Bullpen cleans up Buchholz's mess in win

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Bullpen cleans up Buchholz's mess in win

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."

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.