BOSTON -- It was an old-fashioned pitchers duel Saturday afternoon between Clay Buchholz and Mark Buehrle at Fenway Park with the Blue Jays eventually coming out on top 3-2.
Buchholz went eight innings allowing two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out four. On the other side, Buehrle went seven-plus innings allowing one run on five hits and striking out five, but the game was decided by the bullpens as neither of the starters factored into the decision.
Junichi Tazawa came in for Buchholz and allowed a lead-off home run to Adam Lind in the ninth inning for the game-winning run. He's now allowed three home runs in 15 1/3 innings this season. The Red Sox had the tying run at second base after a lead-off double from Will Middlebrooks, but Jays closer Casey Janssen retired the next three hitters in order to earn the save.
"Both guys settled in and pitched extremely well. Seemingly after the second inning Buehrle really settled into a pretty good rhythem and as we know he works extremely fast ... Once again they settled in and threw the ball exceptionally well," said manager John Farrell of the two starters. "The 2-2 pitch, the breaking ball, doesn't get the back foot as it was supposed to to Lind for the solo home run. Then in the bottom half of the inning we had our chances with a lead-off double and [Casey] Janssen tied our left-handers up with some cutters."
The Blue Jays scored their first run in the third inning on a Melky Cabera single and then scored again in the fourth on a single from Colby Rasmus. The Red Sox did not have a base runner from the third inning to the eighth as Buehrle retired 13 straight Red Sox at one point. Through the first three innings the Red Sox left five runners on base including going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox eventually got to the Blue Jays in the eighth with Jacoby Ellsbury tripling to center field, scoring David Ross and then scoring on an error.
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The teams will close out their weekend series tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will take to the mound for the Red Sox and be opposed by Chad Jenkins as Brandon Morrow was scratched due to an injury.
What they'll be saying: The recent Red Sox skid continues despite a solid start from Buchholz who hasn't allowed a home run in his last seven starts, which equals the longest stretch of his career. He retired eight hitters in a row from the fifth to the eighth innings before a single to Jose Bautista. Although he didn't factor into the decision this was the first game all year the Sox have lost a game in which he has started ... The lack of offensive production is becoming an issue for the team as they've now lost seven of their last ten and in those ten games they've scored three runs or less seven times. The team went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and are a combined 3-for-28 in their last two games.