Pathetic. Sleepwalking in the outfield, hacking away early in the count right up to the very end, and a bit of bonehead managing. Oh, it was a great night in Arlington.
Miscommunication between Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in left center led to a Texas run in the first inning. Boston took the lead back in the fourth. Ramirez and David Ortiz both walked with two outs and Kevin Millar tripled to right center to bring them in.
After a leadoff double in the second inning, Tim Wakefield retired the next 12 batters. In the sixth, he ran into trouble. Dave Dellucci singled and after getting the next two Rangers, Hank Blalock singled, tying the game. Then Alfonso Soriano belted a flat knuckleball to deep left and Texas led 4-2.
Brad Mills, who will be filling in for Terry Francona for the entire series, goofed when he pulled Wakefield and brought in Mike Myers with one out in the seventh. Dellucci was up with a man on second. Seeing Myers, Buck Showalter sent up a right-handed hitter. Chad Allen then singled the runner home -- righties are now 4-for-4 against Myers this year.
The Boston bats were absent against Chan Ho Park and Ron Mahay. How absent?
Five of the nine Red Sox batters did not hit the ball out of the infield: Ramirez, Ortiz, Edgar Renteria, Bill Mueller and Ramon Vazquez.
Boston had only three hits: Damon's single to begin the game (an infield hit deflected off Park to the shortstop, whose throw was a little too late), Millar's triple in the fourth (which hit solidly off the top of Gary Matthews's glove in right center and was catchable) and Doug Mirabelli's single in the fifth (which Matthews, sliding in shallow right, probably should have caught). Bah.
Tim Bausher was called up Thursday, threw in the Sox pen during last night's game and was sent back to Pawtucket. With Mark Bellhorn now having flu-like symptoms, Kevin Youkilis will be in Texas this evening. In a dozen games with the PawSox, Youkilis batted .227 (10-for-44) with eight walks. ... (P.S. Bausher's agent is Billy Martin, Jr.)
John Halama pitched the eighth inning, allowing three hits and two runs. He also let Blalock get a huge jump in stealing second. Should be fun watching him in Detroit on Monday.
Wade Miller had another successful rehab start on Thursday night: five scoreless innings against Scranton/Wilkes Barre. He allowed five hits (two of them infield squibs) and two walks. He will make one more AAA start, Tuesday against Rochester, and then join the Red Sox. He could make his debut on May 8 against Seattle.
Every suspended Red Sock and Devil Ray was also fined $3,000, although Piniella's fine was knocked down to $2,500. Ortiz and Singleton were each fined $500.
In the Bronx, both Roy Halladay and Randy Johnson pitched complete games last night, as Toronto won 2-0 in a zippy 2:08. The Yankees are 9-14, only the second time during Joe Torre's tenure the team has been five games below .500 (they were 5-10 on April 17, 1997).
Bronson Arroyo / Pedro Astacio at 8:00.