The Red Sox will conclude their four-game series against the Orioles on Marathon Monday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against southpaw Wei-Yin Chen.

Buchholz has yet to replicate his early-season magic from 2013, when he looked like a Cy Young candidate. In 2014, the 29-year-old has gone 0-1, posting a 5.51 ERA and a 1.714 WHIP, both above his career averages, a 3.64 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

The Texas native has shown improvement in his three starts, giving up less hits and putting his team in a position to win. His last start came Wednesday against the White Sox. Buchholz lasted six innings that day, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking two.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. While Buchholz went six innings, he pitched 51 pitches in the first two innings.

“It was a little bit of a grind there for a couple of innings,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was sort of similar to [Jake Peavy] on [Tuesday] night. I had a long inning and sometimes you’ve got to find a way to pick your team up when things happen in an inning. Tried to battle to get through that first one.

“It’s tough to bounce back from a first inning like that. But this team, everybody knows they like to swing, so I was able to get through a couple of innings later on with a lot fewer pitches than I normally do.”

Buchholz has been successful in his career against the Orioles, posting a 9-3 record with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.276 WHIP in 16 games, 15 of them being starts. Buchholz first faced the Orioles in 2007, appearing twice, once as a starter and once from the bullpen. He combined to pitch 12 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, while striking out 12 and walking five.

2008 would be his worst against the team, going 0-2 with an 11.05 ERA. In 2010, Buchholz once again allowed no runs to Baltimore batters, going 1-0 in two starts. Last year, Buchholz went 2-0 against Baltimore, pitching 14 innings and allowing three total runs.

Wei-Yin Chen

Wei-Yin Chen

Chen has been solid for the Orioles, going 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.647 WHIP. The lefty played very well in his last start, a home game against the Rays on April 14. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four and walking two. The Orioles ended up winning the game 7-1.

Chen’€™s first start of the season was against the Red Sox on April 3 in Baltimore. The 28-year-old didn’t have his best stuff that day, allowing four runs on 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings of work. The Red Sox won the game, 4-3, with Chen getting the loss.

Chen has been average against the Red Sox, going 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA. In three starts against the club in 2012, Chen went 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA. In 2013, Chen started four games against the Sox, going 0-2 with a 7.29 ERA.

Orioles vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Nick Markakis (44 plate appearances): .135 AVG/.273 OBP/.135 SLG, 2 RBIs, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts

Adam Jones (34): .222/.273/.556, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 10 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Matt Wieters (34): .200/.294/.267, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Chris Davis (21): .273/.381/.667, 1 double, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

J.J. Hardy (20): .368/.400/.684, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Ryan Flaherty (12): .273/.333/.273, 3 strikeouts

Nelson Cruz (11): .444/.455/.700, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

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

Steve Pearce has two strikeouts and no hits in three plate appearances vs. Buchholz.

Jonathan Schoop has no hits in there plate appearances.

Steve Clevenger, Steve Lombardozzi and David Lough have not faced Buchholz.

Red Sox vs. Chen (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (24): .500/.542/.773, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (19): .235/.316/.412, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

David Ortiz (15): .385/.400/.615, 1 home run, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (14): .231/.286/.769, 1 double, 2 home runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

David Ross (13): .308/.308/.385, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (12): .545/.583/.818, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 stikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (12): .250/.250/.417, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (3): .667.667/.667, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley (3): .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI

Mike Carp, Jonathan Herrera, Brock Holt and Grady Sizemore have not faced Chen.

Blog Author: 
Arjuna Ramgopal

With a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning, the Orioles were supposed to finish the job. They were supposed to have taken a big enough lead to coast through the rest of the game and get a few extra minutes of sleep before the 11:05 a.m. on Marathon Monday. After all, the Red Sox came into the game batting .235 as a team and only managed four baserunners through the first five innings of the game.

But then, a team that looked very much like the 2013 Red Sox showed up.

One Jonny Gomes three-run shot, 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief pitching and three Baltimore errors later left Boston celebrating a walk-off win on Easter Sunday. Last year’€™s club won 11 games in walk-off fashion, so Sunday night’€™s Red Sox win was a reminder of good times for the fans at Fenway Park.

“It was crazy, but at the end of the day that’€™s how the boys win,” said starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who allowed five earned runs through 5 2/3 innings. “€œI think you certainly saw that 2013 spirit still exists with the boys. We scratched and clawed tonight, got a big hit from Jonny and gets us back in the ballgame. We scratched and clawed and found a way to come out on top.”

