The Red Sox swept the Cincinnati Reds behind outstanding starting pitching from Bronson Arroyo, and relief efforts from Mike Timlin and Keith Foulke. Arroyo (5-3, 4.26) had eight strikeouts, yielding six hits, two walks, and one run in seven innings. Timlin pitched the eighth, and Foulke fanned the side in the ninth.
Offensively, the Sox banged out another ten hits, with two apiece by Renteria, Ortiz, and Ramirez. Johnny Damon and Edgar Renteria each scored two runs, and Ortiz had 3 RBI with 2 for Mueller.
Worth noting. Mark Bellhorn fanned once tonight, his 71st in 61 games. Bellhorn has now struck out in over 30% of his at-bats. Still, he has an on-base percentage of over .350 and continues to play steady defense. Last year Bellhorn's Win Shares stats produced All-Star numbers (really) and I keep rooting for him to turn it around. I have never seen a player swing and miss more often.
At the other extreme, Kevin Youkilis strikes out only 8% of his at-bats and Johnny Damon 9.4%. Youkilis has walked 12.5% of his at-bats and Damon 12%. Damon entered tonight's game with a .396 OBP and an .869 OPS.
Old Friends. Shea Hillenbrand is hitting .306, but has minimal chance to make the All-Star team unless Cy Young clubhouse leader Roy Halliday (10-3, 2.33) comes up lame. Doug 'ball-hog' Mientkiewicz is hitting .206 with 7 homers for the Mets. Freddy Sanchez comes into town Friday with the Pirates, hitting .271, but with no homers in 115 at-bats. Dave "Mr. Class" Roberts is hitting .287 with 10 steals for the Padres. Not enough good things can happen to Mister Roberts. At last count, Gabe Kapler had just 3 homers and was hitting .153 for the Yomiuri Giants. Ouch.
Rolling Moss Gathers No Stones. The first place Sea Dogs win again, with three more hits for 21 year-old Brandon Moss including a homer (10). Moss was hitting about .220 a month ago and has been on a tear. Dustin Pedroia (.323) and Kenny Perez also had three hits. The Sea Dogs have won six in a row.
Shop Talk. Visiting the Respiratory Department, I commented how Sox fandom becomes almost an addiction. Asking how many people there watched the game last night, EVERYONE raised their hand. I asked if everyone watched the game every day. Sharon Drown, whose son Erik pitches in the Cardinals minor league system, replied, "Of course not. Sometimes we listen to the games on the radio if we're working in the yard."