Fourth inning gets best of Buchholz in otherwise solid outing


Fourth inning gets best of Buchholz in otherwise solid outing

SEATTLE -- On the stat sheet, Clay Buchholz is no different than the five Red Sox starters who preceded him to the mound on this nightmarish road trip: like them, he was tagged with yet another loss Monday.

But a closer inspection showed that Buchholz threw far better than almost all of them and, with a little better support and a pinch of luck, might have been able to snap the Sox' losing streaks instead of extending it to seven straight.

Buchholz gave the Sox seven innings Monday, six of which were very good. It was the fourth inning, in which the Seattle Mariners scored all four of their runs on the afternoon, that sank him.

"Clay did what he had to do," said Bobby Valentine. "The one inning . . . well, you saw it."

"Clay deserved better than what we allowed to happen," said catcher Ryan Lavarnway. "He deserved better than that."

The inning began with what Valentine labeled a "broken-bat jam-shot'' in which Franklin Gutierrez reached. Buchholz then barely grazed Kyle Seager's uniform top with an inside pitch, giving the Mariners two on with nobody out.

Two singles to right from John Jaso and Justin Smoak produced two runs. A flyball to shallow center off the bat of Eric Thames was caught in shallow center by Jacoby Ellsbury, who threw home only to have the ball skip past catcher Ryan Lavarnway, with the error charged to Ellsbury.

"I wish they'd given me that error," said Lavarnway. "Jacoby's trying to get the guy out. He did exactly what he should have. I played it into an in-between hop. I need to go out and smother that ball. I absolutely need to keep that ball in front of me."

Two batters later, Jose Iglesias bobbled the transfer of the ball after fielding a grounder, allowing Carlos Peguero to reach and Smoak to score.

Outside of the fourth, Buchholz yielded just two other hits and one walk. He had four one-two-three innings. But the Sox' margin of error is razor thin these days and the fourth inning proved his undoing.

"Tough luck today," shrugged Buchholz of the inning. "Stuff happens. I've been saying for about a month and a half now, but we've got to find a way to push along. We can't come to the field every day thinking about the day before. You've got to sort of forget about it.

"We're not really playing good baseball right now and not finding a way to win in all aspects of the game. It's pretty tough."

Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees


Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees

With each passing day, Pablo Sandoval's winning over more and more skeptics.

The slimmed-down third baseman rapped out two hits, including a double, and drove in a run as he lifted his spring average to .333 in the Red Sox' 5-4 loss to a split squad of Yankees Tuesday at JetBlue Park. Sandoval went 2-for-3 overall -- his one out was a fly to the warning track -- and looked almost speedy as he raced home from second on an RBI single by Deven Marrero.

BOX SCORE: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4

It was a day for comeback players on both teams. Sam Travis, whose 2016 was cut short by a knee injury suffered at Triple-A Pawtucket, hit a solo home run for the Sox, who fell to 1-4 with the loss.  Greg Bird, who missed all of last year because of a shoulder injury, hit a pair of home runs and drove in three runs for the Yankees.

Marrero, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Matt Dominguez and Dan Butler each had one hit for the Red Sox. Starter Kyle Kendrick allowed three hits and two runs over three innings, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced. Only one of the subsequent six relievers -- Robbie Ross Jr. -- figures to be in Boston in the regular season, and he pitched a hitless, scoreless fourth with one walk.

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Wanna bet the Red Sox will have the most wins in the American League this season? 

Per Bovada, the Sox are projected for 92.5 wins in 2017, which is tied with the Indians for the highest total in the AL. Boston and Cleveland both sit behind the defending World Series champion Cubs (95.5) and Dodgers (93.5) in Bovada’s win projections. 

Here is the full list: 

Chicago Cubs: 95.5
Los Angeles Dodgers: 93.5
Boston Red Sox: 92.5
Cleveland Indians: 92.5
Washington Nationals: 90.5
Houston Astros: 89.5
New York Mets: 88.5
San Francisco Giants: 87.5
Seattle Mariners: 85.5
St. Louis Cardinals: 84.5
Texas Rangers: 84.5
Toronto Blue Jays: 84.5
Detroit Tigers: 82.5
New York Yankees: 82.5
Pittsburgh Pirates: 82.5
Baltimore Orioles: 80.5
Colorado Rockies: 80.5
Los Angeles Angels: 79.5
Arizona Diamondbacks: 77.5
Tampa Bay Rays: 77.5
Kansas City Royals: 76.5
Miami Marlins: 765
Minnesota Twins: 74.5
Atlanta Braves: 73.5
Oakland Athletics: 73.5
Philadelphia Phillies: 73.5
Cincinnati Reds: 70.5
Chicago White Sox: 69.5
Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5
San Diego Padres: 66.5