Fill-in third baseman Mike Aviles led off the top of the third inning with a walk, and MVP candidate Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a line-drive single to left field that pushed Aviles to second base and brought Dustin Pedroia to the plate.
Orioles starter Alfredo Simon's stock-in-trade is a mid-90s fastball, but of course Dustin Pedroia gobbles up mid-90s fastballs like so many M&Ms. Simon tried to get ahead with a fastball down the middle, and Pedroia took the pitch right back into center field, with Aviles scoring easily.
Big Papi came up next with a chance to give the Sox a 4-0 lead; instead he grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, Ellsbury moving to third base. And after Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally passed, Simon struck out rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway to end the threat and keep the local proceedings in serious doubt.