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Garciaparra happy for number of reasons

Score one for the batting average and a few for the Red Sox.

Going 3 for 4 with a walk yesterday, Nomar Garciaparra continued to improve his numbers. All three hits were singles, two to right and one to center. After reaching base in the third and fifth innings, Garciaparra was batted in by teammates, accounting for two runs in the Red Sox' 8-1 victory over the Mariners. Add an RBI to his statistics, too, since his single in the third scored Johnny Damon. The only time Garciaparra failed to reach base was in the eighth, when he sent a hard grounder to third baseman Carlos Guillen.

For his part, though, Garciaparra was content to recognize the performances of his teammates, mentioning David Ortiz in particular and the importance of having all nine batters hit well.

"Everybody feels that they have to perform every day," said Garciaparra. "Everybody's going out there trying every day. You just know you've got to do your job every time, doing the little things, moving guys over when you have a chance because you have confidence in the guy behind you and the guy behind that. Everybody's important."

Garciaparra is hitting .325, which is good enough for third in the American League. His performance yesterday was just enough to push Garciaparra past Anaheim's Garret Anderson, who remained at .324 with the Angels idle.

The Red Sox now have two players -- Garciaparra and Bill Mueller (.328) -- in the top three in the AL. Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who went 2 for 15 in the four-game series with the Red Sox, still leads the league at .331.

Garciaparra's recent burst -- he also had three hits Sunday night -- comes after an 0-for-6 outing Saturday against Seattle. But, as always, Garciaparra is not big on tracking his own numbers.

"I don't even worry about it," said Garciaparra. "I just worry about that we're winning. I didn't even know."

The shortstop has been particularly effective at Fenway Park, where he is 14 for 32 (.438) over the last seven games. Garciaparra entered yesterday's game leading the league with a .392 average at home. He has reached base in 61 of his 64 games at Fenway and gotten hits in 51 of his last 56 games at home. He has two or more hits in 35 of 64 games at Fenway, including 11 of his last 14.

"I'm working on stuff and doing my part, whatever I can," said Garciaparra.

When asked what specifically he was working on, Garciaparra said simply, "Swinging."

Whatever Garciaparra has been doing lately, it has produced impressive results. By scoring two runs yesterday, he pushed his season total to 101, matching his total from last year and giving him at least 100 in each of his six full seasons in the majors.

Garciaparra would appreciate the team angle on his strong hitting. He has a good feeling about this year's Red Sox.

"It's a big deal when everybody cares about each other and everybody depends on each other," said Garciaparra. "Nobody believes it's all on one person's shoulders. You go out there and win as a team. You lose as a team. You do everything as a team."

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