Clay Buchholz hurls two-hitter

841779.jpg

Clay Buchholz hurls two-hitter

CLEVELAND Finally the Red Sox pulled out a tightly contested one-run game against an American League also-ran.

Backed by some superb mound work from Clay Buchholz thats become the norm in the second half of the year, the Sox kayoed the Tribe by a 3-2 score at Progressive Field. The solid win snapped a three-game losing streak and kept the Sox in pace with the four teams theyre chasing in the AL Wild Card race.

Buchholz baffled the Cleveland offense with a complete game two-hitter, and improved his record to 8-2 following a Red Sox loss since the start of the 2011 season.

In deeds if not in official name, Buchholz is the new stopper on the Boston starting staff when it was once a guy named Beckett or Lester. Hes also second in the Majors with a .719 winning percentage on the road since 2009 that includes a gaudy 23-9 record away from Fenway.

He had his two-seam fastball inducing ground balls and dizzying changeup for swings and misses, and held everyone hitless in the Indians lineup aside from Asdrubal Cabrera.

Its just a shame the string bean righty cant pitch every day of the week.

The Tribe did bring their power sticks early in the game. Last night it was a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first, and Friday night it was Cabrera as Clevelands second batter of the game going deep off Clay Buchholz for the solo homer.

But the never-say-die Sox fought back in the third inning when Mike Aviles led off with a walk, and then scampered all the way to third base on an errant pickoff throw.

Dustin Pedroia knocked him home with an RBI single, and then scored a run of his own in the sixth inning when Cody Ross launched his 18th home run of the season to dead centerfield.

The patented Ross bat flip was judged a 9.5 by the German judges, and ended up as the game-winning hit.

Cleveland scrapped for one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame when both Pedroia and Aviles made errors on a play that saw Jason Donald go all the way around to third base.

He subsequently scored on Ezequiel Carreras sacrifice fly to right field that made it a one-run game, but thats as close as the Indians would come on a night when Buchholz was electrifying. One down note in the victory: rookie sensation Will Middlebrooks was hit in the right hand with a pitch in the ninth inning and appeared to be in a great deal of pain as he exited the game.

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Shaughnessy: Red Sox have a chance to flip this around

Mike Felger and Dan Shaughnessy discuss the Boston Red Sox bouncing back from their slump with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

red_sox_rick_porcello_062816.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Fourth inning 'a grind' for Porcello

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 8-2 win over Tampa Bay

 

QUOTES

"I can't say enough about the way our position players have continued to grind away. . . Tonight was just another example of that.'' - John Farrell.

"He's been everything that we could have hoped. You look to a starting pitcher to go out and be consistent every fifth day -- he's been a model of that for us.'' - Farrell on Rick Porcello.

"It's nice to come back with a statement game tonight. The past couple of week haven't been good for us, so it was nice to get back on the right track tonight.'' - Travis Shaw.

"Preventing them from scoring first was big and then limiting the big inning. The fourth inning was a grind. I dug myself a hole and had to find a way out of it.'' - Rick Porcello.

 

NOTES

* Rick Porcello became the first Red Sox starter to record a win since David Price beat Seattle on Jume 19.

* Porcello is unbeaten over his last eight starts, going 3-0 with five no-decisions.

* Porcello had gone 19 straight starts without allowing more than two walks, the longest such streak for a Red Sox starter since Curt Schilling went 33 in a row.

* The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and are one of two teams (Cleveland is the other) to not have lost four straight this season.

* Boston has a major league-leading 22 games in which it has scored eight or more runs.

* The first six hitters in the Red Sox lineup were 11-for-24, while the bottom three were a combined 0-for-13.

* Travis Shaw's home run was measured at 449 feet, the second-longest homer by a Red Sox player this season.

* In one night, Travis Shaw had more RBI (five) than he had in his previous 27 games (four).

* David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas in career RBI (1,704); both are in 23rd place.

 

STARS

1) Travis Shaw

Shaw belted out three hits -- including his first homer in the month of June -- and knocked in five RBI, tying a career high.

2) Rick Porcello

In a perfect world, Porcello would have gone a little deeper, but kept the Rays off the scoreboard early and helped set the tone for the night.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez reached base five times with two hits -- both singles -- and three walks - one intentional - and seemed to be in the middle of every Red Sox rally.