The Boston Red Sox continued their early-season struggles, losing their sixth game in a row tonight, 6-4 to drop their record to 20-25, a season worst. Clay Buchholz gave up four earned runs on nine hits in four and 2/3 innings in which he never looked particularly sharp. While the injured Felix Doubront‘s rotation spot is now up for grabs, one wonders if Buchholz’s can be much more secure. The Red Sox made it interesting in the late going, but fell short again.
The second inning was the beginning of trouble for Buchholz. Edwin Encarnacion began the scoring with a bomb over the Monster. The Blue Jays seemed about to blow the game open right there, loading the bases with one out, then pushing a second run across on a Jose Reyes single. Buchholz managed to wriggle out of further trouble by retiring Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista.
The Blue Jays continued the attack in the third inning. Adam Lind blasted a triple to the triangle in deep center field. The Red Sox brought the infield in, only to have Encarnacion blast another home run off a hanging Buchholz curveball.
Buchholz seemed to right the ship in the fourth, putting up a scoreless frame. The Red Sox got one back in the bottom of the inning on a long home run to left field by the new sixth place hitter, Shane Victorino. The Red Sox looked to add more after a Mike Carp walk and a Xander Bogaerts double put runners on second and third, but once again the Red Sox could not get the big hit as Brock Holt grounded out to end the inning.
The Red Sox defense allowed another run in the fifth inning which spelled the end for Buchholz. Lind singled to center and the dangerous Encarnacion bounced weakly to third but Holt could not make an accurate throw to first, resulting in an error. After a pop out, Brett Lawrie grounded a ball up the middle and Buchholz speared it and tried to start a double play but the speedy Lawrie beat Bogaerts’ throw to first. Had Buchholz let the ball go, it is likely Bogaerts could have turned the double play. As the script has gone for the Red Sox this season, Dioner Navarro poked a run-scoring single to left, ending the night for Buchholz.
In the sixth inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs only to continue their futility with runners in scoring position as Grady Sizemore struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch. The Red Sox made some noise in the eighth inning. Doubles by Carp and Bogaerts plated two runs then Holt dropped a single into left field scoring Bogaerts to make it 6-4.
In the bottom of ninth a single by A.J. Pierzynski brought Victorino to the plate as the tying run. Heroics once again eluded the Red Sox in the ninth inning as Victorino grounded out to end the game.
There was chatter on the NESN broadcast that Victorino is considering a return to switch hitting… This is the first game of the season Victorino has not hit in the two hole…Before his success tonight, Encarnacion had been 2 for 26 lifetime against Buchholz..Lind continued his own success against Buchholz, boosting a career .324/.348./535 line in 46 plate appearances against him… Bogaerts hit the ball hard each time up, tallying three hits, including two doubles. The top four hitters in the Red Sox order went 1-19 with a walk and five strikeouts.