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Born: February 24, 1977; Key West, FL Height: 6'5" Weight: 190
Bronson was in the rotation to start the season and made four starts before moving to the bullpen when Byung-Hyun Kim was activated from the diasbled list. After B.K. struggled and went back on the D.L., Arroyo returned to the rotation for the rest of the season. In his first game back, he pitched eight scoreless innings in Toronto, giving up only three hits as the Sox won, 4-0.
He also threw eight innings of three-hit shutout ball at home on July 9, striking out seven as the team cruised to a 7-0 win over the Texas Rangers.
In Seattle on July 19, Arroyo struck out twelve, beating his previous career high of seven. He struck out the side in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, and eleven straight outs from the third to the seventh came on strikeouts.
He led the major leagues with 20 hit batsmen, tying the Red Sox franchise record set by Howard Ehmke in 1923. One of the batters Arroyo plunked was Alex Rodriguez on July 24. A-Rod charged the mound, prompting a brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees that became one of the turning points of the season.
Bronson finished the season strong. He did not lose a game after August 15, and the Red Sox won all of his last nine starts, during which time he went 5-0 with a 3.78 ERA.
After the Red Sox took a 2-0 Division Series lead over the Angels, Arroyo started Game 3 at Fenway Park. He pitched brilliantly in his first career playoff start, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out seven and leaving after six-plus innings with a 6-1 lead. Although the bullpen blew the lead, David Ortiz bailed the team out with a game-winning, series-clinching home run in the bottom of the tenth.
He didn't fare as well in his Game 3 start against the Yankees in the ALCS, giving up six runs in two-plus innings of work. But when he was needed out of the bullpen in Game 5, he was much better. With the game tied 4-4, he pitched a 1-2-3 tenth inning, striking out two.
Arroyo entered Game 6 in the eighth inning with the Sox leading the game 4-1 and needing a win to force a deciding Game 7. After opening the inning with a strikeout, he gave up a double and a single to score one run. The next play was one of the more bizarre ones of the series. Alex Rodriguez hit a dribbler down the first base line which Arroyo fielded. But before he could be tagged out, Rodriguez reached out and slapped the ball out of Bronson's hand. It appeared that A-Rod would be safe at second and the runner would score from first, but the umpires conferred and corrected the call. Intentionally slapping at the ball is illegal, so A-Rod was out and the runner had to return to first. The decision caused Yankees fans to throw debris on the field, and later in the game riot police were called in to line the perimeter of the field. Amid all the drama and confusion, Arroyo was able to retire the next batter and maintain the Sox' 4-2 lead.
Arroyo made two appearances in the World Series. He pitched in Game 1 when Tim Wakefield struggled, and gave up two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. In the series-clinching Game 4, he got one out and walked one batter as he combined with Alan Embree to pitch a scoreless eighth.
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