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Roche: Baltimore Simply Better Right Now

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out in the ninth inning as Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles throws the ball back to the pitcher at Fenway Park on April 11, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out in the ninth inning as Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles throws the ball back to the pitcher at Fenway Park on April 11, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – There were a few things I was looking for Thursday night when the Red Sox and Orioles met in the finale of their three game series at Fenway park.

One was how the Sox would bounce back from their first real meltdown of a loss, which came on Wednesday night when the Orioles scored five runs in the ninth inning off new Sox closer Joel Hanrahan.

I think the Sox bounced back just fine despite Thursday’s 3-2 loss. The offense was OK and Alfredo Aceves  gave them some solid innings on the mound replacing the injured John Lackey. As for Hanrahan, he wasn’t available so we won’t see how he does until the next save opportunity arises.

The other question I had was just how good can this Sox team be in 2013?

That is an answer we may not know that for a while. Let’s see how they overcome injuries, losing streaks, and everything else that goes with a 162-game season, and see how they are when David Ortiz joins the line-up.

Read: Ortiz Goes 2-for-3 In First Rehab Game With PawSox

However, we do know that the Baltimore Orioles apparently aren’t going anywhere. The team that came together under Buck Showalter last season and shocked most people looks like they can contend all season. The team with the best single-season one-run record (27-9) isn’t show signs of that trend gong the other way.

Simply put, they are better than the Red Sox right now. And that’s OK.

Baltimore’s young players are getting better and better; from Adam Jones to Matt Wieters to Manny Machado. Their strength from a year ago — their bullpen led by closer Jim Johnson — looks to be just as good the 2012 version.

The Sox? They’re fine. 5-4 is a solid start. We’ve been through what we like and don’t like so far, but they are a work in progress and we won’t surely know for a while what they’ve got.

The Orioles? They look legit and could be the AL East favorite as we sit just 1/16th of the season in.

But again, it’s a long season, and plenty can change over the next five months.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.

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