Belichick appreciative of how Stallworth stepped in

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Belichick appreciative of how Stallworth stepped in

Donte' Stallworth had a touchdown catch for the Patriots Monday night.
It's almost strange to say; the receiver has scored for New England before, of course, just not since October of 2007. Stallworth was with the team over the summer, but was released before final cutdowns.
He is, you could say, a new old player. The hope with any re-signing is that the advantage will outweigh any adjustment.
Bill Belichick believes that was the case as evidenced against Houston.
"It was a big advantage for him and us that he'd been here through training camp and at least had a good familiarity with our terminology, background, system, the adjustments that we make in the passing game, things like that. That definitely helped him. He jumped in and we used him on some of our three-receiver personnel groups there."
Stallworth's score came on a 63-yard hookup with Tom Brady in the third quarter. Excellent throw, catch, and run.
"There was a great play that we had there when Tom saw the coverage when they came down and doubled Wes Welker, and Stallworth was able to read that and split the defense, and Tom put the ball right there. That was a huge play in the game for us," Belichick noted.
The coach was appreciative, but not surprised.
"Donte' is always in good shape, works hard, is a dependable player. He had an opportunity and stepped up, made it happen."
Which makes New England's roster move look like a good one, at least for now. No easy feat for a desperation signing in December.
The Patriots were already down a target after tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm. When receiver Julian Edelman's season ended last weekend because of a foot injury, something had to be done.
New England's need was immediate. That's when Stallworth's number was called.
Does one catch on three targets against the Texans qualify as a huge performance? Maybe not. But for what the Patriots had in mind, it was perfect.
"I think that's kind of what football's about," Belichick said. "Certainly it's what football this time of year is about: Getting opportunities to take advantage of and making them. They don't always come in bunches. Sometimes you only get a couple and you have to make them count.
"He sure did."

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.