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Buchholz Outduels best LHP in AL…Sox lose 7-4

For seven shining innings Clay Buchholz held out a spark in the dark for Sox fans by out-pitching the best LHP in the AL, Cy Young Award leader, David Price, but the Red Sox found a way to snuff it out and lose anyway.When Buchholz left the game after 7 innings, he had thrown 94 pitches, allowed no runs, K’d 4 and walked two, and the Sox were ahead 2-0.The Sox starter had dominated the Rays’ ace, featuring a sharp curve, complemented by a solid heater, Buchholz kept change-ups to a minimum. Buchholz and Price went mano-a-mano, both tossing 3-hitters after five, extending the scoreless string of 27scoreless innings at Da Trop.When the Sox tagged on an insurance run in the 8th and another run in the 9th when Jose Iglesias smacked an 0-2 pitch for his first major league HR, the run that Tazawa coughed up in the 8th seemed insignificant with the score 4-1.

What should have been a win for Buchholz turned into yet another frustrating loss in the sub .500 season for the Sox in the bottom of the 9th when Bailey and Padilla wasted his shining 7-inning shutout by surrendering six runs and the game ended 7-4 on a 3-run walk-off HR by B. J. Upton.

“It’s inexcusable. There’s no other way to describe it,” said Bailey, who blew his second save in seven chances. “I have to get the job done and find a way to get out of that inning. Buchholz threw a hell of a game and deserved a ‘W,’ and I let him down.”

Said Buchholz, “Stuff happens. It’s how our season has been going.”

The game was remarkable with seven “hits” were awarded by the Tampa official scorer, most of which could have just as easily been scored errors.

Infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who had played just 22 of 493 defensive innings in the OF “created” two doubles for the Rays; he lost a fly in the white roof and muffed another fly ball.  “As soon as he broke back twice and looked up, he didn’t see either,” Valentine said. “Well, the first one I think he saw, it was just the communication without the practice out there. The second one he didn’t pick up.”Rays SS Zobrist could have easily been charged with two errors in the 7th inning and catcher Jose Molina let two pitches get by him, although Price was charged with wild pitches.

In Rays 8th Aviles slapped at a ball hit by him and it was scored a double, but was clearly an error to a sane official scorer.

The “good news”?

Entering the game with two hits in  35 at-bats, Iglesias got three hits in four at-bats tonight. That puts his batting average at .128.  He cracked his first career MLB homer and RBI, a homer to deep left-center.

Despite the loss, the Sox ended the road trip with a 4-3 record and for the first time since 2007, the Sox won their season series against the Rays 8-7.

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