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The Red Sox made it three straight wins Sunday afternoon, getting to Justin Masterson for six runs and then doubling their lead off of Dan Wheeler in the seventh to down the Indians 12-1.
The Sox did not wait long to get after old friend Justin Masterson. After the first two Sox batters recorded outs, the team sent six straight men to the basepaths, with Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava driving in a run a piece before Jarrod Saltalamacchia put an exclamation mark on the inning by driving in two runs of his own.
The Indians would get a run back in the third--an inning that could have been much worse but for a Travis Hafner double play with the bases loaded. Will Middlebrooks would waste no time in getting it back, however, cleaning out an inside fastball for a rocket shot into the Monster seats.
Daniel Bard was once again not at his best, allowing four walks as he struggled with control, but managed to allow just the one run while surviving through the end of the sixth, where Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled home a sixth run for the Sox.
The Sox would really blow the game open in the seventh, picking up a single, three doubles, and a walk to start the inning before Jarrod Saltalamacchia once again provided the big hit, launching a two-run shot to center field to put the Sox up 12-1.
Rich Hill, Matt Albers, and Scott Atchison finished the game in quick fashion, leaving the Sox winners of three straight.
Will Bounces Back: After a 2-for-17 stretch took some of the shine off of Will Middlebrooks' early returns, the third baseman seems to be back in force, going 2-for-3 with his fourth home run and a walk. One thing that's undeniable is Will Middlebrooks' power--the shot tonight was almost still rising when it smashed off the barrier behind the first row of Monster seats.
Flashing the Leather: The Sox have been impressive defensively the last few games, and today was no difference. Daniel Nava made a couple strong grabs to keep the second a 1-2-3 inning, a well-turned double play on a slow roller kept the third from getting out of hand, Will Middlebrooks saved a pair by snagging a line drive in the fourth, and Mike Aviles turned two on a line drive in the fifth. It's stuff like that which will keep the Sox in games even when their pitchers aren't on their best form.
Adrian On A Tear: Remember how Adrian was the center of attention for his failures a week back? Well, going back to May 4 and including today's doubles, Adrian has been hitting .378/.408/.556. No homers, but double after double is getting the job done right now.
The Red Sox are going for three straight wins over the Indians Sunday afternoon as they try and take their first series since downing the White Sox weeks back.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Indians 1, Red Sox 12, Final -- And it's a three-game winning streak for the Red Sox. An easy win on a Sunday afternoon.
Indians 1, Red Sox 12, End 8th -- The substitutions don't make the best of their opportunity, as Nick Punto flies out before Kelly Shoppach and Mauro Gomez go down on strikes.
Indians 1, Red Sox 12, Mid 8th -- Matt Albers makes short work of the Indians in the eighth, as Bobby Valentine subs out as many of the starters as possible in a won game.
Indians 1, Red Sox 12, End 7th -- And that's that. Dan Wheeler comes in and the Red Sox explode for six more. Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez combine for a run on a single and two doubles, leaving Gonzalez at second and Ortiz at third. Will Middlebrooks keeps things going with a walk, and Daniel Nava drops a double at the base of the Monster to bring Gonzalez and Middlebrooks home. Cody Ross records the first out of the inning, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia quickly makes up for it by launching a long ball to dead center for the final two runs.
Indians 1, Red Sox 6, Mid 7th -- Rich Hill looks like he did last year, striking out Jack Hannahan and Jason Kipnis in a quick 1-2-3 seventh.
Indians 1, Red Sox 6, End 6th -- Daniel Nava gets plunked to start the inning off, steals second, and comes around to score on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's line drive single to left. Five runs should be a pretty comfortable lead for these late innings the way the pen has been pitching.
Indians 1, Red Sox 5, Mid 6th -- The Indians put two more men on base, and threaten to make it a very close game as Shin-Soo Choo flies out to very deep right, but Cody Ross settles underneath it and makes the grab to end the inning. It's technically a quality start for Bard, but not the prettiest you'll ever see.
Indians 1, Red Sox 5, End 5th -- Justin Masterson keeps the Sox quiet again, going through the heart of the order with ease. Since the first, he's been strong, but there's no ignoring a four-run inning.