The framework for the comeback was set early, when the Red Sox batters drove Ubaldo Jimenez‘€™s pitch count up. Jimenez only faced four batters in the first inning, but had to throw 25 pitches to retire the side. By the time Gomes hit his home run in the sixth inning, Jimenez had thrown 107 pitches and was consequently taken out of the game.

The Red Sox saw an average of 4.65 pitches per plate appearance against Jimenez Sunday night. The league-leader in average pitches per plate appearance in the majors is Carlos Santana of the Indians, who sees an average of 4.58 pitches. The 2013 Red Sox were among the best in the major leagues at driving up pitch counts and saw the most pitches in the majors (25,667 pitches).

“It goes back to our approach at the plate,” said manager John Farrell. “Seeing a lot of pitches, driving up pitch counts, getting into their bullpen, trying to get some favorable matchups on our part, I think the last two games in [Chicago] carrying through to this series, it has been a much more consistent approach.”

Getting to the bullpen is part of the Red Sox success because it has an advantage over most teams. A combination of Chris Capuano, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller and Edward Mujica shut the door on the Orioles over the last 3 1/3 innings, only allowing two hits while striking out four and holding Baltimore scoreless.

This year’€™s Red Sox bullpen has been the best in the majors, combining for a 1.7 WAR through the first few weeks of the season. Last year’€™s crew was also among the best in the majors, as it posted a fourth-best 5.8 WAR only behind the Rangers, Royals and White Sox.

“We are not going to give up until the last out,” Gomes said. “Our bullpen knows that as well. [Capuano] comes in and if we can just keep them close, obviously we have a chance. We did that tonight.”

Another key to the win was the heads up plays of advancing the extra base, particularly by Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman scampered over to third when Matt Wieters lost a wild pitch behind him in the bottom of the ninth inning. Then when the a throw from left field flew to the backstop after a Mike Carp line out, Pedroia tagged and found himself at home plate.

Gomes said that the theme of the team’€™s resilience carried over from last year’€™s team to this year’€™s, and it is those heads-up plays from Pedroia that make the Red Sox a tough team to beat.

“To win games like tonight and to win games like the other night, we have really got a baseball IQ, which is capitalizing on mistakes and not letting the other team capitalize on your mistakes,” Gomes said. “€œEverything is starting to fall into place.

“€œAt the end of the day, you want to win and bring Koji [Uehara] in and slam the door, but it is good to know we have that in our pocket.”€

Blog Author: 
Kevin Dillon
Joe & Rob talked to Jonny Gomes after the dramatic run-off win at Fenway over the Orioles.

[0:00:00] ... And now let's go to the guy who got it started Jonny Gomes Johnny congratulations. That was really a huge hit because this one that. It looked like it was gonna end this way. Well we're needs more positive thoughts and yet but I mean the way the day started with that ceremony was thirtieth touching. And I mean -- first class of the Red Sox and little Red Sox Stanley and you know the whole area you know pick in the -- like that. -- and John you talked a little ...
[0:01:03] ... -- that a what Johnny -- very very unusual last of the ninth inning we thought Pedroia had won the game with a home run there. And the call was that reversed the but there -- found a way to win and then there was very heads ...
[0:02:43] ... he has said. Just speaks volumes about the character round of the Red Sox players. Yeah I think you're right I mean we're doing nothing but just paving the way for you know the positive side. ...





Joe & Rob talked to Jonny Gomes after the dramatic run-off win at Fenway over the Orioles.

Similar to many wins last season, the Red Sox worked the count against the opposing starter in the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez, eventually forcing him from the game in the middle of the sixth inning after throwing 107 pitches.

Similar to many wins last season, the Red Sox worked the count against the opposing starter in the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez, eventually forcing him from the game in the middle of the sixth inning after throwing 107 pitches. Once the bullpen was called on, the Red Sox rallied for three runs against the bullpen, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to eventually come away with a 6-5 walk off win Sunday night at Fenway Park.

For the most part Jimenez shut the Red Sox offense down, only allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings, but once he was tiring in the sixth inning Jonny Gomes took advantage belting a three-run homer into the Monster seats cutting the deficit to 5-3.

The Red Sox scored twice (both unearned) in the seventh on bad Orioles defense as they committed two errors in the frame to tie the game at five. With the bases loaded Ortiz delivered a RBI single to right and then Mike Napoli‘s grounder to third was thrown home by Jonathan Schoop, but couldn’t be handled by Matt Wieters allowing Grady Sizemore to score. Sizemore reached earlier in the inning when shortstop Ryan Flaherty dropped the ball on a transfer when attempting to turn a double play and with the new rule this season the runner is ruled safe.

