Thursday, June 16, 2011

Red Sox Take Two of Three From Rays Behind Buchholz Solid Outing

Sports Illustrated

Red Sox 4 Rays 2
Winning Pitch: Clay Buchholz (6-3)
Losing Pitch: David Price (7-6)
Save: Jonathan Papelbon (13)

The Red Sox got to David Price early, and used strong pitching en route to taking two out of three from Tampa, and 11 of 12 overall. Price looked shaky as soon as the first inning, when he followed a deep flyout from Darnell McDonald with a walk to Dustin Pedroia, a double to Adrian Gonzalez, and then hitting Kevin Youkilis to load the bases. (Both benches were warned after Youkilis was hit, but nothing else happened the rest of the game.) He then allowed David Ortiz to reach on a walk, and the Red Sox had their early one nothing lead. He got out of the inning with no more damage done, but didn't look much better in the second. He allowed a one-out double to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was then knocked in on a base hit up the middle from McDonald. The very next batter, Pedroia, then ripped a double to score McDonald, and the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead after two, with Price up around 60 pitches already. The Rays got on the board in the bottom of the inning, when Sam Fuld knocked in BJ Upton to cut the deficit to two. Both pitchers settled down, and the offenses subsided for a few innings. Clay Buchholz was lifted after just five innings and 81 pitches, despite a solid performance. (More on why below). He finished with those five innings, allowing just one run on two hits, three walks and five strike outs. Alfredo Aceves came on in relief, and struggled at the start. He allowed two hard hit outs, followed by a line shot from Casey Kotchman, which ended up in the right field bleachers, getting the Rays within one. Kyle Farnsworth came on in the top of the ninth for the Rays, trying to hold the Red Sox lead to one. Adrian Gonzalez had different ideas, though, as he put one of his own in the right field seats, adding an insurance run for the Sox. Jonathan Papelbon came on in the bottom of the ninth, and sent the Rays packing after a somewhat stressful inning, and the Red Sox continued their winning ways.

News and Notes
  • Jed Lowrie was in the starting lineup, but was pulled after the top of the first when he struck out. He said after the game, according to ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes, that when he swung he felt like his shoulder slipped out of his shoulder. He is likely headed back to the DL, a place he knows all too well, as Drew Sutton was pulled from his game in Pawtucket in the 7th. As for Clay Buchholz, he was complaining of back striffness when he was pulled. He said he hopes to avoid the DL, but Terry Francona does not want his pitcher to experience back pain all year. He will likely miss his next start.

Home Runs
Boston: Adrian Gonzalez (14)
Tampa Bay: Casey Kotchman (3)

The Red Sox return home tomorrow night to start an interleague matchup with the Brewers. Boston will send John Lackey (4-5 7.41) to the mound against Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum (7-2 2.68).     

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