Bullpen cleans up Buchholz's mess in win

Bullpen cleans up Buchholz's mess in win
May 22, 2012, 4:28 am
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BALTIMORE -- Clay Buchholz had his usual one bad inning again Monday night.

Fortunately for Buchholz and the Red Sox, the bullpen did not.

After Buchholz allowed four runs in the second inning -- two on bases-loaded walks -- and ran into trouble in the sixth, Red Sox relievers took it from there.

Four pitchers combined to throw 3 23 innings of one-run ball in the Red Sox' 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Andrew Miller cleaned up Buchholz's mess, coming in with runners at the corners and just one out. He got a routine groundout to the right side and a flyout to center, then retired the O's in order in the seventh, too, with two strikeouts.

Miller has yet to be scored upon since coming up from Pawtucket earlier this month and has retired 23 of the 28 hitters he's faced.

"I want to prove that I can be a successful player on a good team," said Miller. "So far, things have been going great and I'm just trying to keep it going."

In the past, Miller's command has been an issue, but he's walked just one in eight innings while striking out 10.

"I think I'm getting comfortable in the role," he said. "I've watched all these guys who have done it for a while. Ultimately, I think it's just that you learn to handle these situations. With the adrenaline, you don't have a choice -- you attack right away and so far, it's been good."

Rich Hill followed Miller and gave up three straight hits for a run, but after getting Chris Davis to ground out, turned things over to Padilla.

With the potential tying run in scoring position, Padilla got a shallow fly ball to left, then fanned Nick Johnson with a 93 mph fastball up and out of the strike zone.

"My job when I come in is make sure guys don't score," said Padilla. "It seems like I concentrate more on making pitches (with runners on base) and I'm more aggressive with the fastball."

Whatever it is, it's worked to perfection. Padilla has inherited 15 baserunners this season and stranded every one of them.

"He takes it so personally that it's somebody else's run out there," said Bobby Valentine, "that it's incredible. He said he's been on the other end (as a starter) when it was his runs that were given up and he really does it as a personal situation. Which is wonderful."