Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox are out to make it two straight out of the gates in the second half as they take on David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Rays 5, Red Sox 3, End 8th -- A BJ Upton homer makes it a 2-run game headed to the ninth.
Rays 4, Red Sox 3, Mid 8th -- The Sox waste two more baserunners. A leadoff double from Ellsbury prompts a bump attempt from Pedro Ciriaco, but it goes back over the head of Molina, who turns and makes an excellent grab to waste the out for the Red Sox. A walk from David Ortiz makes it two on with one out, but with Joel Peralta in for David Price the Sox see both Cody Ross and Will Middlebrooks fly out to end the threat.
Rays 4, Red Sox 3, End 7th -- And Buccholz' night comes to an unfortunate end as he tires late. A walk and hit-by-pitch put two men on before the Rays gift him an out with a sacrifice bunt. Matt Albers is called on to first intentionally walk Hideki Matsui, and then hopefully get outs.
Instead, he unintentionally walks Jose Lobaton to bring in the tying run, and surrenders a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 in the late going. It's a good night for Buchholz on the whole, but with an unfortunate ending half his fault and half Albers'.
Red Sox 3, Rays 2, Mid 7th -- The Sox go down in order in the seventh, leaving the lead at just the one run headed to the bottom half of the eighth.
Red Sox 3, Rays 2, End 6th -- Carlos Pena strikes out, giving Clay Buchholz his eighth K of the night before a pair of ground balls see the team through to the seventh with the lead. It's a great return for Buchholz after his break, so long as he doesn't fall apart in the seventh. Given his 79 pitches, he'll probably at least get a few batters.
Red Sox 3, Rays 2, Mid 6th -- A one-out walk is all the Sox manage off of Price in the sixth, as the lefty does settle down this time around. Except that it ends up being good enough for a run, as a passed ball sends him to second, a ground ball moves him to third, and an errant throw to third from David Price lets him come home before Mike Aviles popped out to end the inning.
Red Sox 2, Rays 2, End 5th -- Where the Sox didn't manage to score with runners on first and second and zero outs, the Rays manage it after just a leadoff double. A sacrifice bunt and an error from Mike Aviles are enough to bring Jeff Keppinger home before Buchholz strikes out the last two batters to end the inning.
Red Sox 2, Rays 1, Mid 5th -- David Price doesn't exactly settle down in the fifth, but he still manages to escape with the tie intact. Leadoff baserunners in Kelly Shoppach (walk) and Brent Lillibridge (single) would go unrewarded despite Price managing not a single really solid out. Daniel Nava went down on a line drive, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to load the bases. Another hard hit fliner to right still found Ben Zobrist's glove, and while the distance looked like enough to get the man home from third, Kelly Shoppach is not a fast runner. A strong throw reached home before Shoppach, and the Sox had their inning come to a disappointing end.
Red Sox 2, Rays 1, End 4th -- Clay bounces back from his third-inning troubles with a 1-2-3 fourth, with a Ben Zobrist pop-up being the best the Rays managed off the young righty. Otherwise, it was a pair of strikeouts for B.J. Upton and Luke Scott, leaving Clay with five on the night.
Red Sox 2, Rays 1 Mid 4th -- And just like that the Sox are on top. After a leadoff single from David Ortiz got the Sox their second hit of the game, Will Middlebrooks got an 0-2 fastball down and in and put a smooth swing on it, launching a two-run shot to left-center that gave the Sox the 2-1 lead.
Rays 1, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- A pair of singles is all it takes to put a run on the board against Buchholz thanks to their placement at the beginning of the third inning. The leadoff knocks come from Desmond Jennings and Jose Molina, putting runners on the corners without an out. While Clay managed to limit the damage to as little as could be hoped for, that both hits were line drives and all three outs came on long fly balls is not a terribly encouraging sign.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 3rd -- David Price goes back to the 1-2-3 inning in the third, sending Jacoby Ellsbury to 1-for-7 since his return with a not-terribly-dangerous fly ball to left field that ends the frame.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, End 2nd -- Clay Buchholz keeps right on rolling in the second, striking out BJ Upton with a mean fastball that tails back across the outside part of the plate before getting a pair of ground ball outs to short to end the inning.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 2nd -- The Red Sox grab their first baserunner of the game as Mike Aviles shoots a ground ball up the middle for a single, but the hit comes with two outs and Price manages to strike out Kelly Shoppach behind him to keep the Sox from making anything more out of it.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, End 1st -- Clay Buchholz seems to be rust-free after his esophagitis-induced layoff. After spotting the inside corner with a 1-2 pitch to strike out Elliot Johnson, Buchholz gets a lazy fly ball to shallow left for the second out, and finished up the inning by going back to the inside part of the plate against Ben Zobrist for another strikeout. That's two-per-side through the first.
Red Sox 0, Rays 0, Mid 1st -- Bad signs for the Red Sox and perhaps the game in general as David Price picks up a 1-2-3 inning in the first, striking out both Pedro Ciriaco and David Ortiz in the process.
While Price will certainly be happy with the results, there is reason to be concerned for how frustrating this game may end up for both teams, as home plate umpire Jeff Nelson rang up Ortiz on a 2-2 pitch that was right where he'd just called two balls. Inconsistency in the calls rarely helps to make a game enjoyable.