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The Red Sox fell to the Blue Jays 5-1 Sunday afternoon, and it's no question where this one came from: Daniel Bard.
Bard would set the tone for his incredibly short outing with the first batter of the day, falling behind 3-0 and ultimately surrendering a five-pitch walk. With the second batter nearly a carbon copy of the first, Bard had two men on with Jose Bautista coming to the plate. Once again Bard fell behind, but this time rather than give up the walk, he gave up the meatball down the middle of the plate.
Jose Bautista is pretty good with those.
The ball left the park, and the Jays were up 3-0 in a hurry. While Bard would manage to escape that inning after another walk, a double play, and a very long fly ball that nearly made it 4-0, he went right back to walking batters in the second, and somehow managed to let two more runs come in without giving up a hit--aside from the two batters he hit on the hands.
Frankly, that's really all that happened in the game. Franklin Morales, Scott Atchison, and Rich Hill did well in relief to keep the Sox alive, but Drew Hutchison wasn't about to let them back into the game. A very disappointing offensive performance saw the Sox taking ill-advised swings against the inexperienced starter, with only Kelly Shoppach providing any real offense with a home run in the fifth.
It was a game that was over after all of two innings. The rest was just paperwork.
|Final - 6.3.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||6||1|
|Toronto Blue Jays||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||X||5||6||0|
|WP: Drew Hutchison (5 - 2)
LP: Daniel Bard (5 - 6)
The Red Sox are after a sweep Sunday afternoon, as they send Daniel Bard to the mound to take on Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays.
We'll keep you up-to-date with all the action as it goes down in Rogers Center.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, Final -- The Sox go relatively quietly in the ninth, and the game that has been over for more-or-less eight innings is now over officially.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, End 8th -- Rich Hill gives up a couple of singles, but escapes unharmed thanks to a caught stealing.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 8th -- The Sox are down to just one inning as the heart of the lineup goes in order.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, End 7th -- Scott Atchison relieves Franklin Morales and faces just three batters with the help of a double play ball.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 7th -- Nothing doing for the Sox in what seemed like a crucial inning. The Blue Jays are very close to putting this one away.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, End 6th -- Franklin Morales is surprisingly still in the game, but manages to get out of the sixth unharmed despite a very long fly ball that seemed destined for the stands off the bat of Rajai Davis that died on the track.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 6th -- The Blue Jays perhaps respond to the earlier hit batters by catching Youkilis on the shoulder. The third baseman is understandably upset at having the pitch come in towards his head, but takes his base and moves to second on a Mike Aviles single. A long fly ball seems like it's going to mean runs for the Red Sox, but unfortunately Rajai Davis is in left field, and covers a lot of ground to make the grab over his shoulder for the out.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Franklin Morales is doing yeoman's work out there today, but it seems like his time has run up. A long fly ball costs the Sox two bases when Daniel Nava makes an ugly attempt on it and lets it bounce off the wall. Credit to the left fielder, though, as he chases down the loose ball and catches David Cooper trying to make it three. The assist saves the Sox a run when Brett Lawrie singles in the next at bat before Morales finishes up the inning with a pop-up.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- Kelly Shoppach manages to lift a fly ball to center field which just keeps going, dropping over the wall to put the Sox on the board. Still, they're going to need a crooked number at some point if they want to make this one a game.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0, End 4th -- This time Franklin Morales gets his 1-2-3 inning. He's doing more than his fair share tonight. Too bad he wasn't called on to do it earlier.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- 1-2-3 go the Sox in the fourth, though Ryan Sweeney gives one a ride to left field. These guys don't have the look of a bunch that's going to recover from the early hole.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- Amazingly, the Sox don't have a disaster third! That's probably a lot to do with the fact that Daniel Bard didn't pitch it. Franklin Morales could have had a 1-2-3 frame, but a bad Nick Punto throw costs them an out before Morales picks up the slack again by striking out Rajai Davis.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- The Sox get their customary baserunner in the form of Kelly Shoppach, who takes a pitch to the elbow to start off the inning, but again can do nothing more.
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- It's hard to say what's worse: Daniel Bard's complete lack of control, or Bobby Valentine's negligence in leaving him in there as long as he did. Starting the inning off with two more walks, Bard would pick up a pair of strikeouts--one a complete gift from Rajai Davis, who apparently hadn't been watching the rest of the game and chased three straight balls--but immediately fell apart again, and in dangerous fashion. A ball inside to Yunel Escobar caught him on the wrist and then bounced into his face, a walk to Jose Bautista scored a run, and then another pitch inside to Edwin Encarnacion sounded like it broke some fingers. Franklin Morales would have to come in to clean up the mess.
