I dig the long ball. Love those 10-0 blow-outs where the offense is all keyed up like Caine in Kung Fu, splintering stadium walls and working the crowd into some kind of hot fuss. Putting one away early is always acceptable in my book.

That said, there’s something about those 1-0 games that remind us all just how exciting and stomp-on-your-stomach excruciating this game can be. Every pitch has to mean something, every defensive play must be turned with precision. Because don’t nobody want to be fitted for goat horns when it’s all said and done.

Last night was one of those games; tight, tense, and sprinkled generously with heart attack moments, like Varitek’s tag of Palmiero in the bottom of the fourth — a call we got but, on closer examination, perhaps could have gone either way. And it kept your heart thumping until the very last out, when Foulke, who apparently likes to get things spicy in the ninth inning, got BJ Surhoff on a fly out to left. And what would you expect from a guy named “BJ”? Not much more than that, I’d say.

The real story was Matt Clement picking up where Wells left off, gettin’ all stingy with the hits and holding the Orioles scoreless through eight innings, before slipping out the side door with a 1-0 win. So the Sox roll into town, against a hot hitting team that gave them trouble by the bucket in 2004, and walk out without giving up a single run over a two-game series.

Even more intriguing to me is watching the way Clement has become something of a young Dick Grayson to Curt Schilling’s Bruce Wayne. During Wednesday night’s game, the NESN cameras showed the two huddled close on the bench, discussing something — it could have been Boomer’s mechanics or Jessica Alba’s tan line — with great intensity. Last night, Schilling embraced Clement after the game, and it was one of those manly hugs that translates to, “You done good kid, just like I said you would. Now, let’s go get some whores and cigars.”

Actually, that was my little league coach’s favorite line, but you get the idea.

Tonight, it’s Wakefield against the D-Rays. Rock on.