That was about the only disappointing aspect of an otherwise
Arroyo pitched three shutout innings in his final tuneup before
the playoffs, and Johnny Damon drove in three runs to lead Boston
past the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Saturday in the opener of a
The Red Sox, who long ago clinched the AL wild-card slot, rested
starters Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Kevin Millar. But Boston
still generated enough offense to pull away early, scoring six runs
in the second inning against rookie Daniel Cabrera before making an
Arroyo allowed one hit before being lifted after throwing 45
pitches and with Boston up 7-0. He has been tabbed by manager Terry
Francona to start either Game 3 or 4 in Boston's opening-round
"I feel good. I've been throwing the ball good, I feel healthy,
I feel strong and rested," the right-hander said. "They've
allowed me to have the ball every fifth day and not worry about
being sent back to the bullpen. I've just gotten better and better
as the year went on."
Against the Orioles, Arroyo retired nine of 10 batters, the lone
exception a double by Melvin Mora in the first inning.
"I thought Bronson was terrific," Francona said. "We didn't
want him to let him stay out there past 40 or 50 pitches, and he
was right smack in the middle. I know the competitiveness in him;
he wanted to stay out there for a while, but this was the right
thing to do."
Even if it meant giving up an easy win.
"It's hard getting pulled, especially when it's 7-0," Arroyo
said. "But you take it like it's a spring training game, that last
day before you break camp -- you hope for a quick one and leave on a
Terry Adams (6-4) replaced Arroyo and pitched two innings to
earn his second win since joining the Red Sox in a July 24 trade
Keith Foulke, the sixth Boston pitcher, allowed a double and a
single in the ninth, but struck out the side for his 32nd save.
Boston has won six of seven, including an 8-3 victory over
Baltimore on Friday night. Assured of at least a split of the
four-game series, the Red Sox will finish the season going unbeaten
in 13 of their final 14 series since Aug. 16.
Javy Lopez, B.J. Surhoff and Miguel Tejada homered for the
Orioles, who have dropped two straight after winning seven of
eight. Baltimore fought back from a seven-run deficit to get the
tying run on base in the ninth inning, but couldn't complete the
"This team is running on a full tank of gas," manager Lee
Mazzilli said. "We just came up short."
Boston sent 11 men to the plate in the second inning. Orlando
Cabrera, Gabe Kapler and Pokey Reese hit RBI singles before another
run scored on a wild pitch. Damon then singled in two runs for a
Daniel Cabrera (12-8) allowed six runs, five hits and three
walks in 1 1/3 innings -- his shortest start since making his debut
on May 13.
"He was all over the place. He just had no rhythm," Mazzilli
said, acknowledging that the rookie might be tired after throwing
174 innings this season.
The Red Sox added an unearned run in the third against Erik
Bedard, pitching for the first time since Sept. 8. After Tejada
fumbled a grounder to short for an error, Damon drove in a run with
Damon left for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He has a career-high
93 RBI this season, including 91 from the leadoff spot -- the
fourth-highest total in major league history.
Lopez hit his 22nd homer leading off the fifth to make it 7-1,
and Surhoff hit a two-run shot off Ramiro Mendoza in the seventh.
Tejada homered with a man on in the eighth, his 34th of the
Red Sox DH Ellis Burks became the 200th major leaguer to
play in 2,000 games. ... The game was the makeup of a rainout on
July 27. ... Boston improved to 41-17 since Aug. 1. ... Tejada's
homer tied the Orioles' season record for shortstops, set in 1991
by Cal Ripken.