Notes: Buchholz gets 2nd win; Ellsbury injured

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Notes: Buchholz gets 2nd win; Ellsbury injured

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Clay Buchholz picked up his second win of the season onMonday night at Fenway Park, and he did so while handing the opposing starter Los Angeles Jered Weaver his first loss of the season.

Weaver entered Mondays game with a 6-0 record and an ERA of0.99, but with a little help from his offense and his defense, Buchholzoutlasted Weaver and helped Boston to a 9-5 win.

As the guy going up against Weaver you got to keep theirguys off balance and try to keep them off base, said Buchholz. They made someearly contact, had some runners in scoring position situations, and all I cando is try to limit the damage as best as I could. I got a couple of balls thatwere hit at guys and got out of the inning.

But yeah, Weaver, thats what he does, he goes out thereand wins. Hes obviously a strikeout guy and theres not a whole lot of stuffgoing on, on the base paths with him on the mound. It was a definitely a goodstep for this team.

Buchholz pitched 6 23 innings while allowing two runs oneight hits and two walks, while striking out two.

Everything was good tonight, said Buchholz. Obviously youcan go back and say I didnt throw this pitch. You can have that regardless ofwhat kind of outing you have. But slowly but surely, Im sometimes trying too hard to do things. Tonight I feltlike I let the grip and trusted the stuff and let everything work itself out,and not try to press too much.

Francona came out to get Lester with two outs in the top ofthe seventh inning, a runner at third, and the Red Sox trying to hold onto a3-2 lead. Daniel Bard came in and got them out of that inning with the lead.

I thought he used his fastball really aggressively, said manager Terry Francona. He had the two walks in the one inning. Otherthan that, he didnt. He got us to a point in the game where we could go toBard. That was big.

Obviously, hes still finding his rhythm, said Varitek. Istill think his best days are in front of him. But it was a good job tonight,minimizing damage.

Jacoby Ellsbury extended his season-high hit streak to 11games on Monday night, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored, a double, and twostolen bases.

But the center fielder left Mondays game after the seventhinning with a left knee contusion, when his leg collided with Angels catcherJeff Mathis in the seventh inning. Ellsbury came home on Gonzalezbases-clearing double, but as he crossed the plate, his left leg got caught upwith Mathis foot.

Francona said that Ellsbury was a little sore after thegame, and will wait until Tuesday afternoon to make a decision on his statusfor Tuesday nights game.

Hes real stable and everything, said Francona. He justgot kind of a bruise on the inside of his knee.

With a bruise like that, well see how he wakes up.

The Red Sox saw an offensive surge in the bottom of theseventh, thanks to the timely hitting of Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis andDavid Ortiz.

With bases loaded and one out in the inning, and the Red Soxholding onto a 3-2 lead, Gonzalez ripped a ball off the monster in deepleft-center, just to the left of the yellow home-run line on the center fieldwall.

Three runs scored on the double, giving Boston a 6-2 lead.

Youkilis followed that up with an RBI double of his own,ripping a liner off the top of the monster in left, and scoring Gonzalez for a7-2 lead.

Then, Ortiz made it 9-2 with his third home run of theseason, into the monster seats.

It keeps the line moving, said Francona after the win.Spread the game out, have a nice big inning. Yeah, that was good. And itsprobably no coincidence that the balls that were hit hard, were to left-centerand up the middle.

Theres nights when you need your big guys to hit somethree-run homers, or hit a ball off the wall.

Theres also nights where you need your defense to step upand make game-changing plays, not just with the gloves, but with their arms.

Gonzalez can be applauded for that on Monday night, as hisgutsy throw to third on a grounder to first in a non-force out situation, keptBoston in the lead.

Instead of stepping on first on a ball hit to him by AlbertoCallaspo, the Red Sox first baseman immediately threw to Youkilis at third,attempting to gun down Torii Hunter, who had previously doubled.

The throw was low, and Youkilis made a nice tag for the out.

Hes playing in, and hes one of the few first basemen thatwill do that, said Francona. A lot of guys can certainly catch it over there,like him, but he can catch it and throw it. And he threw it low, but Youkilismade a nice play. It could be a game-changer.

