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Sunday, August 15, 2010
Bowden feels the heat

By Joe McDonald

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When Red Sox reliever Michael Bowden entered Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the eighth inning, Boston still had a chance for a comeback.

The Sox were trailing by two runs when the right-hander was summoned from the bullpen with no outs and a runner on first. Bowden quickly recorded two strikeouts, but a throwing error on a pickoff attempt advanced the runner to second.

He then allowed three straight hits as the Rangers gained a 7-3 lead and went on for the win. It was the first run Bowden has allowed in 3 1/3 innings of relief work during his two stints with the Red Sox this season.

“I don’t know if the throw to first bothered him or not, but all of a sudden the inning kept going,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We didn’t stop the bleeding. His stuff was pretty good and hopefully the experience will help.”

“After the error happened, it happened. I don’t worry about that. There were a couple of infield singles and one hard-hit ball,” Bowden said. “I left a couple of pitches up, but I still felt like I was making pitches and doing what I could.”

After the bad throw, the 23-year-old right-hander got the ground ball he was looking for, but Taylor Teagarden hit it far enough in the hole between short and third that shortstop Marco Scutaro had to go a long way to make a play.

“I knew it was going to be a close play, I was hoping he would make the play,” Bowden said. “Obviously it was a tough play in the hole and Scoots did all he could.”

Bowden was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday and this was his first trip to Texas. It was so hot at game time, the relievers spent the first two innings in the clubhouse before making their way to the bullpen in left-center field.

“Oh, man, it was scorching out there today,” he said. “It was exhausting out there.”