CLAY BUCHHOLZ SHINES IN 7-1 VICTORY
Pitching with a narrow 2-1 lead for 6 Innings, Clay Buchholz was able to keep the A's at bay until the Red Sox finally broke things open in the bottom of the 6th. With 1 out in the 7th he left the game to an ovation after walking John Jaso on his 110th pitch.
Buchholz (W2-2) Line: 6 1/3 Innings, 1 Run, 3 hits, 3 BBs, 3 K's
MYTH: MONEY= WINNING IN MLB
The Oakland A's came to Boston with the best record (18-11) in the American League (Believe it or not Milwaukee had the best in baseball at 20-9) and sporting a 3 game winning streak after sweeping the Texas Rangers. The Red Sox were coming off an embarrassing doubleheader loss, at home, to the Tampa Bay Rays, dropping them to 13-16 and at the time, a last place tie with the Rays..
Although the Red Sox team payroll ($162, 817, 411) has leveled out over the past few seasons, they currently have the 4th highest in MLB, trailing only the Dodgers, Yankees and (surprise) Phillies. The A's ($83,401,400) meanwhile, continue to thrive despite being near the bottom, trailed only by Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Miami and Houston.
RARE EARLY LEAD
The Red Sox have had trouble scoring runs in the early innings, playing from behind in many of their 16 losses. Unlike 2013 they have not been successful with late inning rallies when trying to come back in games. Friday night they reversed that trend putting up 2 runs in the bottom of the second and never falling behind in a 7-1 victory
The Sox opened the scoring when Grady Sizemore lead off the bottom of the second with a double to left center. He came home on a one out AJ Pierzynski single, who later raced (well, that may be a slight s-t-r-e-t-c-h) to the plate when Jackie Bradley Jr. smashed a two-out double.
As has been the case much of this year, the Sox quickly gave the opposition a run in their next at bat. Cather John Jaso led of with a triple, but it looked like Buchholz would escape trouble when he retired the next two batters with Jaso still stranded on 3rd. Old friend Jed Lowrie was at the plate when Buchholz threw a pitch in the dirt just in front of Pierzynski's mitt as Jaso trotted home. The ball was originally scored a passed ball but was quickly changed to a wild pitch and the A's had cut the lead in half, 2-1
THE STRUGGLES CONTINUE
As has been the case all year Boston continued to struggle with runners in scoring position (1 for 11 through 5 1/3 innings).With runners on 2nd & 3rd and no outs in the 5th they failed to bring a runner home when Shane Victorino hit a shallow fly to right, David Ortiz K'd and, after an intentional walk to Mike Napoli loaded the bases, Grady Sizemore K'd to frustrate manager John Farrell
Xander Bogaerts started the bottom of the 6th with a single, followed by a Pierzynski single putting runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs. Will Middlebrooks K'd, and JBJ walked to load the bases for the second straight inning and bring up the top of the batting order. You could feel the tension as fans thoughts went back to the previous inning, fearing another wasted opportunity.
After the A's made a pitching change, bringing in their 4th pitcher of the game, Ryan Cook, the Fenway Faithful rose as one when Pedroia cleared the bases with a grand slam into the left field seats. It was the 100th homer of his career and couldn't have come at a better time.
The Sox added a run in the 8th when Mike Napoli singled in Pedroia (BB) with two outs (yes, you read that right)
NOTES:With his home run Pedroia became only the second player in Red Sox history with at least 100 HRs and 100 stolen bases. The other: Carl Yastrzemski With a day off Thursday, A's right fielder and former BoSox player Josh Reddick attended yesterdays Sox-Rays game and was "thrilled" to get a Dustin Pedroia Bobble-Head doll (see his Twitter picture) The A's roster consists of a few former Red Sox: Reddick, Lowrie, Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss (15 games in 2007) After taking two (ugh) from the Sox yesterday the Rays bullpen let them down again against the Yankees giving up runs in the 8th & 9th inning. Along with a clutch hit, Jackie Bradley Jr. turned a double play to end the 8th with a tough catch deep in CF and throwing out the Josh Donaldson returning to 1st Every Sox starter except Will Middlebrooks had a least one hit, with Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Pierzynski each getting two.
Jon Lester (2-4 3.10 ERA) tries to get his 3rd win against lefty Tommy Mallone (come on, with a name like that he should be from Boston!) in the 1:15 day game at Fenway. Once again the Sox will be looking to get back to .500 with a sweep of the 3 game series.
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