2005 Sportsman of the Year: Terrell Owens

2005 Sportsman of the Year: Terrell Owens

With the year coming to an end, I thought I would look back on 2005 in terms of Philly sports and pick a sportsman of the year.  It was a year that had  its highs and mostly lows, but through it all we always had Terrell to talk about.  In Philly, with the lack of championships to celebrate, we often thrive on controversy - giving us something to be passionate about.  The high drama of Owens returning and performing at a tremendous level, even in a losing effort, gave him instant legendary status in Philadelphia.  I've never seen an athlete ruin such a good thing, then again, I've never seen anyone like Terrell Owens.  I loved the guy for his ability, work ethic, and panache both on and off the field, I even waited in line for two hours in the fall of 2004 to meet him and get an autographed copy of his book.  I often dismissed his personality flaws in hopes of him and Donovan bringing us the parade we all crave.  In the end, almost sadly, it may have been his personality flaws and ego that brought him out of favor with the Philly faithful.  It was a wild ride while it lasted.  Without T.O. we are left with Donovan's say-the-right-thing attitude and Andy's say-nothing-at-all attitude.  I'll stop missing T.O. the day we get a championship in this town.  We all know how that story goes.

Let's take a look back at what T.O. gave us to talk about in 2005:
Jan 06: In an interview with Stephen A. Smith, Owens gives Eagles fans hopes that he will miraculously return and be ready to play in the Superbowl.  Owens starts complaining about the lack of touches he got all season.  The guy is always frustrated.
Jan 07: ESPN Page2 says Eagles fans gave up on a ring when T.O. went down, I disagreed.
Jan 12: Donovan McNabb is beaming with confidence that the Birds can win without T.O.  Meanwhile, T.O. is taking notes on reasons why McNabb and the Eagles didn't appreciate him.  Owens also never received a Christmas card from McNabb.
Jan 13: I heard from a guy who knew a guy that heard Eskin say T.O. was walking around the locker room barefoot looking great.
Jan 16: Eagles beat Vikings without Owens, setting up a meeting with Mike Vick.  FredEx gives the greatest press conference in Philly history with the exception of "Practice?"
Jan 18: Owens calls up Falcons coach telling him that he is going to play against Atlanta.
Jan 19: T.O. confident: "We are going to the Super Bowl, so don't even doubt it," injured Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens said yesterday. "I've never felt so confident in my entire career than how I felt this past Sunday. When I walked into that locker room and saw those guys - saw that as happy as they were that they knew they still had business to take care of - that let me know right there we'll be in Jacksonville come Feb. 6. There is no doubt in my mind."
Jan 24: Eagles beat Falcons in NFCC game and I wrote about the experience of seeing the birds clinch in person.  T.O., Donovan, Freddie, BWest all head to the Sixers game and get a standing ovation.  "Spiritually I've been healed and I believe that I'll be out there on that field Sunday, regardless of what anyone says," Owens said.
Jan 26: Owens Doc says T.O. will not be cleared to play in the big game.  Pat Croce thinks Owens will play, Boston's thoughts and a picture of Eva Longoria.  Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder says T.O. status still undecided.
Jan 27: ESPN says Owens is the third most valuable player in the NFL behind Peyton and Donovan.  T.O. runs and cuts on the ankle is quoted as saying by Sal Pal and Eskin, "Everybody said I couldn't do it, Rick (trainer).  But it's going down!"

Jesus, do any of you remember how exciting the build up to that Superbowl was?  By far the most anticipated sporting event I have ever been a part of.  Oh how the Eagles have fallen.

