Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, right, celebrates a 6-5 win in 11 innings against the Baltimore Orioles with catcher George Kottaras (16) in a baseball game, Wednesday, July 1, 2009, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

After seeing a 10-1 lead erased last night, the Boston Red Sox found themselves trailing 5-1 to the Baltimore Orioles in the 9th inning of today’s tilt. By the end of the 9th inning, the game was tied at 5.

Julio Lugo singled in the game-winner in the 11th and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect 11th inning to become the Red Sox all-time saves leader in a 6-5 win in front of 29,391 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Jim Johnson took over for Orioles starter Brad Bergesen in the 9th and got things going by walking Dustin Pedroia. Kevin Youkilis followed with an opposite field blast to cut the deficit to 5-3 and chase Johnson from the game. O’s closer George Sherrill came on and struck out David Ortiz and Jason Bay (platinum sombrero for him with 5 K’s on the day).

Boston Red Sox pinch hitter Rocco Baldelli follows through on a single that scored two runs against the Baltimore Orioles during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 1, 2009, in Baltimore. The Red Sox won 6-5 in 11 innings. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)Jacoby Ellsbury kept the inning alive with a single. Sherrill then got a little wild as he loaded the bases up with walks to Jeff Bailey and Jason Varitek. Julio Lugo pinch-ran for Varitek and Rocco Baldelli pinch-hit for Nick Green. Baldelli delivered as his single scored Ellsbury and Bailey to knot the game at 5.

Sherrill reloaded the bases with a walk to J.D. Drew and gave way to Danys Baez. He got Pedroia to foul out to send the game to extra innings.

In the 11th, Ellsbury led off with a double and went to third on fly ball to right by Bailey. With the infield in, Lugo got a ball into the outfield scoring Ellsbury to give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead.

Papelbon came out in the bottom half of the 11th and sent the O’s down in order to for his 20th save thisĀ  season and 133rd overall in a Red Sox uniform to break Bob Stanley’s mark of 132.

The Red Sox improve to 48-30 and will maintain their 2.5 game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. The Orioles fall to 35-43.

Josh Beckett wasn’t at his absolute best this afternoon but after giving up a home run to Ty Wigginton, he retired the final 12 batters he faced. In fact, Red Sox pitching retired 24 in a row total to end the game. Beckett went 7 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.

Much better effort from the Red Sox bullpen this afternoon as Daniel Bard worked 2 innings with 4 strikeouts. Ramon Ramirez worked an inning with a strikeout.

Bergesen was outstanding all afternoon for the Orioles on the mound as he limited the Red Sox to just one run over 8 innings of work. Unfortunately for him, his bullpen failed him.

Pedroia, Drew and Ellsbury all had two hits each for the Red Sox with Pedroia adding an RBI. Youk’s only hit of the night was the 2-run homer while Lugo’s hit was the game-winner and Baldelli’s hit was the game-tying 2-run single. Big Papi had the other hit on the afternoon.

After a day off tomorrow, the Red Sox return to the friendly confines of Fenway Park for a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break on Friday night. The Seattle Mariners kick off the homestand with Felix Hernandez while Terry Francona calls on Tim Wakefield.