Buchholz: Got to tip your cap to Masterson

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Buchholz: Got to tip your cap to Masterson

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

CLEVELAND In his last two starts, Clay Buchholz has pitched 14 13 innings, giving up just two runs on eight hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. And he has nothing to show for it.

At least in his previous start, May 18 against the Tigers, the Red Sox won the game; they pushed across the winning run after he'd departed. On Monday night, though, there was no luck.

Buchholz left after 7 13 innings with a 2-1 lead and the tying run on second base. Daniel Bard, who had been so steady until a recent rough patch, retired his first batter, then gave up consecutive run-scoring hits to let the Indians take the lead.

Thats why its hard to read into wins and losses as a pitcher, Buchholz said, acknowledging some frustration. Because you can go out there and give up six runs and still win a game. So its tough to read that. But, yeah, feel like when you go out there and throw the ball well you get results but it doesnt always happen like that.

In his previous start, Buchholz threw a career-high 127 pitches. He threw 94 Monday (with 55 strikes), giving him 331 for his last three starts, one above the 330-threshold the Sox prefer.

I told pitching coach Curt Young before the game . . . the last thing I want to do is make Buck work hard in his last inning, said manager Terry Francona. And that's right what we were getting to. He pitched great and its a shame, but we got to take care of him. And I think hes smart enough to know that. The results werent what we were looking for. He pitched his heart out, just, like I said, didnt want him to work. Thats what would be taxing.

In five starts in May, Buchholz is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, giving up six earned runs in 33 innings. He would like to have stayed in to finish the inning. But he realized the situation.

Yeah, Id like to stay in, Buchholz said. But Daniel, hes bailed me out way too many times before not to have confidence in him. So one of those nights. They got a lot of good hitters on that team. Took some good swings. Just a matter of time.

Working against the American Leagues most potent offense first in team average at .266, second in slugging and on-base percentage at .426 and .336, respectively Buchholz could take some consolation in his performance.

That's why their record is what it is, he said. They swing the bats. They pitch well. Indians starter Justin Masterson did a good job tonight, too. You give up two runs you expect to win if you pitch seven, eight innings. Thats just the way it goes sometimes. Came up against another good guy that threw the ball well tonight. You got to tip your cap sometimes.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.