BOSTON (AP) -- National League, American League -- it just doesn't
matter what kind of pitchers Jim Thome is facing.
The Philadelphia slugger hit his major league-leading 26th homer
Saturday and the Phillies took advantage of a season-high four
Boston errors -- and a sizable rooting section in the Fenway crowd --
to score five unearned runs and beat the Red Sox 9-2.
"You like to get in a groove," said Thome, whose 73 homers
over the past two years are the most in baseball. "You're trying
not to think about it too much. We know how this game can go."
No one knows that better than the Red Sox, who had an eight-run
inning and 12 runs in all on Friday night, handing the Phillies
their worst loss of the season. Philadelphia responded with a big
inning of its own Saturday, scoring five in the fourth -- four
unearned, thanks to errors by pitcher Bronson Arroyo and first
baseman Kevin Millar -- to break open the game.
"We came out and kind of shot ourselves in the foot more than
once," Red Sox manager and former Phillies skipper Terry Francona
said. "Played such a nice game last night and showed up today
expecting to do the same. ... We made it a lot harder for ourselves
the way we played today."
Thome's homer was his 14th of the month, one shy of the
franchise record set by Cy Williams in May 1923. It was his 10th
homer in 13 interleague games this year, and his 44 since
interleague play began in 1997 is the most in the majors.
Randy Wolf, who had been on the disabled list since June 6 with
left elbow tendinitis, was activated before the game and limited to
77 pitches. He left after four innings with a 7-1 lead, having
allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out three.
Arroyo (2-7) allowed seven runs -- just two earned -- on seven
hits and three walks. He struck out five in five innings to lose
for the sixth time in as many starts.
Johnny Damon had two errors for Boston after making just one in
each of the past two seasons. Manny Ramirez, who went 3-for-4 with
a homer and five RBI on Friday night, had two of Boston's 14 hits,
including an RBI double.
The Phillies had only 13 hits, but made them count.
In a rare showing of strength for Fenway visitors, Phillies fans
chanted Thome's name during his at-bats and cheered when he homered
in the fourth.
"We had a lot of Philly people here," Bowa said. "We sort of
let them down last night, so we got a redeemer today."
Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead in the second when Todd Pratt
singled with runners on first and second. One run scored and
Damon's throw to third hit the runner and got away, allowing Jason
Michaels to score.
In the fifth, Michaels and Pratt singled before Jimmy Rollins
grounded the ball off Arroyo's leg for an error. After Placido
Polanco's sacrifice bunt, first baseman Kevin Millar booted Abreu's
grounder; the ball caromed into short right field and two runs
Thome followed with a two-run homer over the Green Monster to
make it 7-1.
In the seventh, Lenny DiNardo walked Chase Utley, David Bell
doubled and Michaels singled to score Utley and make it 8-1. After
a wild pitch and a strikeout, Rollins singled to center and Damon's
throw home bounced past Jason Varitek.
Michaels saw the ball trickle behind the plate and broke for
home but DiNardo, backing up the catcher, scooped up the ball and
dived for the runner to tag him out.
The Red Sox are 20-22 when someone other than Curt
Schilling or Pedro Martinez starts. ... 3B Bill Mueller began a
rehab assignment in Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. ... Abreu is
2-for-16 on the road trip. ... The Red Sox lead the majors with 54
unearned runs allowed.