Indians 1 Red Sox 5, Mid 5th -- Mike Aviles snags a line drive and then fires to first to complete a double play that keeps Daniel Bard from having to see more than three batters in a short fifth inning.
Indians 1, Red Sox 5, End 4th -- As in the top half of the inning, a line drive out prevents any changes to the score, as Dustin Pedroia sends a rocket back to Justin Masterson with Ryan Sweeney standing at second. Masterson throws up his glove defensively, and the ball ends up right there for the out.
Indians 1, Red Sox 5, Mid 4th -- Bard has to work around some more baserunners, facing two men in scoring position with just one out, but a fly ball to right is too shallow for Carlos Santana to risk it, and a line drive from Jack Hannahan goes straight to Will Middlebrooks at third for the final out.
Indians 1, Red Sox 5, End 3rd -- No sooner do the Indians score than Will Middlebrooks pulls it right back, cleaning out an inside fastball and putting it on a ridiculously line up and into the Monster seats.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 3rd -- The Indians get one back as Bard struggles through a very tough inning, loading the bases on two singles and a walk and then bringing a run in by walking Asdrubal Cabrera, too.
Thankfully, Travis Hafner hits a slow roller to Dustin Pedroia, who starts a slow double play that is just in time to catch the even slower Hafner to end the inning.
Indians 0, Red Sox 4, End 2nd -- The second inning starts much like the first, with two quick outs from Sweeney and Pedroia, but this time ends as Masterson would have wanted, with David Ortiz grounding out.
Indians 0, Red Sox 4, Mid 2nd -- A couple dangerous fly balls threaten to find the dirt and the wall, but Daniel Nava makes a running basket catch on the first and backs up to the scoreboard for the second, getting Bard through another inning after a leadoff walk to Travis Hafner.
Indians 0, Red Sox 4, End 1st -- The Red Sox are off to another quick start despite Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia starting the inning with two quick outs. David Ortiz would work a longer at bat to draw a walk before Adrian Gonzalez sent him to third with a double off the wall.
The scoring started with Will Middlebrooks, who once again made good on an early-inning RBI opportunity by shooting a liner down the line in left, playing Ortiz. Daniel Nava continued on his torrid pace by bouncing a double high off the wall in left for a second. The bases would be loaded when Cody Ross took a pitch to the ribs, and then partially unloaded when Jarrod Saltalamacchia sliced a ball into right field to double Boston's lead.
Quite the inning.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Daniel Bard can't ask for an easier start than that to his day. Johnny Damon pops up, Jason Kipnis grounds softly back to the mound, and Asdrubal Cabrera pops up to shallow left. Three outs in seven pitches with nothing even approaching solid contact.
The Boston Red Sox didn't make any changes to their nine-man batting lineup for Sunday's matinee against the Cleveland Indians, but hours before the series finale the Red Sox did make some changes to their 25-man roster. Boston placed outfielder Darnell McDonald on the 15-day disable list and replaced him by calling up Mauro Gomez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
McDonald was placed on the DL because of a mysterious oblique injury which, according to the Boston Herald, has no apparent cause. McDonald is now the fifth Red Sox outfielder to be placed on the DL, as Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Repko and Ryan Kalish are all recovering from injuries.
Meanwhile, though the 27-year-old Gomez is a first-basemen, he is expected to replace McDonald's right-handed bat off the bench.
The Red Sox will stick with go back to the same lineup they used Saturday night for their afternoon showdown against the Indians and Justin Masterson. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
Boston will be aiming for three straight wins today--a feat they have not accomplished since their 6-0 run against the Twins and White Sox. They will turn to Daniel Bard on the mound, hoping he can provide another solid start behind strong performances from Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront.
Boston Red Sox (14-19)
Cleveland Indians (18-15)
The Red Sox enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win over the Indians Saturday night, getting to Zach McAllister early while Felix Doubront and the bullpen kept the Cleveland lineup in check all game long.
After Zach McAllister enjoyed the benefit of unfamiliarity the first time through the lineup, the Sox got through to him the second time 'round. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each doubled in a two-run third, and Mike Aviles brought a third run in on a sacrifice fly in a fourth inning that could have been much bigger were it not for some bad luck and good defense.
