Sign from catcher: Appeal to be dropped
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Bellhorn is back
Mark Bellhorn played for the first time since Minnesota's Joe Nathan struck him with a pitch Aug. 1, fracturing his left thumb and injuring his left index finger. He started at second base and batted ninth, quickly doing one of the things he does best by drawing a walk in his first plate appearance. He went 1 for 3 with the walk and endured a collision with right fielder Kapler chasing a popup in the seventh inning and an outstretched dive in stealing second in the eighth. "Everything felt good," he said. "Catching the ball sometimes hurts a little bit on [the index] finger, so I have to deal with that. I'll probably start wearing a pad or something." . . . Ramirez's first-inning homer was the 379th of his career, tying him with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 50th all time . . . Johnny Damon has scored in six straight games . . . Bronson Arroyo, who improved to 4-2 with a 3.98 ERA over his last eight starts, plunked his 15th and 16th batters of the season, tying him with former Tampa Bay righthander Victor Zambrano for the league lead. Since Zambrano switched leagues when he was traded to the Mets, Arroyo appears poised to assume the lead before the season ends. Martinez and Seattle's Ron Villone rank behind Arroyo with 11 hit batsmen each . . . The Sox gave arm-weary Alan Embree another day of rest. Embree, who has not pitched since last Sunday, threw a bit in the bullpen before the game. "I think he needed [the rest]," Francona said. "We're going to lean on him, [Mike] Timlin and [Keith] Foulke the last six weeks." . . . Ellis Burks has taken the next step in his recovery from a second knee surgery this season by jogging. Whether he will play again remains in question, but no one has any doubt about the effort he has made to come back. "I've never seen a guy try so hard," Francona said. "I wouldn't blame him if he [quit]. He just never came close. I'd love to see him come back just because of how hard he has worked."
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