Bullpen cleans up Buchholz's mess in win


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."

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.