Jan 28: Terrell posts on his website's message board "DO U BELIEVE N MIRACLES OR BETTER YET DO U BELIEVE N GOD? I'M PLAYIN, SO STAY TUNED"  Also lots of other great notes, including Ray Diddy's take on the Superbowl.  Def check out this post.
Jan 29: Eagles coaches say T.O. will definitely play.  Just for kicks, Randall Gay.. I mean, Tom Brady.
Feb 03: Remember the Tee Oh song?  T.O. wears tee shirt that says "The (insert Eagle logo) have landed."  The guy always had some style.
Feb 04: In my prediction of the Eagles winning the Superbowl, I do get one thing right: T.O. will make a big impact when he is on the field.
Feb 05: T.O. on the cover of the Daily News, headline reads: Time T.O. be Super. (picture)
Feb 06: T.O. performs incredible in the Superbowl but the Eagles fall to the Patriot Dynasty.  My mother yells at me for swearing.
Feb 08: Owens talks about Brett Favre and how Favre would have been considered a warrior while T.O. was viewed as selfish.  I was also drinking the T.O. koolaid at this point.  Playboy bunnies to cheer you up.
Feb 14: T.O. hits on Suzie Kolber at the Pro Bowl in my Live-blogging of the Pro Bowl and Grammys.
Mar 11: Owens goes to Vegas to hang out with the Coors light twins.
Mar 16: One year anniversary of T.O. joining the Iggles.

Ad:

