Buchholz, Pedroia help salvage finale with O's

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Buchholz, Pedroia help salvage finale with O's

BALTIMORE And on the third day, the Red Sox were finally the victors.

After taking gut punches in the first two games of the series against the Orioles, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz both came through Thursday night in a 6-3 victory at Camden Yards.

Pedroia went 2-for-4 with an RBI and energized his teammates with his frenetic play in the field and running the bases while Buchholz continued to keep his teammates in a game that would have battered his fellow starting rotation mates. Buchholz (11-3) scattered eight hits and three walks in eight innings. He allowed three runs in the first two innings before settling into the game.

The seven strikeouts were also a clear sign of his dominant stuff while sewing his team-leading 11th win of the season, and his seventh win in his last eight decisions.

Those first two frames were a little rough as a two-run Adam Jones double in the first frame and a Mark Reynolds homer to start the second inning both greeted the Sox righthander. But he buckled down after that and allowed only two hits the rest of the way.

The Sox offense scratched for one run in the top of the second when a Scott Podsednik RBI single knocked in Nick Punto, and then the Boston bats pushed Chris Tillman out of the contest in the fifth inning. Carl Crawford and Dustin Pedroia got things going with a one-out single and double respectively, and then Crawford scored on a wild pitch.

That set things up for an Adrian Gonzalez sacrifice fly to center. Pedroia narrowly beat out a Jones' laser beam throw from the outfield. The Sox second baseman popped up, pumped his fist and seemed to energize the entire bench while exerting the energy of somebody playing for their reputation.

The sac fly tied things up and set the stage for a sixth-inning rally to win the game against reliever Luis Ayala. Podsednik started things off with a double and then moved to third after a fielders choice from Crawford.

Pedroia, Gonzalez and Cody Ross all slammed RBI singles to hand Boston a three-run lead before Gonzalez was gunned down at third after Pedroia crossed the plate with the sixth run. Ross ended up leading the Sox with three hits and was one of five Sox players with multi-hit efforts.

Alfredo Aceves closed things out for his 24th save and gave the Sox something to build on as they head into the Bronx for an urgent series against the hated Yankees.

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

 

1) The same problem remains for Joe Kelly

As a starter, no one doubted Kelly's fastball, and the velocity with which he threw it. But the problem was, Kelly's fastball was often quite straight, and most major league hitters can hit a fastball without movement, no matter how hard it's thrown.

In his first appearance as a reliever for the Red Sox, the same problem reared its head.

Kelly started off Justin Upton with a 99 mph fastball. After an 89 mph slider, Kelly next threw a 101 mph fastball.

But Upton drove it on a line to the triangle for a triple, and two batters later, trotted home on a soft flare to center by James McCann.

Velocity is one thing and can produce some swings-and-misses. But ultimately, Kelly is going to need more than straight gas to get hitters out.

 

2) Drew Pomeranz was miles better in his second start

Pomeranz failed to get an out in the fourth inning of his Red Sox debut and was charged with five runs.

So when Pomeranz -- who allowed just one hit through the first three innings Monday night -- allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Cabrera to start the fourth, there was uneasy sense of deja vu at Fenway.

But Pomeranz quickly erased Cabrera on a double play and through five innings had allowed just three hits and a walk.

He got into some trouble in the sixth when he allowed a one-out, two-run homer to Jose Iglesias, erasing what had been a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

But Pomeranz was far sharper than his first outing, threw his curveball for more strikes and kept the Tigers mostly off-balance. His line (6 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 2 BB; 7 K) will be more than good enough on most nights.

Just not Monday night.

 

3) They may lead MLB in runs scored, but there are still nights when the Red Sox offense can frustrate

It happened last Friday when they loaded the bases with no out against the Twins - and failed to score in a 2-1 loss.

It was more of the same Monday night when the Sox loaded the bases in the ninth -- and managed just one run.

The problems weren't limited to the ninth, of course. The Sox put the leadoff man on in both the seventh and eighth innings -- and didn't score.

For the game, the Sox left 11 men on and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

 

Tanguay: I would give up Mookie Betts for Chris Sale

Tanguay: I would give up Mookie Betts for Chris Sale

Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson debate whether they would include Mookie Betts in a trade to get Chris Sale, or if the Boston Red Sox are better with Betts staying despite needing help in their rotation.