Red Sox notes: Buchholz struggles to find form

191542.jpg

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

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

usatsi_9412070.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

ap_16212129505474.jpg

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.