May 21, 2005

G41: Red Sox 4, Atlanta 3

Wade Miller looked great (6.1-3-1-2-5), Jason Varitek and Bill Mueller homered in the second inning and Keith Foulke dodged another ninth-inning bullet as Boston began interleague play with a win last night.

Edgar Renteria was booed as he made the third out with the bases loaded in both the fourth and sixth innings; in both cases, Johnny Damon was walked intentionally beforehand. Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon, Mark Bellhorn all failed to hit the ball out of the infield.

Mueller, who came into the game 0-for-10 against Atlanta starter Tim Hudson, hit his first home run of the season off the Pesky Pole and then doubled in the fourth. Foulke allowed a double, triple and single in the ninth, as Atlanta scored two runs, but got a game-ending double play, nicely picked by Renteria.

One note: Rafael Furcal, Atlanta's leadoff hitter, began the game with an OBP of .267 (!!) (his 0-for-4 dropped it to .261).

Varitek has homered on May 20 for the last five years ("Weird ... very weird. Just circumstantial, I guess."):
2001 - at KC: 4-for-4, 3 HR, 7 RBI
2002 - v CWS: 3-for-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 3 RS
2003 - v NYY: 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI
2004 - at TB: 2-for-4, HR, RBI
2005 - v Atl: 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI
Curt Schilling is no longer wearing the protective boot over his ailing right ankle. Schilling will wear a light brace and a normal shoe for a day or two. If he has no discomfort from that, he'll begin long-tossing and increasing his arm strength. The Sox have no timetable, but Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill didn't rule out a June return: "Very honestly, I'm not ruling him out for anything. It's a day-by-day thing."

David Ortiz has some advice for Doug Mirabelli, who sprained his left wrist using one of Tiz's 34-oz bats on Wednesday: "Stay away from my bat. Little men should stick with little sticks." ... Boston has played 24 road games so far, the most of any team in baseball. The Red Sox play 24 of their last 36 games at home. ... Bronson Arroyo says he "used to go to school with a Mohawk with Ozzie Smith's name carved on the side of my head."

Wakefield / Kyle Davies (ML Debut) at 7:00.

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