For most of the inning, Bobby didn't even have someone warming in the pen, despite a 3-0 game still being very winnable and there being an off-day to rest the pen. After a couple weeks of decent decisions, Bobby went back to his April state of going completely catatonic, and possibly costing the Sox a chance at this game in the process.
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- The Sox get another hit, as Mike Aviles singles with two outs, but they strand their baserunner again as Nick Punto hits an easy ground ball to second for the out.
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Daniel Bard is off to one of the most pathetic starts you will ever see. Two straight 5-pitch walks set up Jose Bautista, who takes a couple of bad swings at bad pitches, but manages to foul them off, keeping him in the at bat until he gets a meatball over the plate and kills it for a three-run shot. Another walk makes it four straight to reach base to start the game, but Bard finally gets a reprieve when David Cooper grounds into a double play. Even the final out is scary, however, with Brett Lawrie just barely missing a home run.
Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0, Mid 1st -- The Sox get their first hit of the game, as Adrian Gonzalez lines a double to the wall in right field after falling behind 0-2 to Drew Hutchison. With two outs already recorded in the inning, however, David Ortiz can only hit a shallow fly ball to center field, ending the frame without damage.
The Red Sox will be after a sweep Sunday afternoon as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in Rogers Center. First pitch is at 1:07 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and the MLB Network.
The Sox will continue the lineup shuffle that has become so commonplace for the team since the return of Kevin Youkilis from the disabled list, with Will Middlebrooks the odd man out today. Adrian Gonzalez will be back at first, with Youkilis returning to his old home at third.
Boston Red Sox (28-25)
Toronto Blue Jays (27-26)
Six days ago, Boston Red Sox fans were holding their breath as it seemed Dustin Pedroia was again headed to the disable list, this time with a torn muscle in his right thumb. However, after a few days out of the lineup and a few solid batting practice sessions it looks like the Red Sox second basebmen is ready to make his return.
Barring a change of heart by the team, he’ll get today off and then return to the starting lineup on Tuesday.
“I’m ready to go,” Pedroia said. “They’re making me wait until after (tomorrow’s) off day. That’s the plan, but if an emergency happens, I’ll be ready.”
Initially, there was speculation that Pedroia's injured finger would keep him out for a month, but that's obviously not the case now.
“I hit today on the field and I felt normal,” he said. “Once I come back on Tuesday, there’s not going to be a problem. I’ll be out there every day.”
In Saturday's 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, Nick Punto provided three hits, including a double and a home run.
It was, to say the least, atypical of his performances-to-date.
How atypical? So much so that it boosted his OPS by a full third, from .417 up to .557. His slugging contributed the biggest difference, shooting up by more than 100 points.
That his power should rise so dramatically can be no surprise. Before Saturday, after all, Punto had just the one extra base hit--a double coming all the way back on April 8 against the Tigers. Not only did he replicate his double, but he added a homer, tripling the figure from one to three.
There's no question that Punto has been a wreck for the Sox thus far this year. His failures at the plate have not been mitigated by impressive play at the field, and it had been getting to the point that he was not only failing to reach base, but aiding struggling opposing pitchers out of bad siuations be it with a double play ball or by swinging away when the pitcher was clearly struggling to find the zone.
But should we now be expecting this to start the turnaround? Simply put, no. Punto has done this before on some level. He did it in Detroit when he last had a two-bagger, going 3-for-6 with his double against Detroit as he made a rare appearance in the leadoff spot. He would get one more hint in the month of May.
It''s possible Punto is feeling it now. The hits were hardly the bloopers that they were the last time he was effective. But for now, let's keep him batting ninth if at all, shall we Bobby V?
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Ross Ohlendorf has opted out of his deal with the Boston Red Sox, becoming a free agent.
Ross Ohlendorf has opted out of his deal with the Red Sox, MLBTR has learned. He is now a free agent.— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@mlbtrben) June 2, 2012
The 29-year-old pitcher started 10 games for the Red Sox Triple A affiliate in 2012. He pitched a total of 52.2 innings and sported an underwhelming ERA of 4.61; he struck out 37 batters, while walking 15.
