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.