Felix Doubront, meanwhile, was at his best, allowing just one hit through five innings while striking out five. He even seemed to have a low enough pitch count to get into the seventh--a rare occurrence for the somewhat inefficient lefty. That would change in the sixth, with a leadoff double scoring on a groundout that became a single when Doubront failed to cover first.
The southpaw would manage to escape the inning without any further damage, however, and from there the Sox cruised. Cody Ross got them their run back in the bottom half of the sixth with a moonshot over everything in left, and Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves closed things out by retiring all nine of the batters they faced.
Felix Strong: Felix Doubront was strong in his first start since a messy game against the Royals. While he lived more through spotting his pitches on the edge of a wide zone for strikeouts rather than his utilizing his usual swing-and-miss stuff, the results were as good as he's seen all year, with three hits and two walks compared to five strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball. But for a lengthy six, he could have made it well into the seventh, too, as his pitch count, if still high for a low-offense game, was under control.
Great Work From The Pen: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 went the last three innings of the game for a Boston bullpen that, if not lights out, is suddenly very impressive. They entered tonight's game with a 1.75 ERA in May, and leave with a 1.66.
The Sox and Indians are set to go in game three of their four-game series.
Josh Tomlin will not be taking the mound tonight for the Indians as planned, being replaced by Zach McAllister after making the trip to the disabled list with a sore wrist.
We'll keep you up-to-date with all of the action as it goes down in Fenway park.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Final -- A tidy two hour, forty minute game ends with Alfredo Aceves recording a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Carlos Santana to end the night.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 8th -- But for Ross' homer, the Sox have gone completely quiet since the beginning. Then again, that's why you get the lead early.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 8th -- Vicente Padilla replaces Andrew Miller and sees similar success, sitting down the Indians in order, leaving the Sox just three outs away from a second straight win.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 7th -- For all that Zach McAllister hasn't had a tremendous night, he has managed to keep the Indians alive when it looked like he might be due for a relatively early departure. A 1-2-3 seventh leaves him with 112 pitches, however, so one has to imagine that's it for him.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 7th -- Andrew Miller retires the side in order. The real good news is simply the fact that he's in, however. Nice to see Bobby not trying to stretch his starter too far...for once.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 6th -- The Red Sox waste no time at all getting their run back from the Indians, as Cody Ross clears everything in left field for a solo home run. That's the sort of thing that Cody brings to the Sox. Not consistently, but when he gets into one, he really gets into it.
Indians 1, Red Sox 3, Mid 6th -- Felix Doubront has his greatest trouble of the night, surrendering a run in the sixth after a leadoff double. The inning was sufficiently long to spike his pitch count over 100, so he is likely done after six innings of one-run ball. A solid outing, but his troubles are the same as ever.
Indians 0, Red Sox 3, End 5th -- Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez go down in order, as the Sox' offense finally goes quiet.
Indians 0, Red Sox 3, Mid 5th -- Another walk keeps Doubront away from a 1-2-3 inning, but through five he's rolling through this Indian's lineup. 84 pitches is a bit high for a 1-hitter, so pitch count remains an issue for Felix Doubront, but one heck of a performance so far.
Indians 0, Red Sox 3, End 4th -- The Sox build the lead to three runs with a quick fourth-inning rally. Daniel Nava continues to reach pace at a torrid pace by flipping a single into left field. Cody Ross ends up surrendering the first out of the inning on an unlucky line drive to third base, but Jarrod Satlamacchia revives the rally by doubling to right field. Another lineout to left field lets Daniel Nava score on a close play at home, sliding through Lou Marson's legs to touch home as the ball reaches the plate before Jason Kipnis makes a good ranging play to prevent a single up the middle and record the third out.
The Sox could have easily sent all six men to the basepaths, but they'll have to settle for three and a run after some bad luck and good defense.
Indians 0, Red Sox 2, Mid 4th -- After a line drive out to start the inning, Doubront gets back to weak contact and strikeouts, getting a ground ball from Asdrubal Cabrera, and sitting down Carlos Santana swinging at strike three.
