Then some brand new problems cropped up.
Curt Schilling matched his worst outing and posted his first
home loss of the year, lasting just five innings and giving up
third-inning homers to Orlando Cabrera, Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Angels beat Boston 10-4.
Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon left the game after hurting his
right biceps swinging at a pitch. And on a day when the Yankees
acquired two-time All-Star Bobby Abreu, Boston picked up
right-handed reliever Bryan Corey, who had been designated for
assignment by Texas.
"This is a real goofy time every year," Schilling said. "If
we don't do anything, we have to win with what we have. You don't
count on something happening. I feel good about the people we have
The Red Sox held onto the slimmest of leads in the AL East
despite an uncharacteristic performance by Schilling (13-4) and the
loss of Nixon, who is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
"It didn't look very good," manager Terry Francona said.
"Hopefully, we can determine whether it's a couple of days or it's
John Lackey (10-6) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and nine
hits in six innings, striking out six to win for the fifth time in
six starts this month. Rivera has 10 homers in July -- one shy of
the club record -- to help the Angels go 19-6 in the month and
improve from seven games back to a half-game behind first-place
Oakland in the AL West.
"Juan stepping up is probably the one guy that's had the most
impact in this last month," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"That definitely needs to keep coming."
Schilling was charged with six runs and 10 hits in five innings,
striking out five. He had been 8-0 with a 2.71 ERA at Fenway Park
this year; it was the first time in 13 starts since May 16 that he
failed to last at least six innings.
"It was mistake after mistake," he said. "It's disappointing.
One thing I have always expected of myself is to give this team
innings. ... Five innings is just not good."
David Ortiz, who had four RBI on Saturday and won that game
with an 11th-inning single, drove in two more runs on Sunday with a
fifth-inning double. His 101 RBI make him the first Red Sox player
to top 100 before August since Walt Dropo and Vern Stephens reached
the mark in July 1950.
Maicer Izturis was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI as the
Angels scored one in the first, two in the second and then three in
the third when Cabrera and Guerrero hit back-to-back homers to
start the inning. Rivera hit a solo shot one out later.
It was the fifth time in 23 starts this year that Schilling has
given up three home runs, but the first time since 1997 that he's
given up three in one inning.
Los Angeles added four in the sixth off Jermaine Van Buren to
make it 10-4. Coco Crisp made a diving catch with the bases loaded
to keep the Red Sox in it, but Chone Figgins singled in one run,
Izturis doubled off Julian Tavarez to score two more and Cabrera
followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in another.
Nixon left the game after clutching his side when he took a wild
swing in the third inning. He was taken out with a 2-2 count and
was replaced by Wily Mo Pena, who swung at the first pitch to
complete the strikeout that was charged to Nixon.
But Pena came through with a two-out RBI double when Boston
scored three in the fifth to close to 6-4. Jason Varitek walked,
and Mike Lowell headed to first base after he appeared to get hit
by an 0-2 pitch.
But plate umpire Kerwin Danley called him back and said Lowell
wasn't hit; replays were inconclusive. Lowell struck out on the
next pitch to end the inning, then threw his bat and spiked his
helmet into the dirt.
Actor Ben Affleck nearly interfered with Angels 1B Howie
Kendrick on a foul pop near the Boston dugout. Affleck, who was
sitting in the front row with wife Jennifer Garner, pulled back and
allowed Kendrick to make the catch. The nearby fans jeered him, and
a security guard came by between innings to talk to him. ... Los
Angeles placed RHP Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list with
tendinitis in his right triceps. RHP Greg Jones was recalled from
Triple-A Salt Lake. ... LF Garret Anderson singled in the first and
has hit safely in 21 consecutive games against Boston. ... The Red
Sox traded minor league RHP Luis Mendoza to the Rangers for Corey
and transferred RHP Matt Clement from the 15-day disabled list to
the 60-day DL. ... RHP Keith Foulke was a last-minute scratch from
his scheduled rehabilitation start for Triple-A Pawtucket because
of a sore back. ... Schilling last lost at Fenway on Sept. 15,