Ohlendorf has been around a while. He's spent time in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system, the New York Yankees farm system, the Pirates farm system, and most recently, the Red Sox farm system. He has 392.2 career innings at the major league level, with a career ERA of 4.77 and 14 wins.
The Red Sox took a 7-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday afternoon thanks to contributions from an unlikely source in Nick Punto.
To say Nick Punto has had a bad start to 2012 would be an understatement. Hitting .132/.266/.151 in his first 53 at bats, Punto was perhaps making Sox fans wonder if the DH wasn't better used on him than on their pitcher. Finally, however, he came through with some hits.
HIs first came in what would be a big second inning for the Red Sox. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had already scored on a Will Middlebrooks hit after walking with one out and moving to third on a Ryan Sweeney single with two outs. Punto would keep the inning going by hugging the line in right with a line drive double, bringing Sweeney in to score and then coming home himself on a Daniel Nava single (which should have been an error on Colby Rasmus, who overran the line drive) that capped off a four-run frame.
The Jays would consistently manage to stay in the game. Jeff Mathis made it 4-1 when he took an outside fastball not even in the strike zone and managed to put a jolt into it, knocking a solo shot to right field. After the Sox scored a fifth in the top of the fourth, a fielding gaffe from Felix Doubront, a bunt, and a blooper were good to equal it in the bottom half of the inning.
That was just sort of the night Felix Doubront was having. He fooled Mathis into swinging at an outside pitch, and was rewarded with a homer. He almost makes a great defensive play, and it costs him a run (the ground ball he stopped was headed straight for Aviles). He paints a corner against Jose Bautista, and there's nothing in it for him but another homer. Still, Doubront would manage 6.1 innings of three-run ball (two earned), striking out seven and walking one. Even when things really aren't going his way, he's been able to keep the runs to a minimum.
The Sox would extend their lead back to three runs in the eighth on a ground out with the bases loaded, but again had the Jays respond in the bottom half of the inning, as Ryan Sweeney threw a ball all of about 10 feet in front of him in right to allow a runner to score from second. Ultimately, though, it would be Nick Punto who would have the last say, launching a very long shot to right field to make it 7-4 before Alfredo Aceves closed the game out with ease.
|Final - 6.2.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||7||8||2|
|Toronto Blue Jays||0||0||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||4||9||2|
|WP: Felix Doubront (6 - 2)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (14)
LP: Kyle Drabek (4 - 6)
The first round of the 2012 MLB Draft is scheduled for Monday, June 4, at 6 PM EST, televised on the MLB Network. The Boston Red Sox own two picks in this year's first round – the 24th and 31st.
ESPN's Keith Law recently published the third edition of his first round mock. Here's who he has going to the Red Sox:
Stryker Trahan, C, Acadiana H.S. (Lafayette, La.)
Trahan didn't have a great spring, but his tools are promising. I'm still hearing the Red Sox linked to Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin; I could see anything but a prep arm here.
Tanner Rahier, SS, Palm Desert (Calif.) H.S.
It's unlikely he'll stay at short, but he has a polished bat for a high school kid. I still think we won't see a high school arm for Boston until the sandwich round unless there's a signability guy who falls. (This selection is compensation from the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon.)
Five days ago, Red Sox second baseman, Dustin Pedrioa, tore a muscle in his right thumb. On Saturday, he participated in batting practice for the first time since suffering the injury.
Manager Bobby Valentine said the team hopes to avoid putting Pedroia on the disabled list. The team will monitor any pain or swelling in the thumb resulting from Saturday's session. His status will be reevaluated after the weekend.
The 28-year-old was having a typical 'Dustin Pedroia season' before suffering the injury. He's batting .295, with five home runs, 21 runs batted in, and three stolen bases on the season. He's making a little less contact than he has in years past. His contact percentage for his career is 90.7 – this season he's down to 87.5. It's not a drastic drop, but something to keep an eye on.
The Red Sox are out for a series win Saturday afternoon as they take on Kyle Drabek and the Blue Jays in Toronto.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Rogers Center.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4, Final -- Alfredo Aceves closes out the ninth 1-2-3, taking a series win and moving to fourth place in the division.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4, Mid 9th -- Nick Punto hit a home run. The sheer improbability of such an event means that the MLB will have to rule that this game never in fact happened, and any resulting Sox win will be null and void.
Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 4, End 8th -- Some interesting bullpen management, as Bobby Valentine keeps Albers out to give up a single, turns to one of the team's best relievers in Andrew Miller, and then removes him after he records one out on one pitch.
It doesn't end up being that bit of...creativity that costs the Sox a run, since Vicente Padilla has proven capable in his own right, but rather an embarrassing error from Ryan Sweeney, who seems to have a complete brain meltdown after a single, double pumping and then throwing the ball about 10 feet away from him, forcing the right fielder to chase it down all the way behind second base and allowing the inherited runner to score. That's the first one to do so with Padilla on the mound--he'd been perfect cleaning up the messes of others until now.
Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3, Mid 8th -- The Sox pick up a helpful insurance run in the 8th as a single and two walks load the bases with one out, allowing the run to come across on Ryan Sweeney's groundout.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3, End 7th -- Felix Doubront's night is done after a strikeout of Kelly Johnson gives him the first out of the seventh. Matt Albers comes in and puts a fright into Sox fans by giving up one of the loudest fly balls you'll ever see not leave the park to Jose Bautista, but with it dying just short of the wall Daniel Nava was able to make the grab and end the inning.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3, Mid 7th -- A two-out rally by the Red Sox goes wanting, as Jason Frasor replaces Kyle Drabek and strikes out Mike Aviles with men on second and third to end the inning. It doesn't quite feel like it because of the fast start for Boston and sort of nickle-and-dime scoring by the Jays, but Toronto is still very much in this game with nine outs in their pocket to work with.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3, End 6th -- Felix Doubront puts the Blue Jays away in short order, picking up his sixth strikeout and ending the inning with his eighth pitch of the frame.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3, Mid 6th -- Kyle Drabek, unlike his Red Sox counterpart, has been pitching worse, arguably, than the results show. Everything seems to be on a line against him, but he's got fielders running down balls at the track or making great snags in the infield. Kevin Youkilis is the latest victim of such an event, as he lines out to Yunel Escobar to end the sixth.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3, End 5th -- The Blue Jays inch inexorably closer as Jose Bautista does what he does and hooks a corner-painting outside fastball into and out of left field for the solo shot. Doubront has been pitching pretty well for the most part, but the results haven't been terribly clean thus far.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 2, Mid 5th -- An awful lot of contact is made by the Red Sox, who hit a pair of sharp fly balls back towards the track, and another fliner to center, but none of them find ground, leaving Drabek the owner of another 1-2-3 inning.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 2, End 4th -- A tough luck inning for Felix Doubront gives the Jays back their run. A two-out ground ball back to the third-base side of the mound could have been an out for Mike Aviles, but Felix Doubront went chasing it and knocked it to the ground, resulting in a base runner. An unexpected bunt from Jeff Mathis gave the Jays another, before a blooper from Kelly Johnson to left scored the run.
Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1, Mid 4th -- A hot start for the Sox does not, perhaps, result in the level of production they were hoping for, as Kevin Youkilis leads off with a double that turns into three bases on an errant throw from Jose Bautista and Ryan Sweeney walks to put runners on the corners with nobody out. The Sox do bring the run in, but it's on a Will Middlebrooks double play, leaving the bases empty afterwards.
Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1, End 3rd -- Felix Doubront manages to limit the damage from what seemed to be gearing up to be a disaster inning in the third. Somehow Jeff Mathis of all people manages to hit a fastball outside and not even over the plate on the screws, sending a solo home run to right. A pair of line drives follow, leaving two men on and two out, and an error by Mike Aviles at short not only leaves the bases loaded, but have the Sox concerned for the health of his throwing hand. Doubront manages to escape the jam, however, inducing a pop-up from Colby Rasmus to end the inning.
Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 0, Mid 3rd -- Kyle Drabek rebounds in the third, pitching a 1-2-3 inning against the heart of the Boston lineup, striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the frame.
Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 0, End 2nd -- Felix Doubront suffers the repercussions of all these 3-ball counts as he offers up a leadoff walk to start the second, but he bounces back by striking out Colby Rasmus before getting a pair of fly balls, which Adrian Gonzalez handles with ease in right field.
Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 0, Mid 2nd -- A start like this makes you think this one is Boston's to lose. While Kyle Drabek is able to retire both David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis on strikeouts around a walk of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Sox go to work with two outs and put up a big inning. Ryan Sweeney keeps the team alive by singling to right, bringing Will Middlebrooks to the plate, who smacks a base hit over Jose Bautista's head to plate Salty from third.