That set the stage for ninth inning when Dustin Pedroia ripped one off the Monster that needed to be reviewed for a potential homer, but was ruled inconclusive and the call of a double on the field stood. Pedroia then took third on a wild pitch, and the O’s then intentionally walked David Ortiz and calling on a new pitcher Darren O’Day. O’Day then hit Mike Napoli, which led to Mike Carp’s pinch-hit appearance and a walk off error. Carp’s fly ball to left was caught, but the throw went over Wieters’ head and then Pedroia, who fake tagged on the play was able to scamper home.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in their win Sunday night:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- On top of recording the first hit for the Red Sox coming in the fourth inning, Gomes also delivered the first Red Sox runs with a three-run homer into the Monster seats in the sixth inning. It was his second homer of the season and third career home run off Jimenez as he 7-for-18 lifetime against the right-hander.

- Scoring runs in the seventh is nothing new for the Red Sox as they entered the game scoring 11 times already in the inning, the most of any other inning. Sunday’s win also marked the second time in eight games they won a game in which they trailed after six innings. It was the first walk-off win of the year, this coming off a record number of walk offs last year.

- Chris Capuano gave the Red Sox another strong relief outing as the left-hander went 1 2/3 innings allowing just one it. He hasn’t allowed a run this season in 10 1/3 innings of work this season and aside from Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa he’s been the most dependable reliever. Overall, the Red Sox bullpen threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

- Since his recall on Friday, Brock Holt has made the most of it as he went 1-for-3 with a run scored. In three games he’s gone 4-for-10 including his game-winning triple on Saturday.

WHAT WENT WRONG

- Red Sox starter Jake Peavy got off to a rough start allowing three runs in the first inning. Four straight Orioles reached as Nelson Cruz took Peavy over the Monster on the first pitch and then he allowed a walk and two straight singles with Matt Wieters’€™ giving the O’€™s a quick 2-0 lead. J.J. Hardy added a sacrifice fly for the third run of the inning. It was the first time Peavy has allowed a first inning run this season. Peavy finished going 5 2/3 innings allowing five runs on ten hits, in arguably his worst outing of the season.

- Grady Sizemore continues to struggle of late, especially in the lead off spot. Sizemore went 0-for-4 in the game with a walk and is now 1 for his last 22. When batting first this season, Sizemore entered the game with a line of: .115/.148/.115.

- Daniel Nava is also struggling, going 0-for-4 in the game with two strikeouts. He is currently 1 for his last 18.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
The scene at Fenway Park during the National Anthem following their pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year's Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

The scene at Fenway Park during the National Anthem following the Red Sox‘ pregame ceremony paying tribute to last year’s Boston Marathon. (WEEI.com)

On the eve of the 118th Boston Marathon, prior to their game with the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox paid tribute to the events of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings in a moving and emotional pregame ceremony.

Following a video montage showing how far many of the survivors have come and how much support the city has received, the UMass marching band played “Highland Cathedral” to remember Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Officer Sean Collier as well as to honor the first responders and medical personnel with police, doctors and nurses joining the band on the field.

Following them onto the field were some of the victims led by Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arrendondo appearing from left field all wearing “Boston” jerseys. Finally, led by Dick and Rick Hoyt, runners ran towards the infield from center field, joining the half circle formed along the infield.

Lining the outfield warning track during the ceremony were canvases bearing inscriptions of good will from all 50 United States, along with all Major League Baseball teams and members of Congress.

The first pitch was thrown by One Fund President Jim Gallagher to David Ortiz, as prominent government officials including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino stood behind.

The ceremony concluded with both the Red Sox and Orioles lining the first and third base lines, joining the marching band and the Boston Pipers Society as well as the fans at Fenway Park in the singing of the National Anthem together as one.

It was just the latest in what the Red Sox have done in wake of last year’s tragic event.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Win or lose Sunday night, it is unlikely that the Red Sox get a good night’€™s sleep.

With Sunday’€™s game starting at 7 p.m. and Marathon Monday’€™s beginning at 11:05 a.m., there will not be much of a turnaround between games. Farrell insisted that the team will not be looking ahead to Monday heading into Sunday night’€™s game, but he did not hide that the schedule is an inconvenience to the team.

“[Pre-game warmups] will be abbreviated tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Any work that we would do hitting-wise will be done in the cage.

