Extra Bases

Here comes Cameron

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Mike Cameron has started four straight games for the first time since the first four games of the season.

In his last 10 games, the center fielder is at .361/.455/.722 with three home runs, four doubles, six RBIs and five walks. He is up to .289 on the season with a .350 OBP and has an OPS+ of 107, which means he is an above-average offensive player.

Slowly but surely, the lower abdominal tear that wrecked the first half of his season is healing and Cameron is becoming a force again. This is the guy the Red Sox signed, the player who covers ground in center and hits for power.

Cameron made several plays last night that he could not have a few weeks ago because his body would not have allowed it. He broke up a double play in the third inning with a crash into Seattle second baseman Chone Figgins. Then in the fifth inning, after driving a double to left field, Cameron watched the throw get away and hustled to third, sliding in just ahead of the tag.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” he said. “I’ve kind of learned how to deal with what I have. Some days are better than others, but there are more good days.”

Cameron will almost certainly need surgery after the season. It takes him hours before the game to get treatment and warm up so he can play and afterward he is swaddled in ice.

As the Red Sox fight to stay in the playoff chase, Cameron is earning a lot of respect in the clubhouse. And now — finally — he is showing on the field what kind of player he is.

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