 
Apr 06: The beginning of the end: Owens hires Drew Rosenhaus to be his new agent in hopes of redoing his contract.
Apr 12: I start to come to my senses: "We were all surprised by the lack of problems T.O. caused last year as an Eagle.  Fans across the country were just waiting and hoping for him to blow up in our faces.  All of this T.O. hoopla with his new agent and wanting a new contract has really tarnished all he did on the field last year."
Apr 14: Rosenhaus goes all Michael Corleone, "It's business, not personal."
Apr 19: T.O. asks Michael Jordan for some free gear because he doesn't have enough money to take care of his family.
Apr 27: I seemed to have not posted specifically about T.O. lashing out at McNabb, but with ESPN naming the Eagles the early favorite to win the Superbowl, I questioned whether McNabb would fire back at Owens.
Apr 29: Donovan is all class in press conference regarding T.O.: "I don't play games with the media"-#5 about T.O.'s comments.
May 11: Lurie says no to T.O.: The Eagles owner said that Owens will just have to honor his contract. Lurie blamed T.O.'s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, for giving the WR "self-destructive" advice.
May 12: Donovan starts to hurt Owens' fragile ego by saying the Eagles can win without Owens: "I feel that if he plays or not, we definitely have a chance of making it to the Super Bowl and winning it," McNabb said Wednesday, one day after owner Jeffery Lurie said the team won't redo Owens' contract. "That's nothing against T.O. and it's nothing against anybody else. I just feel confident in the guys that we have. With T.O., I think we can do a lot of great things. Without him, I still think we can do a lot of good things."
May 16: I state my current feelings on the T.O. situation which contrast with ESPN's take.  My take was: "Terrell Owens can ask for more money all he wants, but the way he is handling things is horrible.  He publicly "throws Donovan under the bus" and is threatening sitting out until he gets his cash. Granted Terrell signed a bad contract, but whose fault is that?"  The bottom line: "There is no good solution to the Terrell issue."
June 14: Terrell Owens thinking follows no logic.  He ominously predicts his departure from the Eagles: "They won't care about me. At the end of the day, these are the people that I love. These are the people that are going to be there for me. So it doesn't really matter. I don't have to play for the Eagles."
July 18: Owens compares himself to Jesus while at the ESPYs and we all wonder, What Would Terrell Owens Do?  Days later Phil Sheridan steals my headlines.
July 21: Dave Spadaro proves that the Eagles stubbornness will come back to bite them in the loss column.  Spadaro said "this is my opinion and maybe I get fired over saying this -- but I truly believe this: The Eagles would rather go 0-16 than yield to Owens in this situation."
July 29:
Sid gathers a list of bonehead things Owens has said in the past.  The Words of God.
Aug 01: Owens shows up to camp in military garb and headphones in place.  Rosenhaus resembles Beelzebub.  Some of my better photoshop work.
Aug 02: T.O. is said to be ignoring teammates, eerily similar to how first graders act.
Aug 10: T.O. has words with Andy Reid and leaves camp to do some situps on his lawn while half naked.
Aug 11: Perhaps my most accurate post of T.O. complete with apropos graphic: "What is there to say about Terrell Owens?  The guy is an enigma.  He does and says things no other athlete would.  He makes claims that the Eagles made him sign a waiver to play in the Superbowl which the Eagles say is a complete lie. He goes on every news outlet ESPN has from PTI to halftime shows with Chris Berman.  He claims he isn't one of Andy Reid's children.  He tells offensive coordinator Brad Childress he can't speak to him unless spoken to.  He wears tee shirts with pictures of himself with his mother on them.  He calls Donovan McNabb a hypocrite.  He has been disrespected.  He is an idiot."
Aug 15: Owens was spotted at a Falcons preseason game in Atlanta (picture) and even Stephen A. Smith is ragging on Owens.
Aug 17: Award for the best usage of a quote from Entourage coupled with a picture of a Terrell Owens in camp goes to this post.
Aug 19: I get sick of the T.O. bullshit.
Aug 26: T.O. is set to make his preseason debut and I ask the timeless Philadelphia question: To boo or not to boo?
Aug 28: I'm at the Linc to see.. er, hear T.O. catch a TD pass from Donovan on the first play from scrimmage.
Sep 02: T.O. and Entourage collide at ESPN's Page 2: Johnny Drama is Terrell Owens.
Sep 07: Owens says "I love Donovan."
Sep 07: The saga continues.  Terrell decides he no longer wants his NFCC ring anymore and feels like a good way to raise money for the hurricane Katrina relief fund would be to auction off his ring on ebay.
Sep 10: Donovan thinks T.O. keeps talking about him because
Donovan is a sexy name.  Owens gets radio show.
Sep 13: In the Monday night season opener the Eagles get beat by the Falcons and T.O. gets held in check by smack talking Deangelo Hall.
Sep 17: In the ass beating of the Niners, T.O. gets into the end zone twice, but his celebration is weak.
Sep 21: Oh, how things change.  Sports Illustrated featured Donovan and T.O. on the cover (picture) which read Brotherly Love?
Sep 23: T.O. goes up against Randy Moss.
Sep 24: T.O. loves him some T.O. "Sometimes I wish I had some special power that could allow me to get outside my body and watch ME play."
Sep 26: The Onion does a pretty funny piece on titled "TO pre-emptively Disparages Next Contract."
Sep 29: Oh how Eagles fans forget so quickly.  Donovan was the NFC player of the month in September.
Oct 05: He appears on Letterman.  T.O. puts on his jersey and goes outside with Letterman throws him some fake passes, then T.O. gets hit by a cab.  Pretty cheesy shit.
Oct 06: Did Skip Bayless actually make a good point for once?
Oct 09: The Eagles will make Dallas look silly at Dallas.. I mean, the Cowboys will kick the shit out of the Eagles.
Oct 10: Terrell stirs up some controversy by wearing a Michael Irvin jersey on the plane ride home from Dallas.
Oct 18: Not Owens related, but only one person appreciated my Uggie Urbina Machete artwork.
Oct 28: Remember T.O. used to do fun TD celebrations like Chad Johnson does now?  He thought people enjoyed his "serving the chargers" act.
Oct 30: In response to being criticized for wearing an Irvin jersey the previous weak.. T.O. tries even harder to comply with dress code by wearing a Pink Tuxedo on this trip.
Nov 02: Owens may or may not have really hurt his ankle again.
Nov 04: The Owens situation comes to a braking point with T.O. saying the Eagles would be better off with Brett Favre running things in Philly.  Hollis Thomas on the situation: "If i was Don, I'd probably want to sock him in his chops."  Lots of good stuff in this post.  Which leads to..
Nov 05: T.O. is suspended indefinitely.
Nov 06: News breaks of T.O. and Hugh Douglas throwing down in the locker room, reportedly while T.O. may have been wearing sneakers.. and ONLY sneakers.
Nov 07: When his football career is in shambles, at least he will have an attractive girlfriend.  Felisha Terrell Picture.
Nov 08: I get all sentimental and write up a long post looking back on the career of T.O. as an Eagle.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  We'll always have Dallas.: "There were good memories: thousands of Eagles faithful swarming Lehigh just to see T.O. smiling at training camp, Owens going deep on his first play ever in Eagles green in the preseason, T.O. owning Ray Lewis, skating in the endzone, T.O. and Donovan chasing each other on the sidelines like goofballs, and Owens standing on the star in Dallas.  The Eagles were on their way to their first trip to the Superbowl in decades.  Philadelphians had a love affair with Terrell; he was going to bring us exactly what we wanted and make others look foolish along the way."
Nov 11: Ralph Nader gets involved and nobody cares what he thinks.
Nov 16: T.O. decides to sell his house in NJ and his house in Atlanta to help feed his family.
Nov 17: Eagles cartoon featuring Owens in a diaper.  Rosenhaus mock article by Penn student.
Nov 23: Owens suspension is upheld cementing what we already knew: T.O. is done playing for the Eagles.
Dec 08: T.O. gets creative with yellow penalty flags as invitations to his birthday bash in Atlantic City.  I still wonder how the invites got into the locker room.
Dec 13: Owens party goes down at Jay Z's 40-40 club.  No famous non-sports celebrities show up, but FredEx does! with a gaggle of Hooters girls in tow.  I'm serious, they were all Hooters girls.  T.O. and Clinton Portis.
Dec 14: The Onion loves T.O.
Dec 19: Owens appears in GQ magazine with photos online, but more importantly his gf Felisha Terrell is also pictured.
Dec 20: T.O. beat out the lesbian cheerleaders as ESPN's number one search term in 2005.