“Marathon Monday is the traditional start time, but this is the first time coming off a night game. We are thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”

The game before the 11 a.m. start is typically a day game in which the Red Sox have done well in recent years, as they have won eight out of their last nine pre-Marathon Monday contests. Boston has not lost the game before Marathon Monday since 2010, when it fell 7-1 to the Rays.

This year’€™s short break between games represents a new challenge though, and it is one that comes at a bad time early in the season. After all, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate and are currently last in the AL East. The minimal rest comes right before nine games in 10 days against more division opponents, including the Yankees starting Tuesday.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

- Shane Victorino will be making at two more rehab appearances before the team reassesses his availability on Tuesday. During those two games, Farrell said the team is looking for him to get four at-bats Monday and play nine innings on Tuesday. Victorino went 0-for-3 Saturday, in his first rehab game.

As for the corresponding roster move with his return, that remains a discussion in the works.

“€œ[Conversations about a roster move] have been ongoing,” Farrell said. “They are not going to initiate once he is getting ready to come back. We have looked at every available combination of outfielders.”€

-  Will Middlebrooks will be on a rehab assignment Monday as he works toward his return from the DL. His tentative schedule is to be playing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before the team re-evaluates him.

- One of Mike Napoli‘€™s biggest focuses during the spring was to adjust his plate approach with two strikes, therefore reducing his strikeout totals. Napoli struck out 187 times in 578 plate appearances last season, so he increased his focus on making contact with the ball with two strikes this season.

The approach seems to have had some positive effects for him, as he is batting .262/.367/.357 this season with two strikes, compared to a .193/.288/.334 line in the same situation last season.

“When he has been up there, there has been a number of times where we have seen him cut down his swing and stay in the middle of the field a little bit more,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œMaybe he sacrifices a little bit of power for contact and I think he is carrying out what he set out to do.”

Blog Author: 
Kevin Dillon

Win or lose Sunday night, it is unlikely that the Red Sox get a good night’€™s sleep.

With Sunday’€™s game starting at 7 p.m. and Marathon Monday’€™s beginning at 11:05 a.m., there will not be much of a turnaround between games. Farrell insisted that the team will not be looking ahead to Monday heading into Sunday night’€™s game, but he did not hide that the schedule is an inconvenience to the team.

“[Pre-game warmups] will be abbreviated tomorrow,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Any work that we would do hitting-wise will be done in the cage.

“Marathon Monday is the traditional start time, but this is the first time coming off a night game. We are thankful for ESPN on most occasions, but we have to deal with the schedule given to us.”

The game before the 11 a.m. start is typically a day game in which the Red Sox have done well in recent years, as they have won eight out of their last nine pre-Marathon Monday contests. Boston has not lost the game before Marathon Monday since 2010, when it fell 7-1 to the Rays.

This year’€™s short break between games represents a new challenge though, and it is one that comes at a bad time early in the season. After all, the Red Sox have struggled out of the gate and are currently last in the AL East. The minimal rest comes right before nine games in 10 days against more division opponents, including the Yankees starting Tuesday.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

- Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be making at two more rehab appearances with Pawtucket before the team reassesses his status on Tuesday. During those two games, Farrell said the team is looking for him to get four at-bats Monday and play nine innings on Tuesday. Victorino went 0-for-3 Saturday in his first rehab game.

As for the corresponding roster move when he returns, that remains a discussion in the works.

“€œ[Conversations about a roster move] have been ongoing,” Farrell said. “They are not going to initiate once he is getting ready to come back. We have looked at every available combination of outfielders.”€

- Will Middlebrooks (calf) will be joining Victorino in Pawtucket Monday as he works toward his return from the DL. His tentative schedule is to be playing Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before the team re-evaluates his status.

- One of Mike Napoli‘€™s biggest focuses during the spring was to adjust his plate approach with two strikes, therefore reducing his strikeout totals. Napoli struck out 187 times in 578 plate appearances last season, so he increased his focus on making contact with the ball with two strikes this season.

The approach seems to have had some positive effects for him, as he is batting .262/.367/.357 this season with two strikes, compared to a .193/.288/.334 line in the same situation last season.

“When he has been up there, there has been a number of times where we have seen him cut down his swing and stay in the middle of the field a little bit more,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œMaybe he sacrifices a little bit of power for contact and I think he is carrying out what he set out to do.”

Blog Author: 
Kevin Dillon

Grady Sizemore will do something Sunday night he hasn’t done all season long — start three straight games in three straight days.