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Sox end Strong, Win 9-3

Schilling delivers towards home in Boston's 9-3 win over the Bronx Bombers on Thursday.
Through five innings, this game didn't look so good, and it didn't seem like it would get any better.

But it did. And Curt Schilling got his ninth win in the process.

Schilling threw three bad pitches: all were served for solo home runs by John Damon, Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano. After all, Schilling finished the game after allowing only four hits and allowing not a single walk.

Schilling went eight innings, but probably could have gone the distance. Instead, after striking out four on the day, Schilling stayed in the dugout and let Jonathan Papelbon finish it off. And that he did. Papelbon got Damon to pop-out, but then walked Melky Cabrera. Papelbon came back, however, and struck out Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez to end the game.

Let me be the first to say this: I don't like the idea of bringing in our closer with a six run lead. What happens if Papelbon gets shelled? It didn't happen (and it hasn't happened), but say the Yankees hit a three-run home run to make it 9-6. Who's going to save Papelbon? Julian Tavarez?

What's the most remarkable thing about Schilling after tonight? Most would say that it would be him leading the American League in wins (9). I disagree. It's the fact he hasn't walked a batter since May 10th against the Yankees. He walked two that day. Do you know how many he had total in May? Two! Schilling walked just two batters -- Hideki Matsui and Cabrera -- in 32.2 innings of work last month.

Jason Varitek is slowly starting to break out of his slump. Varitek went 3-for-4 tonight with four runs batted in, three of them coming on a home run in the seventh inning. Varitek upped his average from .236 to .247.

The offense finally clicked tonight. Starting with Varitek, continuing with Mike Lowell, Trot Nixon, Manny Ramirez and even Alex Gonzalez. Every one made it on base at least once, except Mark Loretta, who went 0-for-5.

The rain-shortened series with the Yankees is finally over. After a severe pounding on Monday and a squeaker of a loss on Tuesday, to get the win on the final game is nice. Who knows what would have happened if yesterday's game wasn't cancelled. Frankly, I don't want to know. One out of three ain't bad, especially since we aren't playing our best baseball at the moment.