The Red Sox lost to the Rays 2-1 Wednesday night, leaving their winning streak snapped at five games thanks largely to a balk.
Despite Clay Buchholz pitching by far his best game of the year, the Sox would break their recent habit of getting ahead early. Hellickson managed to survive some early innings with loud contact thanks to good fielding and fortune, allowing the Rays to strike first.
Sadly, the run would come by way of the aforementioned balk. A single and hit by pitch put Clay Buchholz in a bad place to start the third, but a double play ball gave him two much-needed outs, giving him a chance to escape the inning unharmed. Buchholz would walk Will Rhymes, but get Jose Molina watching strike three to end the frame. Generally that would be enough to keep the run off the board, but sadly before striking Molina out, Buchholz ended up making an ill-advised throw to first without fully stepping off. The call was a balk, and a run-scoring one at that.
The Sox would make up the run in the fourth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting a two-out double and then scoring on a Daniel Nava single. The Rays responded within two inning, however, putting runners on the corners against Clay Buchholz to start the sixth on a pair of ground balls, leading Bobby V. to turn to his bullpen in a hurry. Andrew Miller would do a decent job, but a fly ball to right field ended up going for a sacrifice fly when Cody Ross stumbled making the catch, allowing Matt Joyce to break for home. The subsequent single would have scored the run anyways, however.
For the rest of the night the Sox' offense just couldn't get going, wasting a baserunner here or there but generally not showing up for Clay Buchholz to support his solid night of pitching. The bullpen was able to hold things down (though Franklin Morales made a show of it, and Will Rhymes passed out in frightening fashion at first base after getting hit in the arm with a mid-90s fastball), but with no more runs coming in, the game was already decided.
|Final - 5.16.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||X||2||8||0|
|WP: Jeremy Hellickson (4 - 0)
SV: Fernando Rodney (12)
LP: Clay Buchholz (4 - 2)