Notes: Buchholz throws well enough to win

191542.jpg

Notes: Buchholz throws well enough to win

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Over the last five games, Red Sox starters have combined for a collective ERA of 1.15. It should come as no surprise, correspondingly, that the Sox have been playing their best baseball of the season in that span and have won four of those five games.

Wednesday, it was Clay Buchholz's turn. Winless in his first three starts, Buchholz limited the A's to one run over the first five innings before tiring and walking his last two hitters in the sixth.

"Four walks made it a little more difficult," said Terry Francona. "His stuff is good. But he's got to pound the strike zone."

"There's definitely some stuff I have work on," said Buchholz. "At the same time, I was able to grind through and battle and we came out with the win."

Buchholz said he may need to tinker with his mechanics, but also hinted that he may have been squeezed in each of his final two walks. Those walks loaded the bases with A's in the sixth, and with his pitch count climbing to 103, hastened his exit.

Another ominous note for Buchholz: After allowing a solo homer to Coco Crisp in the first, he's allowed six homers in 20 13 innings. Last year, he gave up just nine all season.

Jed Lowrie's torrid stretch continued unabated. Playing third base, Lowrie had two more hits -- a fourth-inning single and a two-run homer in the sixth.

Lowrie has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and is hitting a scorching .462 this season. Despite limited playing time early on, he leads the team with 11 RBI.

"He's a huge threat," said Francona. "He's been a huge threat since last August. He's not just been getting hits; he's been getting extra-base hits."

"It's a nice hot streak," said Lowrie. "But I'm not really thinking about comparing it to anything I've done in the past. I'm just putting my head down and continuing to prepare and not think about it.

"I understand what's going on. I'm not nave. But at the same time, the more you think about it, the more you're just putting pressure on yourself in every at-bat. I'm just going to prepare like I have and know the results that I've gotten so far are the result of that preparation."

He also was robbed of extra bases in the first when Oakland right fielder David DeJesus made a leaping catch against the wall.

In Lowrie's last at-bat, DeJesus turned in another spectacular grab, catching a flyball by sliding into foul territory.

"I don't know what I did to make him mad," cracked Lowrie, "but I apologize. Those were two really good plays."

Reliever Alfredo Aceves did not travel with the team to Anaheim Wednesday night, instead readying for a flight back to Pawtucket.

Matt Albers, who has been on the DL with a lat pull since the home opener, is expected to re-join the team in southern California for the start of the four-game series with the Angels.

It's likely that Albers, who appeared in six games (2.25 ERA) out of the bullpen for the Sox, will go back into the rotation for Pawtucket so as to give the Sox some starting depth options.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Bogaerts has three hits, three RBIs as Red Sox beat Rangers, 11-6

Bogaerts has three hits, three RBIs as Red Sox beat Rangers, 11-6

BOSTON - Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBIs, Dustin Pedroia had a two-run double during a four-run seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 11-6 on Tuesday night.

Rick Porcello (3-5) won for just the second time at home despite allowing 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out four and allowed five runs, four earned.

Joey Gallo got his 14th homer for Texas, and Shin-Soo Choo went 2 for 5 with two RBIs.

Texas entered having won 11 of 12. The 11 runs allowed marked a season high.

Andrew Cashner (1-4) pitched five innings, allowing five runs, six hits and four walks. He also threw a pair of wild pitches, one of them allowing Bogaerts to score from third and put Boston up 2-1 after three.

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

Dombrowski defends John Farrell after group strategy meeting on Monday

 

The Red Sox braintrust had a meeting on Monday's off-day to strategize with a 22-21 team that's underperforming and in third place.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told NESN's Tom Caron on the Sox pre-game show that he was part of a meeting with Farrell, assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Brian O'Halloran and vice president of baseball research and development Zack Scott.

"We sat down yesterday for over a couple hours," Dombrowski told Caron. "I [had] already talked to some of our scouts and just kind of [went] over our club to try to get it to fit together a little bit. Because some of those things, the injuries, and even the guys that are playing, like in Hanley [Ramirez's] case, it does affect what you’re trying to do. So normally at this time of year, I think you have a better pulse [of the team]. But I think we need a little bit more time. We just really haven’t flowed as a club. We haven’t played as well as I think we’re capable of and I think we need to give ourselves that opportunity."

