Friday, June 8, 2012

Buchholz Tosses Shutout As Sox Avoid Sweep (29-28)

Buchholz threw a shutout,
his best outing by far
Things were looking bleak for the Red Sox after losing seven consecutive ballgames at home to the Orioles. The O's had won the first two games of the series and another win would push the Red Sox below .500. However, the Red Sox fought to stay above .500, starting very early in the game. They loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a single in the first inning. After working a long at bat, Adrian Gonzalez ripped a ball down the first base line-- a double that scored two in the first. The Sox got right back to business in the second inning, loading the bases with no outs this time. Dustin Pedroia grounded a potential double play ball to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Hardy flipped the ball to second to secure an out, but the second baseman Robert Andino airmailed the throw into the stands to allow two runs to score and make it 4-0. The Red Sox just kept rolling along as Adrian Gonzalez singled up the middle to lead off the third inning. Buck Showalter noticed the inevitable and pulled Brian Matusz out of the game with a Bard-like 2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB line.

Buchholz lowered his ERA
from 6.58 to 5.77
Reliever Miguel Gonzalez got the next two outs, but also surrendered a double to Darnell McDonald which put runners at second and third with two outs for Daniel Nava. As usual, Nava delivered, hitting a line drive through the hole and into right field to score two runs and give the Red Sox a commanding 6-0 lead. While neither team scored for the next several innings, the Red Sox did accomplish one thing: working the Orioles' bullpen as Gonzalez, who may have started Saturday, had to throw 55 pitches from the bullpen. The Red Sox would score an insurance run in the eight inning after a one out double for Daniel Nava. With two outs and Nava on second, Kevin Youkilis delivered with a line drive double down the third base line to score Nava and make it 7-0. Clay Buchholz had dominated the Orioles all night long-- and a strong ninth led to a shutout for the righty-- the first by any Red Sox pitcher this year.

Bright Spots:
Clay Buchholz- 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, W (6-2)
Daniel Nava- 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBI
Kevin Youkilis- 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez- 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Darnell McDonald- 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 2B

Dull Spots:
Mike Aviles- 0-4, 1 K, 4 LOB

Player of the Game:
Clay Buchholz- After good starts in his last few times out for Buchholz, he really put it all together with a shutout last night-- he is now 6-2/5.77/46 this year.

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