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.