Let's face it. The Baltimore Orioles needed Thursday night's game much for than the Red Sox and they got the win, beating Jon Lester 3-2. Instead of being down and out by 8 1/2 games, the O's are still breathing in the playoff race down 6 1/2.

Lester struggled all night. Six innings of grinding where he threw 112 pitches, 40% were out of the strike zone. The O's got a bunch of loud outs. In the end, Lester allowed 3 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks.

Offensively, David Ortiz continues to struggle. 0-4 with two strikeouts. Papi is now 0 for his last 23. The Sox had the tying run in scoring postion several times but could not come up with a key hit.

So the Sox settle for a series win, taking 2 of 3 games (79-56) and have a weekend set with the Chicago White Sox next.

By the way, with the Tampa Bay Rays losing their game, the Sox magic number to clinch a division does go down one - now at 27.