Diamondbacks - 000 210 000 - 3 5 1 Red Sox - 001 032 00x - 6 8 1The bottom third of the Red Sox order did the heavy lifting in Saturday night's victory. Sandy Leon, Brock Holt, and Andrew Benintendi combined to go 5-for-10 with a double, two home runs, six runs scored, and four RBI. Brad Ziegler also saved the day by striking out three Diamondbacks with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
Leon began the bottom of the third with a single and was forced at second by Holt. Benintendi and Dustin Pedroia both singled, scoring Holt and putting runners at first and third with only one out. But Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts both struck out, ending the rally.
Clay Buchholz (4.1-3-3-3-1, 71) walked the leadoff batter in both the second and third innings, but thanks to two double plays, he faced the minimum nine batters through three. In the fourth, two hits, a walk, and a stolen base gave the Diamondbacks two runs, erasing Boston's early lead. Buchholz was pulled with one out in the fifth and a man on first; Robbie Ross allowed that inherited runner to score.
But the Red Sox rallied in the home half of the fifth. Leon led off with a home run to right. Holt hustled to second on an error by right fielder Socrates Brito. Benintendi doubled to center, tying the game at 3-3. Pedroia's grounder moved Benintendi to third and, after Bogaerts struck out, Betts singled Benintendi home, giving Boston a one-run lead once again.
Leon again got things going in the sixth. He walked with one out and watched as Holt hit a two-run shot to right.
Arizona threatened - or, rather, was allowed to threaten - in the eighth. Matt Barnes walked the first three batters of the inning, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate. But Ziegler came in and struck out the next three batters on only 10 pitches (css/ssfs/cfs) to leave the bases loaded.
Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth, with a strikeout, a fly to right, and a grounder to first.
Pedroia, 2BBuchholz has a plan:
I'm going to take it and simplify it, treat it like an extended relief appearance. I've actually gotten pretty comfortable coming out of the pen. I feel good. I'm not eliminating pitches. Sometimes as a starter you have five days to prepare for the team you're going to face and you're going over scouting reports. You start reading up on them. Things like guys hitting .400 against the changeup so you eliminate the changeup out of the equation. I haven't been looking at anything like that. ... I'm not eliminating pitches and I've been able to go out and throw a lot of strikes. It's more what I want to do rather than letting the hitter determine what I'm going to throw him. I battled that early in my career and I let that get to me early in my career. The years I've gone out and had good years are years I'm going out knowing what I want to do and I'm throwing the pitches I want to throw regardless of who's hitting.