Red Sox fall to Blue Jays night after clinching AL East title
BOSTON — On the night after the Red Sox clinched the AL East, the Sox fell to the Blue Jays 4-2 at Fenway Park in a game in which the team rested starters Dustin Pedroia (he pinch-hit for John McDonald in the seventh), Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Clay Buchholz made his third start since coming off the disabled list and went six innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out two. He allowed all three runs (two earned) in the third inning, all coming with two outs. He allowed four straight hits and mixed in an error of his own trying to pick Rajai Davis off first base allowing one of the runs to score. Buchholz pitched pretty well, aside from the third inning. He did though suffer his first loss of the season as his record now stands at 11-1.
“I thought he was more crisp than his last time out against New York,” manager John Farrell said. “A little bit better arm strength, a little bit more consistent power to his fastball. I thought in the fourth inning defensively we contributed, including Clay’s errant pick off attempt, to the three runs in that one inning. The infield base hit where [Bogarerts] double pumped, that was enough for [Brett Lawrie] to beat out the infield hit. The ball carried to center field good off of [Adam Lind's] bat for the double that Lawrie scored on and then the bloop base hit. I thought Clay was still pretty sharp and pretty crisp for the time he was on the mound tonight.”
Drake Britton, Ryan Dempster (first relief appearance since 2007) pitched scoreless innings of relief before Matt Thornton allowed a run in the ninth inning. Rubby De La Rosa came on to record the final out.
The Red Sox offense couldn’t get much going off of Jays starter Mark Buehrle. The left-hander went six innings allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five. The Sox scored their lone run off the left-hander in the sixth on an RBI single from Jonny Gomes scoring Stephen Drew. They were able to get to the Jays bullpen by scoring an unearned run in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout from David Ross. Drew paced the offense with two of the five hits in the loss.
The series finale will be tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN) where Felix Doubront will take on R.A. Dickey.
What they’ll be saying: Of the five losses in the Red Sox’ last 17 games, all five were decided by two runs or less … In Buchholz suffering his first loss of the season, it was also just the second time all year the right-hander has allowed more than two runs in a game … One major positive from the game was Ross’ defense behind the plate as he threw out three would be Blue Jays base stealers, which was the first time he’s done that over the course of his long career. The last time a Red Sox catcher threw out three would be base stealers in a game was Scott Hatteberg in 1998.