Channel surfers' delight as the Sox won (9-2) for the first time in seven games in Texas and the Celtics evened their series at two with the Pacers with a 110-78 blowout.
Seven strong innings from 'Then Came' Bronson Arroyo, three hits from Kevin Youkilis (the Talisman is back), and homers from Johnny Damon, Trot Nixon, and Jason Varitek made for a relatively easy win. Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke closed out the win. Foulke had his command back and his fastball was in the 88 range, up from the mid 80s.
Arroyo held the powerful Rangers to 5 hits and a walk while recording five strikeouts. Former Sox fill-in Pedro Astacio got touched up for the loss, as after three decent starts he has reverted to his struggling form over the past couple.
Unfortunately for the Sox, the Yankees and Orioles both won, and the Orioles moved to 16-7, behind a game tying homer from Miguel Tejada and another shot from Brian Roberts.
Texas Trip Notes. Terry Francona sat out his second game of the Tampa beanbrawl suspension, and Brad Mills filled in for him. Damon and Nixon went back-to-back jacks, a change from the more usual Ramirez and Ortiz. Jim Rice and Dwight Evans are the two Sox who have most often gone back to back.
The Sox are now 6-4 at home, 6-7 on the road, 5-3 during the day, and 7-8 at night.
The Kevin Millar homerless streak lives on, although he drove one out to the track.
Statistical oddity. In Carl Yastrzemski's MVP/Triple Crown season, he slugged .622, with only 69 strikeouts accompanying 91 walks. For his career, he only fanned 1393 times to go along with 1845 walks. During his two seasons at age 42 and 43, he only struck out 79 times in 739 at bats, and hit 26 homers during those years. Conversely, last year Adam Dunn .266/.388/.569 fanned 195 times, walked 108 and had 5 HBP. In other words Dunn had 308 appearances without contact, and had 46 homers in the 373 at bats in which he made contact. Amazingly, he had no sacrifice flies in 681 plate appearances.
Farm Land. Abe Alvarez (3.90, 2-1) got his head on straight for seven innings of one-run ball as the Pawsox blasted Wilkes-Barre 13-2. Chip Ambres had a slam and six RBI. The Sea Dogs were rained out.