Notes: Buchholz (back), Lowrie (shoulder) exit early

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Notes: Buchholz (back), Lowrie (shoulder) exit early

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com Red SoxInsider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz limited the Tampa Bay Rays to a single run on two hits Thursday night. But Buchholz himself was limited, forced to leave after five innings because of recurring lower-back stiffness.

"It's the nagging back that's been the same as last year,'' said Buchholz. "My first thought was to try and get through five innings with it and give it to the bullpen. It progressively got a little bit worse after the second inning. After those first two was when it started bothering me.''

Buchholz said he felt the back "grabbing . . . it feels like a pulled muscle in there and every time I tried to get out and extend a little bit more, I felt it. The last innning, I felt like I was compensating for it in my delivery and that's how you're going to get yourself hurt in other places.''

The Red Sox have some options regarding Buchholz. They could put him on the DL and hope that 15 days will quiet the condition down.

Or, with Andrew Miller about to arrive and two off-days looming in the next 11 days, they could simply skip Buchholz, or, as they did two weeks ago, give him some extra rest before his next start.

"We can move some people around,'' he said, "so we'll get it checked out Friday and see how it feels.''

Jed Lowrie also came out of the game, also battling a nagging injury that seems to be getting worse instead of better.

For almost two weeks, Lowrie has been hampered by a sore left shoulder, the result of a collision with Mike Cameron in Detroit.

Lowrie had three days off before returning to the lineup Wednesday, but came out after a first inning at-bat Thursday when he felt the shoulder had "slipped out'' of its socket.

Asked if he thought a trip to the DL was likely, Lowrie said: "I have no idea. I've never done this before.''

Lowrie will be examined Friday.

"I certainly wasn't this sore before,'' said Lowrie, "but I don't really know what's going on yet, either. I just know what I felt.''

The Sox have two candidates to take his spot on the roster in Pawtucket. They could call back Drew Sutton, who spent time with the club recently before being optioned back to Pawtucket after Sunday's game. Ordinarily, a player being optioned out has to wait 10 days before being recalled, but there are exceptions made for injuries and this would be one of those exceptions.

Another potential solution would be Yamaico Navarro, who came off the DL at Triple A Thursday, and, like Lowrie, can play three infield positions.

Jonathan Papelbon is hopeful that his appeal of a recent three-game suspension can be heard Friday. Papelbon is waiting to hear final details from the Players Association, a representative of which will join him in the hearing.

Papelbon was suspended last week for his actions in the June 4 game in which he made physical contact with umpire Tony Randazzo.

"I'm trying to get something done,'' said Papelbon. "You know how these things are, man. I'm leaning toward hearing it out. We'll see what happens. It's getting kind of old.''

Papelbon made his first appearance Thursday night since last Friday in Toronto and the rust showed early when he allowed a double to Casey Kotchman and a single to B.J. Upton before coming back to get the next three hitters, two by strikeout.

"I don't think anybody realizes for a guy in my position to have six days off and pitch,'' said Papelbon. "That's pretty much what it came down to tonight.''

Jacoby Ellslbury wasn't in the starting lineup for just the third time in the first 68 games Thursday night.

Terry Francona wanted to load his lineup with righthanded hitters against Tampa starter David Price, who was holding opposing lefties to a .163 batting average before Thursday's game.

There were other factors, too. Francona noted that Ellsbury had played every previous game on the nine-game road trip and the Sox would be arriving in Boston early Friday morning.

Also, Ellsbury fouled a ball off his shin Wednesday night and the manager thought Ellsbury could use a night off to heal.

"I just think, overall, it's in his best interest,'' said Francona of Ellsbury.

Ellsbury entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and played the final two innings in the field.

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

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.

 

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.

First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

The injury to Andrew Benintendi looked ominous.

Benintendi's left leg buckled as he tried to elude a tag on the bases in the seventh inning. He left the game with the help of two trainers, hobbling badly.

The Sox later announced that Benintendi suffered a left knee sprain, and will be further evaluated Thursday.

It's impossible to determine how serious the injury is. The prognosis could be anywhere from a few days, to, potentially, a season-ending issue.

Regardless, it's a blow to the Sox, who clearly have benefited from Benintendi's athleticism and energy in the three weeks since he's been promoted from Double A.

 

Rick Porcello is gobbling up innings in the second half.

Porcello gave the Sox 7 2/3 innings Wednesday night, allowing three runs. It marked the sixth straight start in which Porcello provided the Sox with a minimum of seven innings.

Through the end of June, Porcello had pitched seven or more innings just four times. Since the start of July, he's done it seven times -- and came within an out of doing it in another start.

Porcello also extended his streak of pitching at least five innings to 34 straight starts, dating back almost a calendar year to Aug. 26 of last year. Of those 34, he's pitched at least six in 31 of those.

In fact, Porcello leads the majors in innings pitched since that streak began.

 

David Ortiz continues to amaze

In the first inning, Ortiz walloped a pitch into the right field seats for his 30th homer, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.

The homer was significant beyond that, too. With it, Ortiz reached two milestones -- 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season.

It marked the fourth straight season in which Ortiz has reached both, and it also marked the 10th time as a member of the Sox that he had hit both plateaus.

The homer also meant that Ortiz is now the oldest player - at 40 years, 280 days old -- to hit 30 homers in a season. And finally, it gave Ortiz 100 RBI seasons with the Sox, passing Ted Williams, with whom he had shared the record of nine.

And, remarkably, there's more than a month left in the season to add on to those achievements.