Asked about Farrell's job security, Dombrowski defended a manager whose 2018 option was picked up over the winter.

"Well, we won a divisional crown last year," Dombrowski said. "He managed very well for us at the time. I think that John, as well as everybody else, is frustrated by our performance and that we haven’t taken off, but we’re not buried either. I mean, we’re four games out of first place and we really haven’t been in a flow. And when you look at it, it’s like, OK, last week Thursday we won two great games in St. Louis. I wasn’t with the team, I was in Salem. 

"Well I looked at the match-up on Thursday, and I’m thinking, well if [Sonny] Gray throws like he’s capable, I’m not sure what we’re going to get out of [Hector] Velazquez at that particular time. And of course, Velazquez didn’t have a very good outing. So you lose that ball game. Is that John’s fault? I can’t put that on John. 

"Friday night, you have Chris Sale, he threw the ball very well. Well the play that Trevor Plouffe made on Hanley Ramirez, I don’t know if he’s made a play like that all year long. Mookie Betts, in the ninth inning gets a line drive right at the third baseman. Well you have a chance to score five or six runs, didn’t happen. No excuses, but it’s one of those where I think to pin those things on John Farrell are just not fair. I think we’re in a position where he’s managed well, he’s managed divisional champions. I think we’re in a position, we have a good club. We just need to get in a better flow of things."

Dombrowski felt the Sox were harder to evaluate a quarter into the season than most teams would be.

"Because the reality is when you look at our ballclub, it really hasn’t been together at all at any point during the year for me," he said. "So I think when you look at it, you say OK, well, we need to improve our fourth and fifth starters. Well, David Price comes back next week — we think he’ll be back next week. So that’s a pretty big addition, that’s like making a major trade. 

"I still think Drew Pomeranz, although he has scuffled at times, should be a fourth-, fifth-type starter on a good club. … We need to straighten him out. I think he’s capable of doing that. When you talk about bullpen, our bullpen’s been good but I still think we’re going to get Carson Smith in a short time period, so that’s another addition that we have.

"Third base, you know has been a hole for us where Pablo Sandoval could be back very soon. I’m not sure where Brock Holt fits into that whole equation. So we’re really on our fifth third baseman right now when you look at it. Pablo is there, and then Brock Holt was there. Marco Hernandez is going to have surgery, we’re going to miss him for the rest of the year. Josh Rutledge has been over there."

Holt, out with vertigo, and the Red Sox are regrouping. Holt's exhausted the 20 days permitted for a minor league rehab stint, and is heading to Pittsburgh to meet concussion expert Micky Collins. Another rehab stint figures to follow eventually, barring a change in diagnosis.

Hernandez is to have surgery on his left shoulder Friday, which likely ends his season.

Hanley Ramirez can still be the DH, but his sore shoulders have relegated him to only that position, not first base. That's part of the reason Sam Travis was added to the roster Tuesday.

"There’s a couple reasons behind it," Dombrowski said of Travis' call-up.  "We’re in a position where we have a roster spot for a positional player. Secondly, we’ve talked about giving Mitch [Moreland] a little bit of a blow on his feet at times, to not play too many games. And we faced a left hand pitcher tomorrow [in the Rangers' Martin Perez]. He’s been hitting the ball well, Sam has. 

"We’re trying to sit [Moreland] a little bit vs. the left-handed pitching. Even though he’s done OK, we just don’t want him to get too tired as the year goes on. And the reality is, originally that was going to be Hanley [playing first base vs. lefties]. Well, Hanley’s not available to do that now, so we needed to make an adjustment ourself on how to do that. And with the extra roster spot, Pawtucket right down the road, we figure it’s a good chance to give him that opportunity. 

"In Hanley’s case, not playing first base, people don’t realize at times how much that changes the mix of your club. Because at some time, we are going to have Chris Young get at-bats and DH at that point."