Indians 0, Red Sox 2, End 3rd -- The Red Sox grab a 2-0 lead behind the two men who have been getting it done all year long in Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Mike Aviles leads the inning off by dropping a blooper into right-center field, and then scores when Dustin Pedroia hits a wall ball double that nearly leaves the park. One at bat later, David Ortiz makes it a moot point by driving Pedroia in with a double of his own.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- Felix Doubront is through his third scoreless inning in Fenway, with both his third strikeout and first walk of the game. A line drive off the bat of Michael Brantley threatened to keep the inning going, but Mike Aviles reacted quickly and ranged to his left to pick the ball off his shoetops for the out.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Another baserunner stranded at first for the Sox, as Daniel Nava puts a single on a line to left before Cody Ross flies out and Jarrod Saltalamacchia strike out to end an unproductive inning.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- The Indians have their first hit of the game, but waste the baserunner in quite a hurry, as Travis Hafner runs into the out at second, trying to turn a single into a double. A bit of strong contact for the Indians in the second--hopefully not a sign of things to come.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- The Red Sox grab the first baserunner of the game as Dustin Pedroia drops a bloop single to center field, but Zach McAllister manages to work through a difficult Adrian Gonzalez at bat to record the third out and a scoreless first.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Felix Doubront is off to a strong start Saturday night, taking advantage of a wide strike zone to sit down both Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis looking at strike three as part of a 1-2-3 first.
The Red Sox will face Zach McAllister, not Josh Tomlin in Fenway Park tonight as they take on the Cleveland Indians in the third game of their four-game series.
Tomlin was scheduled to face the Red Sox today, but a late trip to the disabled list left the Indians turning to Triple-A Columbus in search of a replacement. Zach McAllister has thrown 35 innings of 2.83 ERA ball in Columbus so far this season, relying on a low 90s fastball along with a slider and changeup.
The Sox will have Mike Aviles back in the lineup Saturday, batting ninth.
Boston Red Sox (13-19)
Cleveland Indians (18-14)
Scott Podsednik, a 36-year-old left handed outfielder, has reportedly been traded to the Boston Red Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies. Podsednik is a lifetime .279 hitter with 41 home runs, 300 RBI and 301 stolen bases in 10 seasons.
The Red Sox got to Ubaldo Jimenez for seven runs, surviving a late-innings rally by the Indians to pick up a much-needed home win Friday night.
The Indians got off to a fast start against the beleaguered Clay Buchholz, scoring a run in the first and leaving the bases loaded in a frame that did not promise big things for Boston. The Sox would respond quickly, however, scoring twice in the bottom half as Will Middlebrooks doubled in Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to take a 2-1 lead off of Ubaldo Jimenez.
While Clay Buchholz would settle down for the next five innings, getting by on weak contact, Ubaldo Jimenez had no such luck. Dustin Pedroia would double home two more runs in the second, and the Sox would chase him from the game in a fifth inning that saw them send six men to the basepaths and score three more, leaving them up 7-1.
Clay Buchholz had a chance to leave the game with a solid six innings of one-run ball to his name, but unfortunately Bobby Valentine was once again slow with his hook, allowing Buchholz to load the bases before making a call to the pen. With the Indians pushing all three baserunners across before the inning ended, Buchholz' night ended with four runs, three earned to his name.
The Sox would manage to hold out from there, however, despite Alfredo Aceves allowing a run to score and putting the tying runner at second base in a tense ninth, with Johnny Damon flying out lazily to center to end the game.
A Building Block?: Had Buchholz been allowed to leave after allowing just one baserunner in the seventh, or even just two, he would have been guaranteed to have something to build on. Just a couple weeks after leaving the mound visibly distraught over yet another disaster, that could have been exactly the sort of thing a pitcher like Buchholz, who can get trapped in his own thoughts, needed.
Instead, either not recognizing the importance of such an outing, or just once again mucking up the timing, Bobby Valentine allowed him to load the bases, and while Buchholz was cheered leaving the field, his head was once again down as he left for the dugout.