Two miracles then serve to quadruple the lead: first, Nick Punto actually manages not just to reach base, but to lace a double down the right field line to bring in another run. Daniel Nava also manages to make hard contact, but seems to have hit into an out at Colby Rasmus moves to make the catch, only to have the ball drop just in front of his glove and onto his shoe. The should-be-error is scored a hit, but more importantly, between Punto and Nava's hits, three runs come in to score.
Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0, End 1st -- Felix Doubront returns the 1-2-3 favor in a unique manner. Despite falling behind 3-0 to Kelly Johnson, Doubront manages to battle back and strike out the second baseman when he dials up his fastball an extra few MPH to 93. Another 3-0 count somehow results in another out, as Escobar zips a ground ball back up the middle but right into Doubront's outstretched glove for something of a stylish assist. Will Middlebrooks finished the inning off with a good play of his own, grabbing a sharp ground ball down the third base line and making a strong throw to first to end the inning.
Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0, Mid 1st -- Yunel Escobar saves Kyle Drabek's 1-2-3 inning by making a tremendous ranging play to his left to grab a ground ball seemingly destined for the outfield, spinning and firing to first to get Mike Aviles by the slimmest of margins. With the ground out surrounded by fly outs from Daniel Nava and Adrian Gonzalez, the Sox do not so much as threaten in the first.
The Red Sox are once again putting offense first as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in Rogers Center Saturday afternoon. First pitch is at 1:07 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.
Adrian Gonzalez will be back in right field as the Sox look pack as much power into their lineup as possible. Scott Podsednik will be the odd man out in the outfield, with Ryan Sweeney moving to center field and Daniel Nava remaining in left.
The oddest part of this new order is the placement of Mike Aviles, who will bat second despite his typical difficulties against right-handed pitchers such as Drabek. It would seem a spot much more suited to Ryan Sweeney, batting seventh, or Will Middlebrooks, hitting eighth.
Boston Red Sox (27-25)
Toronto Blue Jays (27-25)
The Red Sox have not had much in the way of consistent starting pitching this year. Jon Lester has been unreliable, giving up four runs as often as not. Josh Beckett, though often very good, has also twice fallen completely apart and allowed seven runs. Daniel Bard has managed to keep runs off the board often enough, but has done so in a manner that never suggests he's likely to continue. Only Felix Doubront has really impressed with any regularity.
But Clay Buchholz has been consistent, too. Just consistently bad--at least until these last two games.
We've seen Buchholz occasionally show signs of promise this year, with performances that were good for all but one inning, or where he stuck it out and survived without his best stuff. But Friday and his previous game against Tampa Bay were the first times we've seen him be truly impressive, and in back-to-back starts no less. Going eight innings and allowing just two runs, striking out seven while walking just two, Clay Put together the sort of game you'd be happy with from any pitcher in the league.
What really got him there was his fastball.
Clay has always struggled with fastball command. It's been an achilles heel all year, with batters able to get ahead as they watch fastballs sail outside and then sit on breaking pitches of the occasional 3-0, 3-1 gift meatballs over the heart of the plate. This was not the situation last night. Between his cutter, two-seamer, and four-seamer, Buchholz was able to find the zone nearly 70% of the time. With something like a 7 MPH gap between his slowest cutter and fastest heater, Buchholz was able to keep the Jays off balance even when all they were seeing was fastballs, leading to a decent number of ground balls in big situations, working at first the changeup and then in later innings the curveball in to keep them further off-balance.
On any given night, Clay seems to have at least one pitch working, but this may be the first time he's had them all. Perhaps more impressive was how he seemed to gain feel for the curve as the night went on, overcoming a difficulty rather than shutting down at the first sign of one as we've seen in the past couple of months.
There's no telling for sure if this is just a fluke run where Clay happens to be feeling his stuff or if he's really back, be it from injury or simply ineffectiveness. But it's certainly a good sign that he went about it the way he did. There was nothing fluky about the game itself--it was just a well pitched baseball game from a man who very much needs to put a few together.
The Red Sox took game one of their series against the Blue Jays 7-4 Friday night, putting them in a tie for fourth place with Toronto in a stacked AL East.
