In the second game of this battle for the top of the AL East, the Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz out to the mound Saturday while the Orioles opt for Chris Tillman.

Buchholz got the ball in the first game of the season and put together a scoreless seven innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits and one walk. His second start didn’t go as well, to say the least. The lanky righty started the final game the Sox’ series with the Yankees last weekend and only lasted 3 1/3 innings. He gave up nine runs, seven of which came in the first inning, and allowed nine hits and two walks, striking out three.

With the result, Buchholz has a 7.84 ERA through his two outings, but he said he’s “not going to let one start affect the way [he feels] about the year that [the Sox] are going to have or how [he feels].”

“He came out and tried to use all his pitches from the get-go, and at times looked to pitch a little too fine,” manager John Farrell added after Buchholz’s outing. “The walks along with some balls that were well placed. They squared a couple pitches up, and before you know it, it’s a seven-run inning. I know he warmed up sharp. I know he warmed up with all his pitches being executed. It was a different story once he got to the mound.”

Buchholz has 100 1/3 innings of experience against the Orioles, registering 16 starts against them with a 9-4 record. He has a 3.86 ERA when facing the O’s and has pitched three complete games against them as well, more than any other individual team he’s seen.

In his six previous seasons in the MLB, Tillman has just as many starts against the Sox as Buchholz has against Baltimore, though he’s pitched 10 fewer innings and has recorded a 7-3 mark in that time. His 2.69 ERA against Boston is his sixth best in terms of specific opponent splits.

However, he is currently toting a season ERA of 7.71 as he was guilty of posting similar starts to Buchholz in his first two campaigns. Against the Rays on April 6, Tillman managed 6 2/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball with four strikeouts and three walks. His next start, however, went just about as well as Buchholz’s. In 2 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays, Tillman surrendered seven runs on as many hits and gave up three walks to just one strikeout.

Orioles vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Adam Jones (36 plate appearances): .207 AVG/.257 OBP/.517 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 11 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Travis Snider (18): .059/.111/.059, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts

Alejandro De Aza (14): .308/.357/.385, 1 double, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Ryan Flaherty (13): .250/.308/.250, 3 strikeouts

Delmon Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Manny Machado (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk

Jonathan Schoop (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 RBI

Steve Pearce (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Steve Clevenger (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI

Red Sox vs. Tillman (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (39 plate appearances): .286 AVG/.333 OBP/.343 SLG, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (36): .258/.361/.387, 4 doubles, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts

David Ortiz (32): .111/.250/.222, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (26): .273/.385/.364, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (16): .143/.250/.357, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (12): .364/.417/.636, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk

Brock Holt (5): .600/.600/.600, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Pablo Sandoval (4): .333/.500/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Allen Craig (3): .333/.333/.333

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
Joe Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits taking a no-decision. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits taking a no-decision. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly had a strong outing Friday night allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 3-2 walk-off win over the Orioles.

Most pitchers would be pleased with that as their second outing of the year, but not Kelly.

He wants to be better.

“It was a grind,” Kelly said of the game. “Good hitting team and they were fouling off some pretty good pitches tonight. I was around the zone. I felt pretty good with my stuff. Like I said, they had a good game plan and a good approach. Put together some pretty good at-bats. I was just happy to keep the team close today. [Ryan Hanigan] came up big and our defense came up big too to keep the game close.”

Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. The issue was he threw 118 pitches, two shy of a career-high, and didn’t make it to the sixth inning. Baltimore’s hitters made him work, working counts and fouling off a number of pitches to drive his pitch count up.

“€œHe had great stuff,” manager John Farrell said. “They did a good job of staying within the strike zone, not chasing some fastballs just off the edge. A number of foul balls that run the pitch, or run some deeper counts. I thought once he got into the fifth inning he started to use his curve ball a little bit more to slow some hitters down. He still maintained his stuff throughout the 118 pitches thrown. Probably a little bit more than I would have liked to take him tonight but still he kept his power throughout.”

In the sixth inning the lead off man, Steve Pearce, reached on an error. Then he retired the next two batters before walking Chris Davis. With two on and two out Farrell didn’t take any chances with Kelly at 118 pitches and called upon Edward Mujica, who struck out Manny Machado to get out of the jam.