Four runs, three earned is about the most ambiguous possible tally, so it's not clear how Buchholz will take it. But either way, it was poorly handled by Bobby, as always.
Middlebrooks Hurting: Will Middlebrooks does not seem to be moving terribly well, getting doubled up at first when he didn't seem to be busting it down the line, making an unusual error at third, and then being noticeably gimpy later in the game. It would not be surprising if that hamstring was taking a while to go away, leaving the young third baseman at less than 100%.
Ortiz Too?: David Ortiz would leave Friday's game in the seventh, being pinch hit for by Darnell McDonald due to "left heel soreness." It's an unusual sounding injury, and hopefully a minor one which the Sox chose to act on when it was 7-1 rather than 7-4. If there's one player the Sox can't lose right now, it's David Ortiz.
The Red Sox will give Clay Buchholz another shot Friday night, sending him to the mound against the Cleveland Indians in the second game of their four-game set.
We'll keep you up-to-date with all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Indians 5, Red Sox 7, Final -- Tense moments in the ninth, as the tying run makes its way into scoring position, but Alfredo Aceves gets an easy fly ball from Johnny Damon to put this one in the win column.
Indians 4, Red Sox 7, End 8th -- After the first two batters reach, a bunt attempt goes awry when Adrian Gonzalez is caught at second with a snap throw. That Daniel Nava then proceeds to walk is icing on the cake.
The Sox will have to live with their three run lead now. One inning away from a win, however frustrating some of it was.
Indians 4, Red Sox 7, Mid 8th -- Despite their best efforts, the 2012 Red Sox manage not to pull a 2012 Red Sox in the 8th inning. After Hannahan led off the inning with a single, the Sox had a chance to turn two when Johnny Damon grounded out sharply to Adrian Gonzalez. Hannahan was caught in the rundown, but a botched throw to a too-close Mike Aviles allowed the Indians' third baseman to dodge the tag and reach second successfully.
Another out that could-have-been went awry when Will Middlebrooks reached into the seats to make a great catch on a pop-up, but had the ball slip from his glove as he pulled it back across the barrier, a solid second or two after having first made the grab. A questionable call, to be sure.
Still, Vicente Padilla managed to record the out, and somehow the Sox survive into the bottom of the eighth.
Indians 4, Red Sox 7, End 7th -- Dustin Pedroia collects his third hit of the game, but the real news from the bottom half of the seventh is that David Ortiz is out of this game with "left heel soreness." It's an odd sort of injury. I wonder if perhaps he was sent to the showers when it was still 7-1, with the thinking being that it would be pointless to risk him in what seemed to be a won game?
Indians 4, Red Sox 7, Mid 7th -- Bobby Valentine has done it again, risking what could have been a tremendously important building block for Clay Buchholz by leaving him in too long. Not even getting relievers warming until two men were on base, Valentine finally went to the pen after Buchholz had walked Asdrubal Cabrera, loading the bases with one out and over 110 pitches on his arm.
Had Rich Hill managed to get the job done then and there, it may have been no harm done. But the lefty couldn't find the strike zone, walking in a run and then falling behind to Carlos Santana before inducing a ground ball. The inning could possibly have been done there, but perhaps thinking too far ahead, Middlebrooks bobbled the ball and the bases were reloaded with another run in.
Andrew Miller would finally manage to bring the inning to an end after allowing another run to cross on a line drive up the middle. With Middlebrooks' error, it leaves him with four runs, three earned--the perfect middle ground where it's easy to see him either taking it positively or negatively. The latter scenario is not one that should have ever been possible. Clay should have left tonight feeling like a new man ready to turn it around.
Thanks a lot, Bobby.
Indians 1, Red Sox 7, End 6th -- Former Sox RP Dan Wheeler calms things down for the Indians, retiring the 6-7-8 hitters
Indians 1, Red Sox 7, Mid 6th -- 1-2-3 go the Indians, putting Clay Buchholz in line for his first quality start if he can just avoid a late-inning meltdown. Please, Bobby, quick hook.
Indians 1, Red Sox 7, End 5th -- The Sox take a big step towards putting this game away in the fifth, sending six men on the basepaths and scoring three to open up a six-run lead through five.
