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

Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

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Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

BOSTON -- There have been a significant amount of question marks surrounding David Price throughout his inaugural season with the Boston Red Sox.

Is he an ace? Is he mentally tough enough? Can he handle Boston?

Just to name a few.

Much like any player imported to Boston, the claim “He can’t handle the pressure in Boston” arises every so often.

And Price hasn’t always been his own best friend, frequently relying on the line “It’s me going out there and making pitches,” in addition to the claim that he’s never satisfied.

Price’s mellow demeanor isn’t something Boston fans are accustomed to -- they prefer Rick Porcello snarling at opponents.

Sometimes it might have seemed as if he lacked a killer instinct or didn’t have a sense of urgency, but Bryan Holaday, who played with Price in Detroit, has seen that’s not the case.

‘I’m sure he [pressing], it’s the nature of this game,” Holaday said about Price’s struggles earlier in the season. “Everybody wants to be at their best all the time and it’s not easy to do.”

However, he says that knowing full well that Price won’t display those emotions -- to anyone.

“He does such a good job on the mental side of things that even if he was, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Holaday said before Price’s start Saturday night. “He’s never going to express anything like that. If he was [pressing], it’s nothing that anyone would be able to notice.”

There’s a lot to be said for that, too. Although baseball is driven on analytics, there’s no question that mental game is crucial, especially in the clubhouse. And a fly on the wall can easily see that Price’s presence is not only respected, but enjoyed by his teammates in the clubhouse.

“Everyday he gets up he wants to get better and that’s what makes him so good,” Holaday said. “He has that drive to be better everyday and come out and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and works his ass off. That’s why he is who he is. Any pitcher at that level, you don’t get that way by luck.”

Price may never be Boston’s favorite pitcher.

He may never be the “ace” in everyone’s eyes.

But based on Holday’s interpretations from his time in Detroit and Boston, Price will work hard to turn his first few months with the Red Sox into a minor footnote of his career.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
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Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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David Price LHP