After trailing by a season-high five games, the Boston Red Sox reclaimed their top spot after beating the Orioles 2-1 today.

And the best news of all for the team and for Red Sox Nation? David Ortiz will be back on the field after spending 39 games as a spectator after he suffered a wrist injury.

“I’m feeling good,” Ortiz said. “I was talking trash to my teammates to make sure they got back in first place before I came back.”

Ortiz will be back to play against the New York Yankees on July 25, and will join seven of his teammates, along with Sox manager Terry Francona, at the All-Star game. It will be the last All-Star game held at Yankee Stadium before it is demolished.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon, well-known for his intense facial expression while on the mound, as well as his equally intense Irish dancing, scored his 100th career save today, and is looking forward to “3 or 400” more.

Sox starter Diasuke Matsuzaka will not be present at the All-Star game, despite carrying the Sox back into first place. Dice-K currently holds an ERA of 2.56. Fellow pitchers Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen also contributed to the win. Papelbon came in during the ninth inning and closed out the game.

Dustin Pedroia also performed today and is just one hit shy of hitting the franchise record currently held by Wayne Boggs and Nomar Garciaparra. J.D. Drew gave the Sox their 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Kevin Youklis was hit in the tricep by a pitch and left the field during the fifth inning, but x-rays did not indicate a contusion or other serious injury.

Related article courtesy of For more Sox action, visit their official website.

Nicolette Kuff is a freelance writer and Boston Red Sox fan from Upstate NY.

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