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John Farrell on MFB: ‘Probably likely’ Dustin Pedroia inactive for remainder of season 09.10.14 at 11:01 am ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell, making his weekly WEEI appearance Wednesday, told Middays with MFB that Dustin Pedroia is “probably likely” to miss the rest of the season due to an injury to his left hand/wrist. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Pedroia, in the midst of a subpar offensive season (.278/.337/.376), had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed inflammation in the wrist. The 30-year-old was scheduled to meet with team representatives Wednesday to determine a course of action.

“Nothing has been arranged as far as surgery,” Farrell said. “Information is still being gathered. There’s not been a final, like I said, target date or decision in this way. It’s pointing towards him having the procedure done. So, whether or not he remains inactive — it’s probably likely he is inactive the rest of the way.

This injury is the latest in a series of issues with Pedroia’s hands. He had surgery on his left thumb last offseason.

“Let’s face it, he’s had a number of collisions, headfirst slides, a number of things that have affected the hands, and he’s dealing with it in the left hand right now,” Farrell said. “We look at it like, if this procedure is needed, which, the initial reports — and let’s face it, surgery is always something you have to be concerned with, but … the severity of it is not like a high-risk situation with him.

“So, we look at it like if there’s a chance to get an additional two weeks of recovery time so he can get into some strength training throughout the winter and go through a normal offseason workout program as he gets into later November and beyond, that’s probably the avenue chosen here.

“What Dustin means to us is obvious. This is the heartbeat of our team, and we’ve got to get him back to 100 percent as soon as we can.”

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Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. J.A. Happ 09.06.14 at 8:27 am ET
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The Red Sox will play the Blue Jays in the second game of their three-game series Saturday night, sending out pitcher Clay Buchholz to oppose J.A. Happ. This comes after the Red Sox won a thrilling, walkoff win Friday night.

After his ERA eclipsed the six mark in early August, Buchholz (6-8. 5.40 ERA) has pitched well over the last month. He’€™s thrown at least six innings in each of his last five outings, including a complete game last time out against the Rays on Sunday.

Buchholz kept the Rays off balance all game long, striking out six and scattering three hits. Catcher Christian Vazquez credited Buchholz’€™s pinpoint location throughout the contest.

“€œHe was hitting all the spots, every pitch,” Vazquez said of Buchholz. “He was painting every pitch. He was pitching to his best, and it was easy for me.”

The Blue Jays saw the resurgent Buchholz firsthand when they faced him on Aug. 25. The right-hander was nearly as good that outing with 8 1/3 innings of three-run ball, however he did not factor into the decision because he gave up the lead in the last half of the ninth inning.

Buchholz said he was disappointed by letting the lead slip away but was happy the Red Sox came away with the victory in extra innings.

“The most important part is winning ball games, regardless of individual stats or whatever,” Buchholz said. “You definitely don’t want to go out there and give it up in the ninth, but the team was able to fight back.”

This will be the sixth time this season that Buchholz will duel against the Blue Jays. After winning his first start against Toronto in April, he dropped three consecutive decisions against the Blue Jays between May and July. In the three losses, he was charged with at least four runs each time out.

One batter Buchholz might want to be especially careful with is Adam Lind, who has 17 hits in 49 at-bats against Buchholz, including two home runs and three doubles. Shortstop Jose Reyes has a .304 batting average against Buchholz in 23 at-bats.

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Clay Buchholz (98 pitches) throws 3-hit shutout, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts provide spark in win 08.31.14 at 4:33 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz was in complete command Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz was in complete command Sunday against Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

The very good Clay Buchholz showed up Sunday at Tropicana Field.

The right-hander held the Rays to three hits and recorded his second shutout of 2014 — and second complete game — in a 3-0 Red Sox win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Buchholz, coming off a strong 8 1/3-inning effort last Monday in Toronto, followed it up Sunday by striking out six and walking none in arguably his best effort of the season.

Buchholz, who retired the final 12 batters he faced, needed just 98 pitches for his sixth career shutout.

It’s been a schizophrenic season for Buchholz, who improved to 6-8 with a 5.43 ERA.

The Red Sox suddenly have found their way on the road, winning two out of three in Toronto and following it up by winning two of three as part of the four-game series at Tampa Bay. The series wraps up Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Supporting Buchholz Sunday was rookie center fielder Mookie Betts, who went 2-for-4 and drove in a run, while Xander Bogaerts also had two hits in his second game back from the seven-day disabled list due to a concussion.

Betts and Bogaerts each doubled while Christian Vazquez singled in the first run in the third inning. Betts singled home Brock Holt in the fifth and David Ortiz singled home Betts in the eighth for insurance and to conclude the scoring on the day.

The Red Sox played the game without second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who received the day off after taking a forearm to the head early in Saturday night’s game. Pedroia still is going through the concussion testing protocol and won’t need to go on the disabled list as rosters expand to 40 players on Monday.

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Monday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. J.A. Happ 08.25.14 at 3:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox will open up a three-game set against the Blue Jays up in Toronto on Monday, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against J.A. Happ in the series opener.