T.O.'s antics will be missed here at the700level, but if he is in the news, I'll be sure to let you know about it.

____________________________________________________
Other people considered for the 2005 Sportsman of year included Chase Utley and Andy Reid. 
Utley didn't even start 2005 out as an everyday player, but after Placido Polanco's departure Utley became a fan favorite.  Chase has the just-one-of-the-guys appeal who hustles while putting up nice stats and coming through in the clutch.  He will surely be a Philly favorite for years to come.
Andy Reid took the Eagles to the Superbowl for the first time in 25 years.  He also allowed the Terrell Owens situation to blow up.  Andy's 2005 was a roller coaster of a ride much due to the rise and fall of the Eagles team he puts together (GM) and coaches.  He simply isn't entertaining enough, but his mystique is intriguing.

Was there someone you would have chosen over T.O.?  Share your thoughts.

Commenter of the year award was a tie between our favorite Phillies fan Sid and our favorite Mets fan Bryan.  The only way I can think of breaking this tie is to judge them on their acceptance speeches.. which they should now post in the comment section.. Okay go.

NHL Playoffs: Sharks win to reach 1st Stanley Cup Final

051416-flyers-injury-webbestvideo3_1920x1080_685993027757.jpg

NHL Playoffs: Sharks win to reach 1st Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and the rest of the San Jose Sharks gathered around the Campbell Bowl for a celebratory picture after winning the Western Conference final.

In that moment, all those past playoff disappointments and collapses were forgotten. It will take four more wins to put to rest those questions about if they had the fortitude to win it all.

Captain Joe Pavelski scored an early goal, Joel Ward added two more and the Sharks advanced to their first Stanley Cup final in franchise history by beating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Wednesday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference final.

"It's a pretty cool feeling," Thornton said. "Obviously it's our first time. It was pretty neat to get this done at home. The fans here have waited so long, 25 years. We've waited 18 years or so. So it's a great feeling."

Joonas Donskoi also scored, Logan Couture had an empty-netter and Martin Jones made 24 saves as a Sharks team notorious for postseason letdowns will play for the championship that has eluded Thornton and Marleau since they entered the league as the top two picks in 1997.

Thornton assisted on Pavelski's goal less than four minutes into the game to set the tone and Marleau had two assists in the third period that set off chants of "We Want The Cup! We Want The Cup!"

"We're just enjoying the ride right now," Marleau said. "We've had some really good teams over the years."

Despite making the playoffs 16 times in 18 seasons and winning the second-most games in the NHL since the start of the 2003-04 season, the Sharks have been known for their soul-crushing playoff disappointments.

They won just three games in three previous trips to the conference final, were knocked out twice in four seasons by a No. 8 seed and most notably blew a 3-0 series lead to lose in the first round to Los Angeles in 2014.

The impact of that loss lasted for a while as San Jose missed the playoffs entirely last season. But led by first-year coach Peter DeBoer and bolstered by some key acquisitions by general manager Doug Wilson, the Sharks recovered this year and are now only four wins from a championship.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final will be Monday night. The Sharks will either host Tampa Bay or visit Pittsburgh, depending on which team wins Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

"It's a great moment for those guys who have put in a lot of work but we still have another series to go," Couture said. "We still have four more wins to try to get. It's another step. This is the third one now. We're ready for that next challenge."

