Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)
It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.
Seconds after the first pitch left Buchholz’s hand in his first start since May 26, it was over the Green Monster for White Sox leadoff man Tim Anderson’s first career home run — a fitting omen to begin what ultimately turned into a 3-1 loss for the Red Sox.
Following Anderson’s homer was a double off the wall for Adam Eaton, who would later be driven in on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, Todd Frazier parked a home run of his own into the Monster seats.
When the dust settled, Buchholz went five innings, allowing four hits, and three runs, while striking out five and walking one. With the exception of the Frazier home run, Buchholz did put together a more solid outing after the first, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts over the next four innings.
The Red Sox offense, though certainly not to the degree of Monday night’s game, was unable to cash in on their chances. They stranded the bases loaded for the second night in a row when Hanley Ramirez struck out with the bases juiced in the third.
They threatened again in the eighth, trailing 3-1, with a pair of one-out singles from Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts, but they came up short again, with Ramirez striking out and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounding out.
David Ortiz, as a pinch-hitter, walked in the ninth, but that was all they could do against David Robertson.
Smothering the Red Sox’ bats was White Sox ace Chris Sale, who allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings.
Buchholz has allowed three or more runs in nine of his 11 starts this season.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Buchholz started a game in which he was looking to redeem himself by surrendering a first-pitch home run to Tim Anderson.
— Ramirez’s struggles at the dish continued Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Since hitting a home run last Wednesday against Baltimore, Ramirez is 4-for-24 with six strikeouts.
— The Red Sox squandered multiple opportunities to score runs, stranding seven runners Tuesday — four of which were in scoring position. They are four for their last 48 (.083) with runners in scoring position.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— After a Dioner Navarro single to start the second inning, Buchholz struck out Avisail Garcia, and Sandy Leon threw out Navarro at second for a double play.
— Matt Barnes was solid in relief, going 2 1/3 innings allowing two hits and no runs with two strikeouts.
— Pedroia, Bogaerts and Travis Shaw all had multi-hit nights, grabbing two hits apiece.