Closing Time: Clay Buchholz can’t slow down Red Sox’ slide
|08.22.12 at 10:25 pm ET|
The Red Sox starting pitcher had one of his worst outings of the season, paving the way to a 7-3 Sox loss to the Angels Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox drop to 6-14 for the month, dropping six games below .500 for the first time since they were 13-19 on May 11. They have also lost six of their last eight.
Buchholz couldn’t keep his string of stellar starts going, allowing seven runs on a career-high 12 hits over 5 ½ innings. The righty had totaled a 1.53 ERA over his previous six starts, limiting opponents to a .195 batting average.
The seven runs allowed were the most given up by Buchholz this season since his first start of the season.
Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox:
WHAT WENT WRONG
– Buchholz initially ran into trouble in the third inning, with Chris Iannetta getting the Angels on the board first by placing a 3-2 pitch into right field for the game’s first RBI. The single, which scored Maicer Izturis, paved the way for a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Mike Trout.
– The Angels added to their lead in the fourth, making it 4-0 on RBI singles from Mark Trumbo and Izturis. It marked the first time Buchholz had allowed four runs in an appearance since July 14 (7 starts).
– Howie Kendrick gave the Angels a three-run lead with a solo shot over the left-center field wall in the sixth inning. Buchholz had already been struggling heading into the sixth, having allowed nine hits through the first five frames (a season-high for the first five innings).
– Junichi Tazawa came on for Buchholz with one out in the sixth and two runners on, but couldn’t limit the damage. The reliever struck out his first batter, Iannetta, but proceeded to give up a two-run single to Torii Hunter. Tazawa has now allowed seven of his 13 inherited runners to score.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– The Red Sox managed to cut the visitors’ lead in half thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles from Ryan Lavarnway and Mike Aviles. Lavarnway’s run-scoring hit found the left field wall and scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia, while Aviles managed to plate the Sox’ DH on the next at-bat with his own wall-ball. It was the rookie’s second extra-base hit of the season, and fifth hit overall.
– With two outs in the first inning, Red Sox left fielder Scott Podsednik gunned down Albert Pujols trying to stretch his line-drive into the left field corner into a double.
– With one out in the fifth, third baseman Pedro Ciriaco scooped up Vernon Wells’ chopper and threw out Ianneta at home to keep the Red Sox within two runs.
– Cody Ross‘ into the right field corner in the eighth inning supplied the Red Sox’ third run, with Dustin Pedroia coming in from second. Pedroia hesitated twice before finally committing to his sprint home, which narrowly beat the tag by Iannetta.
– Podsednik claimed three hits. The outfielder now has multiple-hit games in 12 of his 22 starts.
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