Red Sox notes: Buchholz struggles to find form

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Red Sox notes: Buchholz struggles to find form

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Call it an off-night. They happen, and Clay Buchholz knows that the most important thing is bouncing back from them.

Buchholz threw 99 pitches in 4 23 innings on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics. From the beginning, he never seemed in control.

I didnt really have any command of any pitch, really, he said after the game, which the Red Sox came back to win, 8-6. Ive had three or four games this year where everythings been working. So I think theres going to be a certain time that your pitches arent doing what you want them to do. Its hard to pitch out there with one pitch working for you.

Buchholz credited the As for finding the holes and working the pitch counts. But even when Buchholz was having success during an at-bat, Terry Francona noticed his starter was not sticking with what was working.

I just didnt think he really ever repeated his pitches, said Francona. Hed throw a good one and then hed throw one where he didnt want to. Stuff was fine, I just dont think he really located and executed consistently tonight.

Buchholzs no-decision streak extended to four games as reliever Bobby Jenks got the win. He has not recorded a decision since May 13 in a win over the New York Yankees. Prior to Fridays game, he had pitched 20.1 innings over three games without a decision.

It sucks to go out there and if I had only given up five runs I might have gotten the win tonight. Thats how Ive got to look at it, he said. Those guys went out there and scored enough runs for me for me to go out there and pitch. I feel like Ive been throwing the ball well and there were some good things that happened tonight, so I can build off of those.

Francona confirmed earlier discussions that Daisuke Matsuzaka will undergo Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow next week. "It looks like Dr. Yocum is going to peform a surgery on Daisuke, probably some time next week," Francona said. "That's still to be determined, but it looks like it will be next week."

29-year-old reliever Tommy Hottovy made his Major League debut in the top of the sixth with two outs and a runner on first. He faced David DeJesus, who grounded out to second base. Hottovy was greeted in the Red Sox dugout with a handshake from Terry Francona and high fives from several teammates.

You can try a lot of things to keep your nerves down, but in that situation theres not much you can do. I was just trying to take a deep breath and just tell myself, This is what Ive been working for my whole life. So just enjoy it, soak it up, and have fun.

Said Francona, He looked like he had a lot of poise, he threw strikes, he seemed excited like youre supposed to be. I dont think being nervous got to him - he executed his pitches.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued his hot streak by hitting his fifth home run of the season in the eighth inning. He has hit all of those home runs over the past 11 games and driven in 10 runs during that stretch.

The Red Sox Foundation will donate the proceeds raised in Fridays 5050 raffle - and match that amount - to the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts to help tornado relief efforts in Massachusetts. In addition, Buchholz will donate 500 for every strikeout to the victims of the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

As a reminder, Saturdays game has been moved from 7:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. to avoid a conflict with Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, which begins at 8 p.m.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

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.