Wade Miller made his third start for the Sox against 'natural rival' Atlanta, and the Sox held on to be the Braves 4-3. Miller proved a bit more parsimonious with his pitches, delivering 106 and a quality start with one run allowed in 6 1/3 innings. Mike Timlin pitched 1 2/3 innings of solid relief, and Keith Foulke held on by the skin of his teeth to get the save, allowing two runs in the ninth.
Johnny Damon led off the game with a booming triple to the triangle, scoring on an Edgar Renteria groundout. Renteria later left the bases full twice. Jason Varitek hammered his 9th homer just left and above Conig's Corner, and Bill Mueller had his inaugural homer of the campaign off the Pesky Pole to give the Sox a 4-0 lead off Tim Hudson.
The Sox squandered numerous opportunities with the left on base struggle, but kicked off the brief homestand with a victory.
Focusing on the positive, Varitek continues to hit, Mueller appears to be swinging the bat better with a homer and a double, and Miller's start was solid. The heart of the order struggled with Manny, Ortiz, and Nixon not on their game.
Baseball Anomaly. Julio Franco (46 years old going on 50) DHed tonight for the Braves. Franco is in his 21st season, including 7 seasons with over 400 at bats and a .300 average. He entered the season with a career .300 average and 2457 hits. He scored 100 runs once (1991), and has never had 100 RBI in a season. Last year he hit .309 in 320 at-bats at age 45. He shouldn't make the Hall-of-Fame but has had a career marked by remarkable staying power...with 7 different teams.
Farm action. Despite seven innings with two earned runs from Chris Narveson, the PawSox lost in 11 to Indy, 8-6. Roberto Petagine had two hits including a triple.
Portland lost to Bowie 4-1, although Jon Lester (3.38) worked 7 innings allowing 4 hits, a run, and had eight strikeouts. Uber-prospect Hanley Ramirez (.290) had two hits and his 11th stolen base in the loss.
Wilmington got rained out.
Baseball Slang. "Home run in an elevator shaft" refers to a towering pop to the catcher.