rox were 14 games out of first place on May 27, but have shaved off nearly half of that since Clint Hurdle was shot into outer space.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A flurry of trades leaves the angry remaining Bucs with only 23 players, but was it really necessary for the Cubs to help them out by loaning them Kosuke Fukodome for a night*? The galling part of the Eric Hinske deal: Pittsburgh also sent $400,000 to the Yankees to help pay for his contract. Because the Yankees are hurting for cash.

The LaRoches' want to make it so their batting averages are so similar, only their mom can tell them apart.

*similar joke also used after Nate McLouth(notes) deal.

Massive hip bump!

Yankees 8, Mariners 5: The Yankees had a golden opportunity to start a new tradition — the ceremonial last pitch — but they go conventional with Mariano Rivera(notes), who kicked off the game by celebrating his recent 500th career save. Fun with numbers: Since the start of 2008, Rivera's strikeout/walk ratio is 117-9.

Braves 5, Phillies 4 (10 inn.): The Phillies fall in Atlanta for the first time since '07! Krystal burger for everyone!

D-backs 6, Reds 2: It would have been better, in a double-reverse-inverted-ironical sort of way, if Dan Haren(notes) homered against Micah Owings(notes). But it was Bronson Arroyo(notes) pitching, so that's just going to have to get us through. Haren also lowered his ERA to 2.19.

"A great night for Dan Haren," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's really remarkable in how he brings his best to the table every game. Even his second- and third-best nights are better than most."

White Sox 11, Indians 4 (seven inn.): Cliff Lee's(notes) streak of lasting until the fifth inning, dead, at 47 games.

"It seemed like they knew what was coming with every pitch," Lee said. Hmm. Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Hmm.

We report. YOU decide.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5 (seven inn.): "It's not a secret, you don't need to be an expert on math to know that walks plus errors equals runs," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "We lead the world in walks and we are right there too in errors."

And you thought the Nats would never lead the league in anything again.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 1: Seven in a row for the Rays, who really need to be transferred to the AL Central if they're going to make it back to the playoffs. The Jays have scored six runs in the past four games and you don't have to be an expert on math to know that ain't enough.

Brewers 6, Mets 3: Mike Burns(notes) (not familiar with his work) gets the best of Johan Santana(notes) (name rings a bell). The good news for New York: the Mets fell to 9-18 in June and there's no way that record can get worse. Jerry Manuel led a 30-minute, closed-door postgame meeting, but the Mets stunk that up, too. Meet the Mess. Meet the Mess. Meet the Mess.

Rangers 9, Angels 5: Scott Feldman(notes) beats Joe Saunders(notes) in heated contest of guys with white-collar last names. "Feldman! Where are those TPS reports? ... Saunders! Bring back my stapler!"

Two home runs for Marlon Byrd(notes). He doesn't sound like he works in an office.

Giants 6, Cardinals 3: That must have been Cris Cartenter, the Redbirds right-hander from days of yore, instead of Contemporary Chris, whose ERA grew 64 points. The Unit allows homers Nos. 29 and 30 to Phat Al, but avoids heavier damage in picking up career victory No. 303.

Twins 2, Royals 1: Are the Royals still here?

Padres 4, Astros 3: No good deed goes unpunished for the Padres, who lost Adrian Gonzalez(notes) to a strained right knee. Maybe.

"We'll see how I wake up," Gonzalez said. "My body is kind of weird. Sometimes I feel something and I wake up the next morning and I feel great. Then sometimes I wake up and something aches that I didn't feel the night before.

"Hopefully, going by my past, I will wake up and feel better."

Tigers 5, Athletics 3: Maybe the A's need Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross to come by for a sit-down. The Tigers walk seven and error two but the charity is wasted.

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