Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Drew Bails Out Buchholz On a Long Night

It wasn't one of the more attractive wins of the season, but it's still a W.

Clay Buchholz didn't have it on Monday night, and was in big trouble in the first inning. Two runs in, bases loaded, one out for the Twins. He was having lots of trouble locating his pitches, but he struck out the next two hitters to escape putting the Red Sox in a real hole.

Buchholz settled down, but did allow two more runs, mostly on doubles. He went six innings, allowed four runs. He was due for an off night, after six straight wins.

The Red Sox grinded out some runs, getting them on solo home runs by Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and Dustin Pedroia. (The Sox should have scored a run in the fifth, but umpire incompetence at a play at the plate nearly cost the Red Sox dearly.) Pedey's eighth inning blast put the Red Sox ahead, 5-4. But with Joel Hanrahan throwing in the pen (back as closer with Andrew Bailey put on the DL yesterday), I was thinking that might not be enough.

And sure enough, I was right. With one out, Hanrahan served up a meatball to Brian Dozier, and it was 5-5. He's allowed four HRs in four Fenway appearances. Later in the inning, Hanrahan left with right forearm tightness. The DL looks like a real possibility. I would guess Koji Uehara could become the interim closer until Andrew Bailey returns, as he closed for the Orioles a few years back.

Clayton Mortensen came on and pitched 2 1/3 innings, and got the win when the Sox got three straight hits with 2 outs in the 11th, and capped by Stephen Drew's fourth hit and third RBI of the night off the wall to give the Red Sox a tough 6-5 win. (Nice to see him interviewed on NESN afterward and not see him get that stupid "shaving cream-in-the-face" nonsense. The Sox have "been there before.")

David Ortiz doubled in the 8th inning, and extended his hit streak to 26 games.

The Red Sox again have MLB's best record at 21-11, and lead the AL East by two games.

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