Clay Buchholz took the mound hoping to build on one of his few solid starts on the year, and finally did just that. After allowing just two runs in seven innings against the Rays on May 27, Buchholz utilized his full arsenal Friday to improve to eight innings of two-run ball.
Starting with primarily his fastball and changeup, Buchholz managed to pick up a lackluster defensive effort in the first to keep the Jays off the board, and got through the second with little trouble. The Jays would finally score on him in the third, with Yunel Escobar taking an errant changeup deep for a run, but from there Buchholz just grew. Incorporating his curveball and changing speeds, Buchholz would finish the sixth inning still with just one run on the board, striking out the side in order to climb to six punchouts on the night.
The Sox, meanwhile, had given him a lead to work with. David Ortiz got things started with a solo shot in the second, and a quick two-out rally from Daniel Nava and Adrian Gonzalez would make it 2-0 in the top of the third. The 2-through-4 hitters would provide this sort of production all night, combining to go 9-for-13 with a walk, four doubles, and a home run.
The Sox finally managed to pad their one-run lead in the sixth, though it involved them more-or-less wasting a bases loaded, zero outs situation by pushing just one run across. The waste would look a lot less serious when, come the seventh, they unloaded on Luis Perez, picking up four straight two-out hits from the top of the order to build the lead to 7-1.
Clay Buchholz would suffer a second homer when David Cooper took him deep to left in the bottom half of the seventh, but completed the rest of the inning as well as the eighth to finish the night with eight innings and two runs on six hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts--an excellent effort by any measurement. Scott Atchison closed out the ninth, and the Sox moved to 27-25 on the season.
|Final - 6.1.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||1||1||0||0||1||4||0||0||7||15||2|
|Toronto Blue Jays||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||7||0|
|WP: Clay Buchholz (5 - 2)
LP: Henderson Alvarez (3 - 5)
The Red Sox are looking for a good start to a new month and a short road trip as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays in Rogers Center.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down up north.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2, Final -- And the Red Sox win. Scott Atchison once again keeps runs off the board, finishing up what Clay Buchholz started.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2, Mid 9th -- Daniel Nava puts a cap on his good night by doubling down the left field line, but the Sox don't score him, and we're headed to the bottom of the ninth with the Sox up by five.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2, End 8th -- Despite a pair of ground ball singles, Clay Buchholz is able to finish off a tremendous start which may have fans finally feeling a little better about having him on the mound next time around. He had his changeup working early, got his curveball involved late, and changed speeds with his fastball from 89 to 94 MPH to keep hitters off-balance. Almost a work of art, this one.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2, Mid 8th -- Will Middlebrooks picks up his first hit of the game, but the Sox otherwise go quietly in the eighth.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2, End 7th -- Like Felix Doubront a few games ago, Clay Buchholz is getting punished for every mistake he makes. The good news is that he hasn't made many. A fastball to David Cooper stays up and over the plate, where Cooper is able to make good contact and shoot it just barely over the wall in left field for a 2-out solo shot. A walk to Rajai Davis gives the inkling that Buchholz may be losing it late, but he comes back to strike out Kelly Johnson and end the inning.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1, Mid 7th -- Henderson Alvarez, for all that he wasn't really amazing tonight, certainly seems much better now that we have Luis Perez to compare him to. Perez enters the game after Alvarez allows a ground rule double to Ryan Sweeney, and manages to get Nick Punto when the second baseman chooses to slide into first rather than simply run through the bag, which likely would have made the throw too late.
