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Thru 6: Tied 3-3

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If you were watching this game and didn’t know the score, you’d probably swear the Red Sox were well out in front. That, however, is not true.

We’re now tied 3-3 after six innings, because the Nationals have been able to scratch out some runs while John Lannan limits the damage when he’s on the mound.

Lannan has allowed nine hits, but he’s come up big when he needs to. With a man on second and one out in the third, he struck out J.D. Drew and got Kevin Youkilis to fly out. He allowed one run in the fifth but battled back to get Jason Bay to fly out and Jason Varitek to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. And he managed to strand Jacoby Ellsbury (man, is he fast!) on third with one out in the sixth.

The Nats didn’t have many chances against Red Sox starter Brad Penny, but they made the most of the opportunities, thanks to Adam Dunn’s first-inning RBI double and then a bases loaded wild pitch in the fourth. There was a golden opportunity to add to the run count right after that, though, and the Nats squandered it, with Willie Harris bouncing into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Josh Willingham getting thrown out at the plate.

But they weren’t done. With two outs and no one on in the sixth, Josh Bard singled to right and then Harris came up big (just like he’s done several times in the last week) by lining a 3-2 pitch to deep right. Bard, not the world’s fastest runner, came chugging around third and somehow beat Dustin Pedroia’s throw to the plate, then sat there catching his breath for a moment as the crowd roared.

So we head to the seventh, with Lannan re-taking the mound despite a pitch count of 104, and the game knotted at 3. Gonna be a good finish. Stay tuned.

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Mark Zuckerman

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