Even over the 100-pitch mark, Kelly was hitting 96 MPH on his fastball consistently. Earlier in the game he hit 100 MPH twice. His fastball isn’t his only pitch. In his first start of the year against the Yankees, Kelly threw his slider 18 times, getting swing and misses on it on 11 of the 12 times he threw it for a strike.

Friday was a different story, as he didn’t get the same results. According to Brooksbaseball.net, Kelly threw the slider 15 times, but only for eight strikes, and one swing and miss. 12 of the 15 pitches came in the first three innings, and then he went away from it after he saw he wasn’t getting as good of success with it as last Saturday in New York.

Especially coming off a spring training where he dealt with a bicep injury, going 118 pitches in the second start of the year and maintaining the velocity he did is a positive sign for the 26-year-old, who many have said has the best “stuff” in the rotation.

“Oh yeah, of course,” Kelly said of being pleased throwing 118 pitches. “I am one of those guys when I am out there kind of have the blood in my eyes. I’m a fierce competitor. I don’t even know how many pitches [I’ve thrown]. As long as I am feeling good I like to go out there and pitch for my team. I would throw 200 pitches if I had to. It’s something I didn’t really look at or notice. It’s something you don’t want to worry about as a pitcher.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Major League Baseball has some explaining to do.

Pablo Sandoval was drilled by a fastball in the bottom of the fourth Friday night in the back of his right shoulder by Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


Home plate umpire Jordan Baker warns both teams while Orioles manager Buck Showalter argues after his pitcher was ejected. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Major League Baseball has some explaining to do.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.

[0:01:04] ... they had to get home run so. And that was not the left field line then does it even using the whole ballpark he's even aggressive swing early. And I'll take a bit too aggressive in all kind of like last year I was really aggressive push an elite of the year but I mean I've been off. 33 emotion to right if you don't mind my animals are basically opposite field just got to do the whole deal with the master irritant or thereabouts deliverable formal. In and I don't know who tore ...
[0:02:02] ... get him to winning games you know that you would have been formal dinner congratulations terrific win tonight thanks so much for joining us thank you guys think division. Are decisive win three do Alexander's walk ...




If there’s one thing we know about Pablo Sandoval after the first 10 games of the season is he takes his baserunning very seriously.

The 5-foot-11, 255-pound third baseman isn’t afraid to go hard into second base and break up a potential double play.

Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected after 3 2/3 hitless innings after hitting Pablo Sandoval. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected after 3 2/3 hitless innings after hitting Pablo Sandoval. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If there’s one thing we know about Pablo Sandoval after the first 10 games of the season is he takes his base running very seriously.

The 5-foot-11, 255-pound third baseman isn’t afraid to go hard into second base and break up a potential double play.

Sandoval has done it on a few occasions early on this year and did it again Friday night in the second inning, taking out Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, allowing Mike Napoli to reach first base.

The next time Sandoval stepped to the plate, with Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez not allowing a hit through 3 2/3 innings, he plunked Sandoval in the back of the shoulder. Home plate umpire Jordan Baker immediately ejected Jimenez, as he felt it was intentional.

Many of the Red Sox players didn’t feel like Jimenez deserved to be ejected, including Sandoval.

“It’s part of the game,” Sandoval said. “Just part of the game. Part of the game. Play hard.”

As for his slide into second base?

“It’s a game. Good clean slide,” Sandoval said. “I was sliding through the base. Nothing wrong with.”

Manager John Farrell thought it was a quick ejection as no warnings were issued prior to Sandoval being hit.

‘€œHonestly, yeah. A little surprised,” Farrell said. “Because I didn’t see anything that would have warranted a hit by pitch. But, obviously, Jordan felt like there was clear intent. And whether or not he felt because it was the hard slide at second base, that I don’€™t know. It was quick.’€

The Red Sox take pride in their base running, and Sandoval isn’t the only member of the team who has been know to go into second base hard this year. Farrell said it was a good, clean slide.