Daniel Nava and Cody Ross once again reached base to start the inning off on the right foot, with Nava scoring on Ross' double. This time, however, the rest of the lineup contributed as well. Nick Punto took advantage of some smart baserunning by Ross, who froze Casey Kotchman as he came in on a weak ground ball by breaking for home and then retreating to third, forcing a late throw to first. A single from Ryan Sweeney would plate Ross from third, and Dustin Pedroia lifted a sacrifice fly to bring Nick Punto home as well
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 5th -- Clay is dangerously close to having a decent outing, allowing just a fairly weak single in an otherwise clean fifth inning.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 4th -- Adrian Gonzalez lucks out with a two-out blooper that gets picked up by a fan, gifting him a double when even a single was fairly suspect and the result of a bloop. Will Middlebrooks makes good contact, but hits it right to Jack Hannahan for the third out, ending the frame.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 4th -- Clay Buchholz actually has a quiet inning start-to-finish, recording two easy ground outs and a lazy fly ball. At this point, if he can get through the sixth with a good outing behind him, Bobby Valentine has to be extremely careful to make sure he leaves the game with that still intact. Buchholz desperately needs something he can build on, even if just mentally.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 3rd -- The Sox threaten early, with Daniel Nava's honeymoon continuing with a double to left and Cody Ross walking to give the Sox two on and no outs. The 8-9-1 hitters could not capitalize, however, with Salty flying out to left, Punto striking out, and Ryan Sweeney grounding to first to end the threat.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, Mid 3rd -- Daniel Nava is enjoying another honeymoon period with the Red Sox, saving Buchholz from more damage by running down a fly ball slicing away from him in left field to make the basket catch. With runners on second and third, that's two runs off the board.
Indians 1, Red Sox 4, End 2nd -- The Sox have two more runs in the second started by, of all things, a Nick Punto hit. The single up the middle ends an 0-for-19 run for Punto, and gives the Sox a leadoff baserunner. Ryan Sweeney quickly makes it two with a single to left field, and Dustin Pedroia cashes in both by doubling down the right field line into the corner.
There was the possibility for more, as Pedroia advanced to third with just one out, taking advantage of Johnny Damon's weak arm to advance on a fly ball to left field before Adrian Gonzalez drew a walk, but Will Middlebrooks grounded into a double play to end the inning. Will didn't seem to be going all-out down the line, only turning on a second gear when it became clear two was a possibility, but he perhaps deserves the benefit of the doubt given the hamstring issues he's been dealing with.
Indians 1, Red Sox 2, Mid 2nd -- Clay Buchholz doesn't surrender any runs, but it's not for a want of trying, as he coughs up a wall ball double to Jack Hannahan with one out, and then a line drive single to Jason Kipnis. An aggressive decision to send Hannahan looks like it's going to pay off when Daniel Nava's throw home bounces in, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia throws down an excellent block of the plate, and manages to tag out Hannahan behind home for
Indians 1, Red Sox 2, End 1st -- The Sox do not stay down for long, as they are not the only team dealing with a struggling young talent on the mound. Ubaldo Jimenez had barely taken the mound before the bases were loaded, with Dustin Pedroia running out an infield single, David Ortiz drawing a walk, and Adrian Gonzalez taking a pitch to the arm. The first pitch to Will Middlebrooks was a curveball hitting the bottom inside corner of the strikezone. Middlebrooks was not fooled, staying back and then clearing it out for a line shot into left field. The double plated two runs for the Sox, giving them the lead.
Indians 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Doesn't seem like today's going to be any different than the rest of the season for Clay Buchholz. The run came in frustrating fashion, with Clay losing control of the zone after retiring the first two batters of the game. A walk put Asdrubal Cabrera on first, and after falling behind Travis Hafner 2-0, Buchholz was forced to give him something he could hit, resulting in a line drive single. Carlos Santana didn't wait around behind him, singling to right to put the Indians up 1-0.
Buchholz would end up plunking Shin-Soo Choo in the back to load the bases, prompting a frustrated Bobby Valentine to make a trip to the mound. Clay would finally escape the inning on his 24th pitch, inducing a ground ball to Adrian Gonzalez that stayed just inside the line, allowing the first baseman to step on first for the easy out.
