Red Sox - 002 001 000 003 - 6 11 0Sweep! The bullpen was the story today.
Mariners - 000 102 000 000 - 3 11 2
Justin Masterson -- After Buchholz allowed a game-tying home run to Jose Vidro in the sixth, he walked Adrian Beltre on four pitches and allowed a single to Jeremy Reed. Masterson, who had begun warming when Boston had a 3-1 lead, came in (so much for Terry Francona's wish for a 10-run lead for Masterson's first relief appearance). The bald rookie was up to the high-leverage task, however, needing only seven pitches to whiff both Kenji Johjima and Bryan LaHair. He then set down the Mariners in order in the seventh (L9, 4-3, L7) and eighth (3-1, K, 5-3).
Hideki Okajima -- Got two quick outs to start the ninth -- the second one on a stupendous running catch in short left-center by Jacoby Ellsbury (who had ended the seventh with a over-the-head grab after sprinting to the warning track in left). Then Jeemer walked pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo on four pitches. Out came Tito.
Manny Delcarmen -- With the winning run on first, MDC fell behind Willie Bloomquist 2-0, got two fouls, and then a grounder to second. On to the 10th. MDC retired Ichiro Suzuki on a fly to short center and fanned Jose Lopez and Raul Ibanez.
Jonathan Papelbon -- Opened the 11th by being unable to field Vidro's chopper down the first base line. It probably should have been an error on Bot, but Vidro got credit for a hit. Beltre, swinging for a heroic dong, struck out on four pitches. Yuniesky Betancourt singled to right-center, and Vidro (who had been off with the pitch) raced to third. But Johjima grounded a 1-2 pitch to third and Lowell started a routine 5-4-3 double play.
(In the top of the 12th, the Red Sox scored three times. Ellsbury singled to right and took second on Dustin Pedroia's grounder to second. Drew was intentionally walked. Kevin Youkilis's fly ball to deep center glanced off Bloomquist's glove for an error, loading the bases. Mike Lowell singled to left, scoring two runs. After a pitching change, Sean Casey singled in the third run of the inning.)
Craig Hansen -- With one out, Bloomquist's chopper hit off Hansen's glove for a single. Ichiro flew out to center, but Lopez singled and Hansen began nibbling, walking Ibanez to load the bases. After John Farrell came out and told him to get his head out of his ass, Hansen fell behind Vidro 3-0 (grrrrrr) -- putting Boston one errant pitch away from what would have been a highly annoying loss -- then got a called strike before getting a routine, game-ending ground ball to Pedroia.
Buchholz pitched well for five innings, allowing only four hits (one of them a solo home run from Ibanez) and striking out six. He also picked Ichiro off first base in the first inning. HH finished with a 5.1-7-3-2-7, 98 line.
Also: Rays 4, Athletics 3 and Yankees 5, Twins 1.
Clay Buchholz (5.88, 74 ERA+) / Felix Hernandez (2.95, 135 ERA+)
Afternoon baseball at Psycho Field!
After needing 37 pitches to get through the first inning in his last start, Buchholz will alter his pre-game routine, so that, as the Herald puts it, "his first inning feels more like his second or third". HH:
When I get maybe three-quarters of the way through, [I'll] sit down for a little bit in the bullpen and then when I get up, finish the rest of it. They'll try to manipulate me sitting down and getting back up for the first time and see how that works, and maybe we can break that first-inning barrier that's there right now.Batters are hitting .349/.431/.581 against Buchholz in the first inning this year (51 PA).
[Hernandez] was sharp in his first post-All-Star start, holding the Indians to four hits and two runs over six innings, striking out nine along the way. ... Lack of run support had been a problem for Hernandez, who had to make due with an average of 3.47 runs in his first 17 starts.Also: Athletics/Rays (0.5 GA) at 12:40 PM and Twins/Yankees (3.5 GB) at 1 PM.