‘€œPablo, he’€™s a strong baserunner,” he said. “It was good, clean, hard slide to break up a double play. Apparently after the hit by pitch in the next at-bat, Jordan felt like there was intent, obviously, for the ejection. But that was a good, clean, hard slide.’€

Mike Napoli, another Red Sox player who always goes into second base hard, agreed with Farrell that Sandoval was just going into second base hard to break up the double play without any intent to harm.

He referred to it as a “sacrifice for the team.”

“You always play the game hard,” Napoli said. “I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Just breaking up a double play. Play the game hard. I don’t know if that has anything to do with why he was hit. Go hard every time. Try not to hurt a guy, but you try and break up a double play and sacrifice for the team. Go in hard. That is how we play over here.”

There was one Red Sox player who felt a little different, as catcher Ryan Hanigan noted the pitch that hit Sandoval was up by his head, and he thought that may have been the reason for the ejection.

He also noted how the play gave the Red Sox momentum, as they didn’t have a hit until two batters after the ejection when Xander Bogaerts singled off reliever Kevin Gausman and then Hanigan took him deep to tie the game at two at the time.

“Umpires discretion, man,” Hanigan said. “I’ll tell you what, to hit him up high close to the head, that’s no good. Hey, kind of flipped the momentum for us. We went on a roll there, scored a couple like I said, and put them away.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles game had a tense moment early on, and a thrilling moment at the end, as the Red Sox picked up their first walk-off win of the year.

Joe Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits taking a no-decision. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits taking a no-decision. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles game had a tense moment early on, and a thrilling moment at the end, as the Red Sox picked up their first walk-off win of the year.

Xander Bogaerts’ bloop to swallow right field with one out in the ninth inning scored Mike Napoli, as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 3-2.

Napoli started the inning off with a walk, and got to second base on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Daniel Nava.

Koji Uehara earned the win with a scoreless ninth.

Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected from the game in the fourth inning with a no-hitter intact after he hit Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the back of the shoulder by home plate umpire Jordan Baker. There were no warnings issued beforehand.

The Orioles may have been upset with Sandoval for going hard into second base to break up a double play in the second inning. Jimenez had only allowed base runners on three walks over the first 3 2/3 innings.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Bogaerts. His hit gave the Red Sox the win. He also had a hit earlier in the game.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Red Sox starter Joe Kelly went 5 2/3 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. He threw 118 pitches, two shy of a career-high. The right-hander was still hitting 96 MPH on his fastball after being over 100 pitches, so it appears the bicep injury suffered in the spring is no longer a concern. The right-hander could’ve had better command, but he fought through and almost threw six full innings. The Orioles hitters also deserve credit for making him work for every pitch.

— Ryan Hanigan tied the game at two with a two-run home run in the fifth. The batter before, Xander Bogaerts, singled for the first Red Sox hit of the game and Hanigan then delivered with the homer. The Andover, Mass native certainly didn’t get cheated for his first homer as a Red Sox, as it hit the AAA sign hanging over the Green Monster.

— Edward Mujica pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He got a big strikeout of Manny Machado with two outs in the fifth, the first batter he faced. He continued on into the seventh and allowed a hit, but no further damage.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Leading off the fifth inning, Caleb Joseph hit a home run that barely cleared the short wall by Pesky’s Pole in right off Kelly. While attempting to make the catch Shane Victorino hit the wall and fell awkwardly to the ground. John Farrell and the trainer went out for a visit, but Victorino stayed in the game. It certainly wasn’t a sight Red Sox fans wanted to see after all the injuries Victorino dealt with last season.

Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-3, including hitting into a double play. He also made an error in the field, his second of the season. He made two all of last year.

— Entering the game with a six-game hit streak, Mookie Betts went 0-for-3.

— The Red Sox had a chance to take the lead in the eighth with runners on first and second with one out and Sandoval at the plate. Facing lefty Brian Matusz, Sandoval had to hit right-handed and he promptly grounded into a double play. He’s now 0-for-13 from the right side this season.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez had thrown 3 2/3 innings of hitless ball against the Red Sox Friday until he was ejected for hitting Red Sox third baseman Pablo