The Red Sox will take on the Indians in the second game of their four-game series, with Clay Buchholz still in search of even one decent outing. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST, with coverage by NESN and WEEi.
It's become all-too-familiar a scene: Clay Buchholz leaving the mound, head down, with a crooked yellow number on the board. His terrible pitching finally caught up the Red Sox for another loss in his last time out, though it took the Orioles until the seventeenth inning to finally do the Sox in. Now, one night after hitting Josh Beckett with seven runs in under three innings, the Indians seem an unlikely candidate to turn Buchholz' season around.
Meanwhile, in the lineup, Nick Punto will be playing. Generally speaking, that's not a good thing.
Boston Red Sox (12-19)
Cleveland Indians (18-13)
The Red Sox fell to the Indians 8-3 Thursday night, dropping them to 12-19 on the season.
While Josh Beckett got off to a fast start, striking out Johnny Damon on three pitches to lead off what would be a scoreless first, things fell apart for him with one out and an 0-2 count to Shin-Soo Choo. Losing the strike zone, Beckett walked Choo, gave up a double and sacrifice fly, and then saw no. 9 hitter Jack Hannahan take him deep to right field for the 3-0 lead.
The Sox would grab a run back in the bottom of the second, but by the time the top of the third was over all hope for a win was lost. Beckett would give up another home run to Travis Hafner to lead off the inning, and then allowed three more runs to come around and score before he was yanked unceremoniously from the game for Andrew Miller.
The Sox bullpen was up to the task of holding down the fort, only allowing an eighth run in the ninth inning, but the offense could not cash in on its opportunities to get back in the fight. Ryan Sweeney grounded out with the bases loaded in the fourth to squander one opportunity, and after going deep to right in the seventh, Dustin Pedroia popped out on what would have been ball four in the eighth.
Old Friends: Derek Lowe was in good shape tonight, getting twelve outs on the ground in six innings as he returned to Fenway Park. Johnny Damon was not, going 1-for-5 with his only hit a pop-up that barely made it past the mound. If the Sox had to lose tonight, I'm sure that Boston fans are glad they lost because of Lowe and not Damon.
Nick Hagadone also made an appearance, closing out the ninth in short order. He was part of the 2009 trade for Victor Martinez, going to the Indians along with Justin Masterson and Bryan Price.
Lowest Point: At 12-19, the Red Sox are now seven games below .500--the furthest from even they've been all season. It's hard to remember that, just a few short series back, they were actually gunning for a winning record.
Relief: For all the problems the pen put the Sox through early on, they've really rounded into form over the last few weeks. It's almost to the point where you'd rather have the likes of Andrew Miller starting the game in long relief rather than the current rotation.
The Boston Red Sox are ready to go against the Cleveland Indians, hoping for better results against the Indians than they've had against, well, pretty much anybody else so far this season.
We'll keep you up to date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Indians 8, Red Sox 3, Final -- 12-19. Earlier this seemed like one of those games that might inspire some sort of response from the organization, like another late night press conference. But the fact that it all happened so early might mean just another night of silence.
Indians 8, Red Sox 3, Mid 9th -- Alfredo Aceves gives up a meaningless run in a meaningless ninth. The Indians will have Nick Hagadone, former Red Sox prospect on the mount to finish the game off.
Indians 7, Red Sox 3, End 8th -- Unfortunately, as great as Dustin Pedroia is, he can't do everything. The Sox' biggest chance of the night is snuffed out as, with the bases loaded, Pedroia chases ball four on a 3-1 count, popping up for the third out.
Indians 7, Red Sox 3, Mid 8th -- Franklin Morales gets in some very undeserved trouble, as Casey Kotchman ends up fouling off an inside pitch as he tried to avoid getting hit...and then gets sent to first on a terrible call by the umpire. Still, Hannahan flies out, and Damon grounds out to end the threat. It's unbelievable that the Sox are so bad given how well the bullpen has pitched of late.
Indians 7, Red Sox 3, End 7th -- Dustin Pedroia gives Sox fans something to cheer about with an opposite field shot. He deserves a better team than this.