After posting back-to-back solid outings on Aug. 9 and 15, Buchholz (5-8, 5.94 ERA) took a step back in his last start Wednesday against the Angels. The right-hander started off strong, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced, but fell apart in the fifth, giving up five runs en route to 8-3 Red Sox loss.

“The difference between everything going on this year and last year is a lot of balls finding holes or are home runs or doubles, they were hit at somebody last year and I got a lot of double plays that way,” Buchholz said after the game. “Sometimes that’s the way it goes. You don’t ever want it to be a full season but that’s the way it is sometimes, and I’ve got to keep grinding.”

Inconsistency has been the name of the game for Buchholz this season, as the right-hander has given up at least six earned runs in three of his last five starts.

Buchholz took the loss in his last outing against the Blue Jays on July 23, giving up four earned runs in six innings. In 22 career appearances (21 starts) against Toronto, Buchholz is 10-8 with 3.22 ERA.

Happ (8-8, 4.39 ERA) also struggled in his last start Tuesday against the Brewers, giving up six hits and four runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work.

“I don’t know,” Happ said after the game. “We’ve got to … I don’t know, just find a way. It starts with pitching. It started with me tonight. We got outplayed and it started with me, I guess. In a hole behind early and that’s tough against anybody, let alone a first-place team. Everybody’s gotta do their part and I came up short tonight.”

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Clay Buchholz says he’s ready to take his turn helping lead a starting staff at 1:00 pm ET
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TORONTO — There have been times throughout Clay Buchholz‘s career when he was the best pitcher on the Red Sox‘ starting staff. But at no time was he perceived as the kind of leader all others should file in line behind.

Like it or not, that dynamic suddenly has shifted.

Buchholz is the last man standing in a rotation that was full of veterans. Gone are Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy. Left behind is Buchholz, who just turned 30 years old 11 days ago, and a bunch of 20-somethings.

So, with that in mind, the obvious question should be asked of the righty: Are you ready to lead a staff?

“I’ve always been the best at what I’ve done. When I got to the big leagues it was the first time I wasn’t the best. So I always carried myself, I’m not the most vocal person ever, but I know what I need to do to get my job done,” he said during a recent sit-down at Fenway Park. “Sometimes it doesn’t happen but I know my thought process was right going into it. Having those guys, the Jon Lesters and the Lacks and Peavys and [Josh] Becketts and [Curt Schillings], that definitely helps a lot because you can pick their brains and learn a lot about the game, you sort of try to take everything you can that’s going to help you. I’ve been able to do that over the last six, seven years with a lot of great baseball minds. I feel like if that’s sort of what I’m slated to do is be the veteran guy on the team and help out.

“I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the role I have right now as each day goes by.”

There is the element of leading by example when put in the position as head of any starting staff. But there is also the reality that such a pitcher has to be consistently productive, which Buchholz is currently trying to establish after the worst season of his career.

If Buchholz does rediscover success, then the conversation is pushed toward his role in the midst what has become a uncertain group of youngsters.

It’s a dynamic he’s not unfamiliar with.

“Even before Lack and Lester and Peavy left, that’s a lot of years of baseball between a select number of guys. They would be sitting and watching video or something and they would ask me ‘What do you see right there?’ and another day I’d ask them. So everybody is helping each other, not just one person helping everybody out,” he said. “It’s sort of everyone going in and helping each other and I think that’s what makes a pitching staff stronger than maybe it should be because the guys trust each other and you build sort of what you’re trying to do. You’re scouting report goes off of what other guys are saying. That’s sort of how pitching can be difficult and make it a little bit easier at the same time.

“It definitely helps if they’re the guys that are the ones that can give you advice without it critical. I’ve had a good mix of just about everything. [Tim Wakefield] would be the first person to come up to me and tell me, ‘Hey, this is what I see.’ That helped me a lot because he’s been around the game a long time. Wake pitched with Pedro [Martinez], saw him, saw Schill. He knows what he’s talking about when it comes to pitching and he’s one I’ll always listen to even though he threw a knuckleball. He was really good a breaking down mechanics and he’s helped me out this year, too.

“There’s definitely good to having older guys on the club. But none of these guys are here because they just got lucky. They’re here because they throw good pitches and they deserve to be in the big leagues. That’s first and foremost for me.”

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Closing Time: Clay Buchholz implodes in fifth inning as Red Sox drop third straight to Angels 08.20.14 at 10:55 pm ET
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In one inning, Clay Buchholz‘s night went from stellar to forgettable.

The right-hander was handed a 3-0 lead by the Red Sox‘ offense and took a 3-1 advantage into the fifth inning, but imploded for five runs in the frame as the Sox fell 8-3 to the Angels Wednesday night.

Buchholz looked nearly unhittable early on, allowing just one hit and striking out three through the first three innings. He gave up a run on an RBI single by Howie Kendrick in the fourth, but was seemingly still in command thanks to some early run support.

It all unraveled in the fifth.

