(Not pictured: Mark Teahen, riding shotgun)
The stepped-up offerings of ascendant bullpen refugee LHP Clayton Richard (W, 2-0 7IP 6H 2ER 7K 1BB) kept the Royals runless until the 7th, making good use of Mark Buehrle-like pacing and agressive 3-2 curveballs. While exactly the kind of stuff needed to plug the Contreras-sized hole in the rotation, much of it was wasted by the 6th, as the Sox had piled up an 11-0 lead.
Uncharacteristically, the run of runs had less to do with power than manufacture. Beyond a Jermaine Dye solo shot in the first, no homers figured in the deluge and the dismal RISP effectivenes of the Sox got a serious boost with a string of base hits, adding up to 17 before the night was up. RHP Brian Bannister (L, 4-2, 5IP, 9H, 7R 4K 1BB) lasted long enough to fall behind by 6, only to bring out the hapless Sidney Ponson, whose 1/3 inning produced 4 earned runs by way of singles and doubles to Konerko, Anderson, Ramirez and Fields. Kyle Farnsworth gave up two more before Dewayne Wise was lulled to sleep by the lack of home runs, forgot the outs and was run down.
Following the blowout, Kenny Williams announced a strange deal with the Mets, trading mild-throwing, walk-prone RHP reliever Lance Broadway (16IP, 19H 10R, 1.75 WHIP) for backup C Ramon Castro and $2 Mil in cash, leaving backup catcher Corky Miller designated for assignment. Life goes on, Corky, life goes on. I’ll leave it to GC to plot what role Broadway will fill at Death Valley East, but I’ll guess that Castro will do three things for the Sox: 1) ruin the week of behemoth bridesmaid Birmingam C Tyler Flowers 2) gun down about as many runners as AJ and Miller and 3) momentarily confuse and frighten Alexei Ramirez with his last name.