Mueller makes history with slams from both sides of platePosted: Tuesday July 29, 2003 11:33 PM
Updated: Wednesday July 30, 2003 9:34 AM
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Bill Mueller doesn't understand his record-setting power display.
Mueller became the first player in major league history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in a game, connecting for three homers to lead the Red Sox over the Texas Rangers 14-7.
"I was just trying to have good at-bats like the guys in front of me," Mueller said. "I was just trying to drive some runs in. I was fortunate to get some balls up in the air and they carried out. I was just trying to hit line drives, but tonight they went out."
Mueller, batting left-handed, hit a solo homer in the third against R.A. Dickey.
"You never come to the ballpark thinking you're going to do anything like this," Mueller said. "It didn't turn out like an ordinary night. I'm very humbled by this."
Mueller had a career-high nine RBIs with the first three-homer game of his career. He has 13 homers this season, also a career best, and four career slams.
It was the 12th time a player hit two grand slams in a game, the first since Boston's Nomar Garciaparra against Seattle on May 10, 1999.
"I'm not a big stats or records guy," Mueller said. "Records are made to be broken and I just happened to be the first guy to do this. I'm just glad I made a positive contribution."
Mueller had his second multihomer game this season, the third of his career. He hit two homers against the New York Yankees on July 4, connecting from each side of the plate.
Boston, which began the night 1 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East, won for the eighth time in 10 games.
"There's a big race in our division and in the wild card," Mueller said. "We're focused on winning games."
Garciaparra and Trot Nixon also homered for the Red Sox, but all the talk in the clubhouse was about Mueller.
"It couldn't happen to a better guy," Nixon said. "Coming back from an injury last year and battling back, that's great for him. I was fired up for him. I was ecstatic. I just wish it would have happened at home just for the ovation he'd get."
Texas led 4-2 lead in the seventh when Todd Walker singled off Erasmo Ramirez, and Rosman Garcia (1-1) walked Garciaparra.
Garcia failed to retire any of the four batters he faced, allowing four runs, two hits and two walks.
Wakefield allowed four runs and six hits in six innings, struck out eight and walked two.
"I had a hard time trying to find my release point," Wakefield said. "I had to rely on my other stuff and hang in there as long as I could. As a starter, you try to keep your team in the game. The true hero was Bill Mueller. It's amazing what he did tonight."
Dickey, trying for his first victory as a starter, allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out a career-high six and walked one in his third career start.
"R.A. battled them tooth and nail pitching on three days' rest," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "We couldn't hold it together after that. It got away from us."
Notes: Mueller's three homers tied the club record, accomplished 22 previous times. ... Boston acquired right-handed reliever Scott Williamson from the Cincinnati Reds for minor league left-hander Phil Dumatrait, a minor leaguer to be named and cash. ... It was 97 degrees when the game began. ... Kapler replaced Manny Ramirez in left field in the fifth. Ramirez has been bothered by a sore left quadriceps and fell awkwardly when he went back and fell while trying for Diaz's double in the fourth. Ramirez is day to day. "He tweaked it when he got twisted up going back on the ball, but it doesn't seem serious," manager Grady Little said. "We hope he'll be ready to go tomorrow."