Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bullpen Fails Sox To Drop Series Finale (23-24)

Buchholz had his best start
so far this year
If the Red Sox had won today's game against the Rays, not only would they be above .500, but they also would be in fourth place with the Blue Jays also losing to the Rangers. However, it was not to be in a tough loss. Both Clay Buchholz and Jeremy Hellickson were dominant over the first few innings, but the first run crossed the board in the fourth inning. With one out in the inning, Matt Joyce knocked an easy double down the first base line. However, the problem came when Adrian Gonzalez (playing right field for only his second time in Fenway Park) botched the throw to Dustin Pedroia-- the cutoff man-- to allow Joyce to get to third base with just an out. This set up an easy RBI for Ben Zobrist, who merely grounded out to first to give the Rays a 1-0 lead. There were several more scoreless innings until the seventh, when it was Sean Rodriguez playing wall ball for a one out double. The Rays would tack onto their lead on a first pitch bloop single by Will Rhymes to make things 2-0.

Gonzalez hit his fourth home
run this season
However, the Red Sox would answer in just about the best possible way in the bottom of the seventh. They put runners at first and second with a walk and single for Adrian Gonzalez with no outs. Gonzalez delivered by dropping Hellickson's pitch into the monster seats for a three-run homer to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Clay Buchholz would be taken out of the game after the seventh in a position to win and with a 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K line-- lowering his ERA from 7.84 to 7.19 on the year. Franklin Morales and Vicente Padilla combined for a perfect eighth before the Red Sox stranded a bases loaded situation in the eighth-- something that would turn into a game changer for Boston. Heading into the ninth, Alfredo Aceves came in to pitch for the Red Sox and walked the leadoff man Ben Zobrist. Luke Scott popped up before Sean Rodriguez crushed a 3-1 pitch over the monster and onto Lansdowne Street. The Sox went 1-2-3 in the ninth to lose the game 4-3 and lose the series as well.

Bright Spots:
Clay Buchholz- 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Kevin Youkilis- 2-3, 1 R
Adrian Gonzalez- 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Scott Podsednik- 2-3

Dull Spots:
Alfredo Aceves- 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, BS (3), L (0-2)
Mike Aviles- 0-3, 1 LOB
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 0-4, 1 LOB
Daniel Nava- 0-4, 2 K, 1 LOB

Player of the Game:
Clay Buchholz- Buchholz pitched well as things are certainly trending up for the righty-- he allowed just two runs in seven innings to become 4-2/7.19/33 on the season.

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