After another loss, all Buchholz can do is look towards 2013

877379.jpg

After another loss, all Buchholz can do is look towards 2013

BOSTON In a rematch of his last outing, Clay Buchholz was opposed by the Rays Cy Young contender David Price. In his last game, Buchholz escaped with a no-decision while the Red Sox suffered the loss in Tampa Bay on Thursday. Buchholz was not as fortunate Tuesday night at Fenway Park, as he took the loss as the Sox again fell to the Rays, 5-2.

Buchholz went six innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts. His record fell to 11-7 while his ERA rose to 4.22.

The Rays did all their damage in two innings. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Buchholz walked Evan Longoria and Luke Scott to lead off the second Scott on four pitches. Jeff Keppinger followed that with a first-pitch home run giving the Rays all the runs they would need.

In the sixth, though, Tampa Bay added two more runs. After striking out Scott to open the inning, Buchholz gave up a back-to-back singles to Keppinger and Matt Joyce, before getting Carlos Pena to hit into a fielders choice, retiring Joyce and sending Keppinger to third. Keppinger scored on a Jose Molinas single to left with Pena scoring on an error by Daniel Nava.

I thought Clay was really good, said manager Bobby Valentine. The second inning, first time in a long time walked two guys in a row. Just didnt have a good feel for any of his pitches and then threw one down the middle that put us down 3-0. But other than that he was really good until we didnt turn the double play and he left one up to Molina, a couple runs.

Price earned the win, pitching a complete game to improve to 19-5 with a 2.56 ERA. He recorded a season-high 13 strikeouts, one shy of his career high.

Just one of those nights, Buchholz said. Didnt really have a feel for the command of pitches that I usually have over the past couple of months. Fastballs in the area that I didn't want to throw them in. One of those games. Havent felt that way since all the trouble was going on early in the season and it was time it happened sooner or later. You want to go out there and win but when you dont have a feel for a pitch that you want to throw for a strikeits tough to go out there and win and play against a team two times in a row.

Buchholz left his last start after seven innings and just 94 pitches with soreness in his back. He said that was not an issue on Tuesday.

It has been a mixed season for Buchholz. He tied his career high with his 28th start on Tuesday, and has pitched a career high 187 23 innings with 127 strikeouts. He spent time on the DL. Buchholz has lost a career-high four straight decisions, going back to Aug. 22, a span of seven starts. In his previous 11 starts, he had gone 7-1.

I feel good, he said. Thats the best part about it. My body feels strong. I dont feel hampered in any fashion as far as my shoulder or elbow being tired. I feel good, yeah. I mean, I would have liked to have gotten to that point of 200 innings but doesnt look like Im going to make it.

Id have been satisfied if I started the way I wanted to start, he said. Numbers in this game, thats how everybody determines if youve had a bad year. I felt like I did a lot better than a lot of people thought I was going to do after the rough start, so if I can just build off that and be that ready coming in spring training next year and start of the season thatll be better.

This year as a whole will leave a sour taste in a lot of guys mouth to know that you dont want to be at that point again. Its taught everybody in this clubhouse to be prepared and do what they have to do to be ready for spring next year and the season.

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.

 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees:

 

QUOTES:

"I went 0-for-5 today, so I ain't got (anything) to talk about.'' - David Ortiz after turning around and seeing a small army of reporters waiting for him in front of his locker.

"To have a chance to clinch the division for us here (and come up sort), it's not acceptable. If my offense scores me four runs, I feel like I should be able to go out there and win.'' - David Price.

"The bottom line story to this one was (Price) mislocating within the strike zone.'' - John Farrell.

 

NOTES:

* Boston's season-best 11-game win streak was snapped with the loss.

* David Price took his first loss since Aug. 7.

* Price is 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season.

* Aaron Hill contributed his first pinch-hit homer in his career.

* Mookie Betts saw his streak of reaching base in 38 straight road games stopped.

* Dustin Pedroia posted his third straight multi-hit game.

* For the 20th time this season, Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a three-hit game.

* In his last 12 games, Andrew Benintendi has eight extra-base hits.

* Hill's pinch-hit homer was the third by the Red Sox this month.

 

STARS:

1) Tyler Austin

The rookie first baseman snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run homer and also added two more hits in three at-bats.

2) Gary Sanchez

The first-year catcher continues to amaze, hitting his 20th homer in only his 51st game, sending the Yanks out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

3) Luis Cessa

Cessa took a big step forward from his last start against the Red Sox by keeping them scoreless through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.