The baserunning gaffe doesn't end up being too costly, however, as the Sox go nuts with two outs. Scott Podsednik does beat out an infield single to score Sweeney from third, and then scores himself on a Daniel Nava gapper. Nava scores himself on Adrian Gonzalez' single, and with Gonzalez moving to second on the throw, he's able to score as well on David Ortiz' single, giving the Sox the big lead.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1, End 6th -- No question about it: Clay Buchholz has his second straight impressive start, perhaps signaling a return to form. No matter what happens from here, Clay's first six innings--culimating in striking out the side in order in the sixth, including freezing Jose Bautista on a sharp curve after getting him twice on high heat--constitute an impressive outing in their own right.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1, Mid 6th -- The Red Sox score again, but fail to take full advantage of a big situation when a single, double, and walk from Daniel Nava, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz respectively load the bases without an out on the board. A ground ball from Jarrod Saltalamacchia brings one in, but then the Jays turn two off of Will Middlebrooks to end the threat.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1, End 5th -- Clay Buchholz get himself out of a jam after a leadoff double and walk to David Cooper and Rajai Davis by striking out Kelly Johnson on primarily changeups and then getting Yunel Escobar to ground into a double play. He's been pitching like the good old Buchholz, rather than the 2012 Buchholz--and that makes two starts in a row where he's done that.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1, Mid 5th -- Henderson Alvarez takes a leadoff single off the shin that has him on the ground and in some pain before retaking the mound to face Nick Punto, who promptly grounds into a double play because that's just the sort of thing he does. Scott Podsednik follows up with a ground ball of his own to make it another 1-2-3 inning, albeit one with a hit.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1, End 4th -- Clay rebounds from his earned run in the third by working around a sharply hit single to get out of the inning without too much trouble. He took something off the fastball this inning, getting batters to hit into easy outs with some late movement.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1, Mid 4th -- The Red Sox go 1-2-3, and are really not doing what they should against Alvarez. driving three straight balls into the ground. They can afford to wait for their pitch more than they have thus far.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1, End 3rd -- Clay Buchholz seemed to have his changeup going early, but he hangs one to Yunel Escobar up-and-in, and Escobar obliges him by taking it over the wall in left-center to give the Jays a run before Jose Bautista again strikes out on high heat to end the inning.
Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0 Mid 3rd -- The Sox put together a two-out rally, with a Daniel Nava double and Adrian Gonzalez single proving enough to make it a 2-0 Boston lead.
Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0, End 2nd -- Clay Buchholz just barely grazes the uniform of Colby Rasmus to start the inning, but gets three quick outs after that to end the inning.
Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0, Mid 2nd -- David Ortiz continues his torrid revival by going deep to left-center to start the inning, giving the Red Sox the first hit and run of the game. Ryan Sweeney adds a second hit, but Mike Aviles fails to clear the Punto, grounding out to end the inning.
Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0, End 1st -- An unusual sight in the bottom of the inning as it's Clay Buchholz picking up a struggling defense, as compared to the other way around. Buchholz appears to have the first at bat over with when he gets a pop-up to center, but Kelly Johnson is granted the base on catcher interference. The next at bat also seems like an out until Mike Aviles, ranging to his right, lets the ball bounce out of his glove for another error.
With Buchholz falling behind Jose Bautista 3-0, it was so easy to see this game falling apart in the first inning, but Buchholz would not let that happen. Fighting back, Clay would get Jose Bautista swinging at high heat for the first strike, and then quickly induce a double play from Edwin Encarnacion to end the inning with only 16 pitches on his arm. Not bad for an inning with two errors.
Red Sox 0, Blue Jays 0, Mid 1st -- Not a good start for the Red Sox. Scott Podsednik shows the sole sign of life by just missing a double into the left field corner, foul. He makes another bid for it with his next swing, but Rajai Davis makes an impressive running grab to rob him of at least one base. Daniel Nava and Adrian Gonzalez do not come so close to a hit, with Gonzalez giving Henderson Alvarez his 19th strikeout of the season in some 67 innings. Not impressive.
The Red Sox are set to take on the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night, opening June with a three-game set against their division rivals from north of the border. First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. EST with broadcasts by NESN, the MLB Network, and WEEI.
Kevin Youkilis will be the odd man out in the infield on Friday, as the Sox turn to Daniel Nava, Scott Podsednik, and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield, keeping Adrian Gonzalez at first. The past 24 hours have seen plenty of action surrounding Youkilis and the possibility of a trade, but he's done a good job of proving he can still hit in his first week back. A day off will more likely do him good than harm.
Boston Red Sox (26-25)
Toronto Blue Jays (27-24)
"That's inaccurate," Cherington e-mailed WEEI.com Friday afternoon. "Some teams have checked in on him. We haven't told any teams we plan to trade him. It's our job to listen if teams have interest. He's swinging the bat well since coming off the DL and [is] a big part of our team and lineup."
CBS Sports baseball reporter Danny Knobler had tweeted Friday morning that the Red Sox are "telling teams they definitely intend to trade Youkilis."
The 33-year old Youkilis is batting .250 with four home runs and 12 RBI through 27 games of an injury-riddled 2012 campaign. He has boosted his production since coming off the disabled list, hitting .313 with two home runs over his last nine games.