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.