Buchholz: It's about the team

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Buchholz: It's about the team

BOSTON Clay Buchholz has pitched four consecutive quality starts. In that span he has allowed just four earned runs in 30 innings for a 1.20 ERA. In that span he has just one win. Entering Saturday nights game against the Twins, the Red Sox were 3-0 in the three previous games.

They are now 4-1.

The Sox fell to the Twins, 6-4, in yet another discouraging loss.

Buchholz went seven innings, giving up one unearned run on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

The lone run he allowed, in the fifth inning, was in part because of his own error, one of two he committed in the game. Both errors came on errant pick-off attempts. Buchholz entered the game with just one error this season. In 32 previous starts in 2011 and 2012 combined, he had a total of two errors. He committed that many within a span of 15 batters.

With one out in the fifth inning, Jamey Carroll reached on an infield single. With Denard Span, the next batter, at the plate, Buchholz attempted a pick-off but the throw was wild and Carroll took second. Span field out to center, but Ben Reveres swinging bunt stopped just in front of the plate. Catcher Kelly Shoppachs throw to first hit Revere, with Carroll coming around to score.

That was all the damage the Twins would do to Buchholz. He left with the Sox leading, 2-1.
An abysmal performance by the Sox pen, namely Andrew Miller and Alfredo Aceves, combined with a three-run home run by Joe Mauer -- with two outs on a 3-and-2 pitch in the ninth inning erased Buchholzs efforts.

Its not about me getting a win. Its about the team win, Buchholz said. Things happen where one run leads, they just dont hold up all the time.Its why this games humbling because things can happen like that, and just one pitch that you leave up or not exactly where you want it to go can end up out of the yard. Thats what happened.

Buchholz appeared to twist his ankle in the sixth, on the pitch that induced a 4-6-3 double play from Ryan Doumit. The trainer and manager Bobby Valentine came to the mound, but Buchholz stayed in, getting through the seventh unscathed.

He pitched great, Valentine said. I feel for him like I did for this whole team right now. He was, for whatever its worth, his arm felt good and his legs felt bad. He twisted his ankle and he didnt have the same stuff after that.

Despite Buchholzs performance, the Sox fell to 12-7 in his starts.

Its a tough one to swallow for sure, he said. But just got to have a short memory, forget about it, and come to the park tomorrow ready to play. Try to get this last game in the season with these guys and start a run. Thats what you do. We just need to be able to regroup a little bit and get back at it.

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.