With the loss, the Blues' postseason woes continue as the franchise still seeks its first championship and first trip to the Cup final since 1970. Coach Ken Hitchcock's second goalie change of the series did not work as Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 26 shots in his return to the net.

Vladimir Tarasenko, a 40-goal scorer in the regular season, got his first points of the series when he scored twice in the third period but it was too late for the Blues, who still trailed 4-2.

"It stings right now," captain David Backes said. "Six more wins and we're having parades on Market Street. Right now ... not enough."

This was the first time in San Jose's history that the team played with a trip to the Stanley Cup final on the line. The atmosphere in the Shark Tank reflected the high stakes with the fans at a frenzy during pregame introductions and the "Let's Go Sharks!" chants starting soon after the puck dropped.

The Sharks fed off that energy and were buzzing early as Hitchcock predicted before the game. St. Louis nearly silenced the crowd when Alexander Steen got a chance in the slot early in the period but Jones robbed him with a glove save.

That led to a breakaway for Thornton, who missed the net on his chance. But Pavelski recovered the puck behind the net and before Elliott knew what was happening, Pavelski tucked the puck in on a wraparound for his NHL-leading 13th goal of the playoffs.

San Jose added to the lead early in the second when Ward tipped a point shot from Brent Burns past Elliott to make it 2-0.

Ward's second goal and another by Donskoi in the third period removed any drama and allowed the fans to celebrate and the Blues to ponder their missed opportunity.

"They're hurting right now," Hitchcock said. "We're all hurting. "You don't want this to be our best opportunity. You want this to be a building block."

Notes
Marleau played his 165th career playoff game, the most ever for someone who never played in the finals. Thornton is next on the list with 150 games, followed by Curtis Joseph with 133. ... The only franchise that has played longer than San Jose without going to a Cup final is Arizona, which began NHL play as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979-80.

NBA Playoffs: Cavs respond to destroy Raptors in Game 5

052416_ev_on_late_round_web2bestvideo3_1920x1080_692121667559.jpg

NBA Playoffs: Cavs respond to destroy Raptors in Game 5

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Back home, the Cavaliers were not hospitable.

They rudely roughed up the Raptors again.

LeBron James scored 23 points then sat the fourth quarter, Kevin Love scored 25, and Cleveland unleashed tenacious defense on Toronto to regain control of the Eastern Conference finals with a 116-78 rout of the Raptors in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

On their court in front of 20,000-plus screaming fans following two straight losses in Canada, the Cavs opened a 34-point lead in the first half and never slowed while taking a 3-2 series lead.

They can clinch their second straight conference title and trip to the NBA Finals with a win in Game 6 on Friday night in Toronto.

"We ought to be able to transfer that on Friday," James said. "Playing in that beast of an arena that we're going to we got to be composed, we got to be tough and we got to be sharp."

The Raptors, who came in with momentum and confidence after winning Games 3 and 4, left Quicken Loans Arena shaken and one loss from having their deepest playoff run stopped.

"They kicked our butts, bottom line," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "That's been all three ballgames."

James had eight assists and six rebounds in 31 minutes before checking out late in the third quarter with the Cavs up 37. He spent the fourth quarter resting on the bench while Cleveland's reserves finished the romp.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points and he, James and Love outscored the Raptors 43-34 in the first half. Cleveland has won its three games in the series by a combined 88 points.

"They are a different team here," Casey said. "We came in here with a chance to do something special and we didn't get it done. They pushed us around and took what they wanted."

DeMar DeRozan scored 14 points and Kyle Lowry had 13 for the Raptors, who were overwhelmed from the start. Bismack Biyombo had just four rebounds after getting 40 the past two games. The only positive for Toronto was center Jonas Valanciunas, who returned after missing eight straight games with a sprained right ankle. He scored nine points in 18 minutes.

Playing defense as if every possession was the game's last, Cleveland held Toronto to 34 points in the opening half while building a 31-point halftime lead -- the largest in conference finals history. Since their expansion arrival in 1993, the Raptors had never been down by 30 before in any game -- regular or postseason -- at halftime but they have rarely seen a defense like this either.