If theres ever a runner on second with two outs, you knowthe hitter is trying to hit a ground ball to the right side, said Gonzalez.And Ive always told the third baseman, and I probably did it five or sixtimes in San Diego, where I got the guy out there. So its one of those thingswhere I always tell him, just be aware, because if its hit hard right at me,Im going to you.

Josh Beckett threw a 25-pitch side session on Mondayafternoon, and Francona said afterwards that Beckett's been pushed back toWednesday only because the schedule allowed them to do so.

I just want to make sure that we monitor the workload, so he can go out, andbe Beckett, said Francona.

Weve leaned on him pretty hard, added the Red Sox manager. Again, theresno days off coming up. So when you have the ability to give a guy that extraday, I think sometimes youve got to take it. Because we wont be able to,going forward for a couple weeks.

Francona said that the rest of his rotation will be JonLester on Tuesday, Beckett on Wednesday, John Lackey on Thursday, and DaisukeMatsuzaka on Friday.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

BOSTON -- New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, left-handed hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike three — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.

Red Sox tie strikeout record in completing sweep of Rangers, 6-2

Red Sox tie strikeout record in completing sweep of Rangers, 6-2

BOSTON (AP) There's something about Boston Red Sox pitchers and 20-strikeout games.

There have been six major-league games with that many strikeouts and the Red Sox made the list for the third time, fanning that many Texas Rangers for a 6-2 victory Thursday night and a sweep of the three-game series.

Five Boston pitchers combined on the 20 strikeouts with starter Drew Pomeranz getting 11 in six innings and closer Craig Kimbrel getting four in the ninth when the leadoff batter reached on a wild pitch strike three. Boston's Roger Clemens twice reached 20 strikeouts by himself.

"His stuff is nasty. What he is doing right now I have never seen anything like that," Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes said of Kimbrel.

Kimbrel has retired 53 of the last 56 batters he has faced and right-handed hitters are on an 0-for-41 streak.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season helping Boston to its fourth straight win.

"A lot has been made about our home run totals or lack thereof," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Tonight was the first of what should be many more."

Pomeranz (4-3), who tied his career high with the 11 strikeouts, made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

"Felt lost for a couple of starts and wasn't satisfied," said Pomeranz, who gave up four hits and walked one. "Tonight I felt more like last year."

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost four of five overall and 15 of 21 on the road.

"The sweep is surprising," Andrus said. "But that's the beauty of baseball, I guess. You cannot take any team for granted. Even when you feel you're playing at your best, stuff like this can happen."

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers starter Nick Martinez (1-3) early.

Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in the third to put Boston ahead 4-0. Despite finishing with 21 home runs last year, Bogaerts needed 46 games to connect for the first time this season.

"Good to get one over the wall and get it out of the way," Bogaerts said.

Mike Napoli struck out four times while Pete Kozma and Andrus went down three times each. Every Ranger starter struck out at least once.

"Pomeranz was throwing well," Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "Obviously their bullpen came in and threw well also and they played better than we did overall tonight."

Marrero homered in the eighth off Alex Claudio.

Martinez gave up four runs in five innings and is winless in four starts against Boston with a 6.46 ERA.

Andrus cut Boston's lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning with the homer, snapping an 0-for-9 drought.

Moreland tied his career high by driving in at least one run for the sixth straight game and extended his hitting streak to seven games, batting .393 in that stretch.

Boston swept Texas for the first time at Fenway Park since 2008. Since 2009, Texas has the best winning percentage at Fenway Park in the major leagues at .600.

STRIKING SUCCESS

Pomeranz recorded his 500th career strikeout when he whiffed Napoli for the final out of the fourth inning, his eighth of the game.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre will play in extended spring training games in Arizona the next three days after being sidelined all season with a calf strain.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was removed from the game after five innings for precautionary reasons due to left knee pain. He is listed as day to day. ... LHP David Price will make his season debut Monday in Chicago against the White Sox despite surrendering six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings over his last two rehab starts. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval is 3 for 13 in four rehab games.

UP NEXT:

Rangers: Will send RHP A.J. Griffin (4-1) in the opener at Toronto.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1) looks to win his fourth straight decision when they entertain Seattle on Friday.