Garciaparra hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Casey Fossum and three relievers shut down the Texas Rangers on six hits
in a 7-1 victory Wednesday night."I didn't do too well in spring training. I came back and
figured things out," said Fossum (4-1). "We have a great bullpen
right now."That wasn't the case early in the season when Boston's relievers
allowed 36 earned runs in 44 1/3 innings in the first 13 games, an
ERA of 7.30. But in the last nine games, they've allowed four
earned runs in 29 innings, a 1.24 ERA."Fossum did a tremendous job. Our bullpen did a tremendous job.
That was a good team win," Garciaparra said.His homer extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest
on the Red Sox this season. It came one at-bat after he stretched
it to 14 with an RBI-double that drove in the winning run in
Boston's 5-4 win over Texas on Tuesday.David Ortiz also drove in two runs as the Red Sox, with the help
of eight walks and three wild pitches, won for the fifth time in
seven games.And they didn't have to score in their last at-bat to win, as
they did for the eighth time this season Tuesday."It's a little bit different feeling than we've had," Boston
manager Grady Little said. "That felt like a blowout to us."The Red Sox tied the Yankees for most runs in the majors, 233,
and moved one game behind New York for the lead in the AL East.Although the Rangers' relievers did much worse than Boston's,
Texas manager Buck Showalter said Fossum was the difference in the
game, even though the score was 2-1 when R.A Dickey relieved
Joaquin Benoit (1-1) with one out in the bottom of the fifth."We manage what, four, five hits off him?" Showalter said.
"He's obviously not a one-pitch pitcher. He's effective, good
tempo."Fossum allowed one run on four hits in five innings with fourstrikeouts and one walk. Texas scored with two outs in the fifth on
a double by Michael Young and a single by Carl Everett.Ramiro Mendoza pitched two innings and Mike Timlin and Robert Person worked one each. The Rangers managed just two hits off them.Garciaparra's seventh homer of the season followed a walk to
Todd Walker. Benoit walked three more batters in the inning but all
were stranded."He did a good job except there in the first inning,"
Showalter said. "He gave us a chance to win. We just couldn't
solve Fossum."Texas lost for the fifth time in six games. In their last 16
games in Fenway Park, the Rangers are 2-14.The Red Sox added two runs in the fifth and three in the
seventh.After a leadoff single in the fifth by Johnny Damon and a fly
out, Benoit was replaced by Dickey. Damon stole second and went to
third on Garciaparra's fly out to deep center field.Manny Ramirez was walked intentionally, putting runners at first
and third. But the strategy backfired when Ortiz and Shea
Hillenbrand followed with RBI singles.In the seventh, Walker singled and reached third on two wild
pitches by Dickey. Garciaparra walked before Ramirez flied out.
Then Ortiz doubled in Walker, Garciaparra scored on a wild pitch by
Esteban Yan, and Bill Mueller doubled home Ortiz.
Benoit walked four of Boston's first six batters but only
one of the last 14 he faced. ... Teixeira left the game after being
hit on the left hand by a pitch from Timlin. Ruben Sierra pinch
ran. "I'll be sore tomorrow, but the bone looks fine," Teixeira
said. ... Boston (13-4 at home) and Atlanta are the only teams with
at least 12 wins at home and on the road. ... Backup Doug Mirabelli
caught for Boston, which is 10-2 when he's behind the plate.