The Cavs were all over the court, swarming and stifling DeRozan and Lowry, who combined for 67 points in Game 4.

A courtside doctor might have stopped this one in the first half.

Love found his shooting touch after it went missing during the lost weekend in Toronto, where he went just 5 of 23 and was benched for the fourth quarter of Game 4. He finished 8 of 10 from the field, a confidence-boosting performance that should temporarily quiet his critics.

"Kevin Love being Kevin Love," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "He had two bad shooting games and we made a big deal out of it. Nothing he does amazes me. We gotta keep him aggressive all the time."

The Cavs made a point of getting Love the ball right away and he responded by making all four field goal attempts, dropping a 3 late in the first quarter that pushed the Cavs to a 37-19 lead.

"He was just locked in," James said. "We saw that and just wanted to keep giving him the ball. The easiest one he had tonight, he missed."

Cleveland's onslaught continued in the second quarter, and when James got free for an easy two-handed dunk, Cavs fans could relax and begin making TV viewing plans for Friday.

These looked more like the Cavaliers who opened the postseason with 10 straight wins, obliterated the Raptors by a combined 50 points in Games 1 and 2 and given a chance to beat whomever survived in the West.

Center of attention
Valanciunas hadn't played since May 7. He scored two quick baskets in the first quarter when the Raptors were still close.

Tip-ins
Raptors: Dropped to 2-7 on the road in this postseason. ... Played a game every other day since April 29, going 7-7. . Biyombo and Valanciunas are the only teammates with at least 120 rebounds this postseason.

Cavaliers: Trumped their 31-point win in Game 1, which was the previous most lopsided playoff victory in team history. ... James played in his 191st career postseason game, moving him ahead of Magic Johnson for 12th place on the all-time list. ... James (1,320) is tied with Kobe Bryant (1,320) for the second-most free throws in postseason history. Michael Jordan made 1,463. ... Improved to 7-0 at home in these playoffs.

Up next
Game 6 is Friday night in Toronto.

Best of MLB: Walk-off single gives Giants 13th win in last 14 games

052516-postgame-offense-webbestvideo3_1280x720_692840515835.jpg

Best of MLB: Walk-off single gives Giants 13th win in last 14 games

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Crawford singled in Matt Duffy with two outs in the 10th inning, and the surging San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 Wednesday for their 13th win in 14 games.

Duffy singled off Brad Hand (1-2) with one out, pinch-hitter Hunter Pence popped out, Duffy advanced on a wild pitch and Crawford hit a 1-2 offering over center fielder Jon Jay as Duffy scored standing up.

Crawford also singled and scored after some alert baserunning in the second inning. Duffy and Denard Span drove in runs for the NL West-leading Giants.

San Francisco completed a three-game sweep, extended its winning streak to five and improved to 9-0 against the Padres this season. The Giants' two walkoff wins in the series were against Hand (see full recap).

Arrieta moves to 9-0 in Cubs' win over Cards
ST. LOUIS -- Jake Arrieta remained unbeaten on the season despite allowing as many as four runs for the first time in nearly a year and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-8 on Wednesday.

Arrieta (9-0) joined the White Sox's Chris Sale as the only nine-game winners in the majors.

Arrieta allowed four runs in a regular-season game for the first time since June 16, 2015.

Arrieta became the first Cub to win his first nine decisions since Kenny Holtzman in 1967 and it is the best start to a season for the franchise since Jim McCormick went 16-0 in 1886.

Kris Bryant hit a three-run homer and Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist each drove in two for the Cubs (see full recap).

Bradley extends hit streak to 29 in BoSox victory
BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his major league-best hitting streak to 29 games, Xander Bogaerts homered to extend his hitting streak to 18 games and the Boston Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies 10-3 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.

Travis Shaw had three RBIs and Boston moved to a season-best 12 games over .500. The Red Sox have scored eight or more runs 10 times in their last 14 home games.

Steven Wright (4-4) had another solid outing, giving up three runs, two earned. He has now given up three runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts.

Chad Bettis (4-3) held the Red Sox scoreless through three innings but was responsible for seven runs over the next two innings before getting pulled.

The Rockies have lost six of their last seven -- all on the road (see full recap).