Indains 7, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- Scott Atchison is giving up a lot of strong contact, but the Indians are hitting them right at defenders, so he's kept his pretty ERA intact.
Indians 7, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- Kelly Shoppach gets plunked, but Ryan Sweeney grounds into a play. That's gotta be the most annoying thing in the world for the guy getting hit. And the fans. Always the fans.
Indians 7, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- Scott Atchison gets himself in a little trouble with a pair of singles putting runners on the corners with one out, but Will Middlebrooks snags a line drive and Atchison gets Jason Kipnis to ground out to end the inning.
Indians 7, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- The Red Sox get a run back with hits from Adrian Gonzalez, Will Middlebrooks (off Derek Lowe's foot), and Daniel Nava, whose Pawtucket hot streak may have survived the jump to the majors. Unfortunately, there's still five more to go...
Indians 7, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- Andrew Miller out, Rich Hill in. A couple of dangerous fly balls to left-center stay in enough for Marlon Byrd to grab them in front of the wall before Hill settles it down with a strikeout of Shin-Soo Choo.
Indians 7, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- The Sox are trotting out their greatest hits tonight. A two-inning start, a lineup featuring a minor league backup batting sixth, and now a wasted bases loaded situation, as Ryan Sweeney makes the third out with the bags juiced and no runs in.
Indians 7, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- Johnny Damon manages to single on a pop-up that drops some ten feet behind the mound, but a couple of ground balls get Andrew Miller out of the inning with a fielder's choice and a double play.
Indians 7, Red Sox 1, End 3rd -- The Sox manage a pair of infield singles, but no runs, as Derek Lowe still seems to be rolling right along.
Indians 7, Red Sox 1 Mid 3rd -- From bad to worse for Beckett, who doesn't even make it into the third inning. A leadoff shot by Travis Hafner just sets the tone as Beckett surrenders a single, a walk, and two doubles before being yanked with a lost game to his name.
Indians 3, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- The Sox manage to grab a run thanks to the increasingly hot Adrian Gonzalez. A double to left field puts him in scoring position, and with two outs Mike Aviles manages to squeeze a seeing-eye single up the middle for the RBI.
Indians 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- After a strong first, Josh Beckett folds in the second. After striking out Carlos Santana and getting ahead of Shin-Soo Choo 0-2, Beckett completely lost the strikezone, eventually surrendering a walk. Michael Brantley quickly sliced a double to left, and a long fly ball to right scored Choo from third on a sacrifice fly.
The real damage, however, would come when Josh Beckett hung a changeup to Jack Hannahan. A player with all of 26 homers in 426 major league games, Hannahan made it 27 by finding the seats in right field. 3-0 Indians, same old story.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Bad news for the Red Sox: Derek Lowe has his sinker working. Ground balls from Ryan Sweeney and Dustin Pedroia got the Sox off on the wrong foot, and David Ortiz popped up to end the frame in rapid fashion.
Indians 0, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- The Red Sox are out of the first without any damage done. Johnny Damon goes down swinging on three pitches to start the game as Josh Beckett gets him with a sharp-breaking curveball. While Asdrubal Cabrera did manage a ground rule double down the right field line, Beckett induced a ground ball from Travis Hafner to end the threat.
The Red Sox and Indians will start a four-game series in Fenway Park Thursday night with the Sox still looking for that turn-around win. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST, with broadcasts on NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.
While the last position player called up from the minors in Will Middlebrooks has been nothing short of fantastic for the Red Sox, they cannot expect nearly so much from the man making his way up tonight. It's been a while since Daniel Nava last set foot in Fenway, but when last he left he did not appear to be much of a major league player--first pitch grand slams notwithstanding.
Still, Nava has suddenly found his stride at the plate in Pawtucket over the last few weeks, and right now the Sox will take any help they can get. All they can do is hope he provides some hits in another all-hands-on-deck year.
Boston Red Sox (12-18)
Cleveland Indians (17-13)
The Red Sox will take on the Indians after a nine game run which saw them take just two wins from the Athletics, Orioles, and Royals.
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