Buchholz gave up five runs in the inning on four hits and two walks as the Angels quickly took over the game in a one-inning assault. Buchholz loaded the bases by allowing the first three hitters to reach on two singles and a walk, then walked Kole Calhoun to score the Halos’ first run of the inning. Mike Trout followed with a fielder’s choice to score the tying run and Albert Pujols ripped a single to right to put the Angels ahead.

Josh Hamilton scored Trout on a sacrifice fly and Kendrick singled in Pujols for another.

“Combination of walks and base hits,” manager John Farrell said of the fifth inning. “Through the first four innings I thought [Buchholz] was sharp, he had good late action to his stuff. In the fifth, when he got ahead of a couple of hitters, didn’t have the same finishing pitch he had shown in the previous four and they were able to put some people on. … They found some holes and bunched some hits and walks for the five runs.”

Said Buchholz: “I just missed location with a couple of pitches. They were able to put a big inning together. It’s been a long time since I walked a run in so that didn’t help. A couple balls they hit found some holes and they scored five.”

The Angels went through the entire order in the frame. It was Buchholz’s worst inning since giving up nine in the sixth inning of a disastrous outing against the Blue Jays July 28.

Buchholz finished the game with six runs on seven hits over six innings for his eighth loss of the season. He walked two, struck out five and threw 64 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

It was his worst outing since giving up seven over five innings against the Yankees Aug. 3. But Wednesday’s outcome was surprising given how effectively Buchholz pitched in his prior two starts and the way he was rolling through the first three innings Wednesday.

“I thought Clay threw the ball pretty well,” catcher David Ross said. “I think out of the stretch he got a little rushed and couldn’t find the strike zone and then they got some hits. Other than that one inning, I think he threw the ball pretty well. I think he was just not quite as sharp out of the stretch tonight.”

The loss was the Red Sox‘ fourth straight, dropping them to 56-70 for the season and 2-5 through the first seven games of the 11-game homestand.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– As poorly as Buchholz pitched in the fifth inning, he didn’t get much help from his defense either. Daniel Nava failed to chase down Trout’s shallow fly ball with the bases loaded and no outs. Instead of an easy out and no advancement from any of the runners, the ball landed right in front of Nava and a run scored.

Kendrick’s RBI single with two outs also could’ve been prevented had Dustin Pedroia gotten a glove down on the hard grounder, which forced him to move to his left off the bat. The ball instead went just by him for a hit.

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Closing Time: Astros snap Red Sox’ four-game win streak in extra innings 08.15.14 at 10:58 pm ET
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David Ortiz and the Red Sox saw their four-game win streak come to an end. (Getty Images)

David Ortiz and the Red Sox saw their four-game win streak come to an end. (Getty Images)

Entering Friday night, the Astros had a career record of 0-8 at Fenway Park, while the Red Sox possessed a bizarre mark of 0-14 on actor Ben Affleck‘s birthday dating back to 1997 – the same year that “Good Will Hunting” was released in theaters.

Something had to give.

In the end, the Astros were able to come away with the win, as Houston right fielder  Jake Marisnick drove in two runs on a ground-rule double in the 10th inning to give the Astros a 5-3 victory at Fenway Park. The loss snaps Boston’s brief four-game win streak.

Starter Clay Buchholz put together another encouraging outing, holding Houston to seven hits, two earned runs and two walks over seven innings while striking out nine Astros batters.

‘€œClay was outstanding once again,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “He was crisp, he had a very good curveball to put hitters away with, to lead guys off with strikes. A lot of strikes overall. He was very efficient.’€

Houston starter Dallas Keuchel got off to a good start against the Red Sox lineup, striking out four and only surrendering an infield single through the first three innings.

Boston was finally able to get on the board in the fourth inning, as Yoenis Cespedes laced a slider from Keuchel into the Green Monster seats for a two-run homer, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.

Houston left fielder Robbie Grossman almost single-handedly helped the Astros get back into the game, collecting an RBI single off Buchholz in the fifth before jumping on a first-pitch cutter from the Sox starter in the seventh and driving it into the right-field seats for a solo home run, knotting the game at two runs apiece.

Boston would quickly regain the lead in the bottom of the seventh, as Holt singled home Christian Vazquez to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead, but a bizarre defensive breakdown involving Xander Bogaerts, Vazquez and reliever Burke Badenhop in the eighth allowed the Astros to once again tie the score, 3-3. Vazquez, who was attempting to tag out an advancing Gregorio Petit at home, received a throwing error on the play after botching a throw to Badenhop at home, allowing Petit to cross the plate.

The game would remain tied until the top of the 10th. After Craig Breslow allowed the first three Houston batters to reach base with no outs, the Astros capitalized, as Marisnick lofted a 2-0 fastball from Junichi Tazawa into right field that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double, scoring two and giving the Astros a lead that they would not renounce.

‘€œYou can’€™t defend a bloop double on the line,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œTazawa comes in, we’€™re trying to stay away from him for the third consecutive day and being forced to use him. ‘€¦ Marisnick dumps a double just inside the line for the difference.’€

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 55-66 on the year.

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