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Home Sweet Homer

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Gavin Floyd had one of those outings that just leaves you shaking your head. He struck out 3 of the first 4 batters he saw, and faced the minimum through 2 innings. He had a 1-hitter going through the 5th, but that lone hit was a HR, which would become something of a theme on the night.

Floyd would go on to give up just 4 hits, all of which left the yard. And they weren't the Tip Your Cap, He Hit A Good Pitch homers either. These were ugly, grooved fastballs to guys who entered the night with a combined 6 HR between them while playing half their games at Coors Field. Floyd spent the night alternating between displaying no-hit stuff and filling up the inside part of the plate with batting practice fastballs, often within the same at-bat.

Thankfully, the gopheritis didn't escape Jeff Francis either, at least not early. At one point in the game, with the Sox trailing 4-2, there had been just 7 hits between the two clubs; 6 of them were round-trippers.

But on a night when it seemed like the only hits were 4-baggers, it was a series of walks and a couple singles that provided the winning-rally. Jermaine Dye and Nick Swisher chased Francis from the game with a single and walk, respectively. Joe Crede worked a walk off Matt Herges to load the bases with nobody out, to set up Juan Uribe's 2-run single.

Uribe hadn't played a major league game in nearly a month, and the Sox were at least 0-for-their-last-7 with the bases loaded after Brian Anderson struck out in front of Uribe. So Uribe seemed about as unlikely a hero as Adam Russell, who started at short and batted second*.

With the score now tied, Orlando Cabrera grounded into a force at 3rd, and AJ Pierzysnki grounded to short with what should have been the inning-ending out. But Omar Quintanilla didn't field AJ's ground cleanly. He smothered the ball and immediately decided he was going to go to second from his knees.

Mistake. Cabrera was safe at second, and Uribe, who had advanced to third on a wild pitch, was able to score the game winning run.

Quintanilla had plenty of time to pick up the ball, get to his feet at fire to first base to get the penguin at first. I guess he didn't know who was running and panicked when he couldn't field the ball cleanly.

Uribe recieved a hero's welcome when he returned to the dugout. This is the second time this season that Uribe has received an extraordinary reaction from his teammates after a play on the bases, which is surprising because Uribe has been considered the Sox dumbest baserunner the last few seasons. Maybe that's why they're so happy. Way to go, Juan! You didn't fuck up!

The bullpen closed it out in dominant fashion (5K and 1H in 2.2IP) to give the Sox their first victory since 2004 (9th in the retrosheet era) in a game where their starter gave up 4 HR. Floyd became just the 6th pitcher in the retrosheet era (since '56) to have a start with 4+ hits allowed, all of which were HR. He was the first to get a no-decision.

* May not be accurate.