Some would say Mookie Betts had a night to forget on Friday. He'd call it a game worth remembering.

Betts isn't considered a franchise building block on talent alone. His intangibles are every bit as encouraging, particularly his willingness to learn from his mistakes.



Is Xander Bogaerts All-Star worthy?

“He’s been slicing and dicing so we’ll sit back, press play, and watch him go forever.” — Justin Masterson on Clay Buchholz following the Red Sox‘ 12-8 extra-inning loss to the Astros Friday night.

Friday night Justin Masterson said Clay Buchholz would go forever in Saturday’s start, and while he likely didn’t mean he literally would go forever, Buchholz went as long as possible as the right-hander tossed a one-run, complete game to lead the Red Sox to a 6-1 win over the Astros on the Fourth of July at Fenway Park.

Buchholz went all nine innings, allowing one run, which came in the ninth, on six hits while not issuing a walk and striking out eight. He threw 110 pitches, 80 for strikes.

“It’s definitely good especially after a game like last night,” Buchholz said. “Taxed bullpen. Yeah, so first thing in my coming out here today was to get as deep in the game as I could. Complete games don’t always happen. There’s a lot of things that have to go right for things like that to happen, but I could throw just about any pitch I wanted to today. It doesn’t happen like that very often but I was able to locate curveballs and throw changeups in the dirt whenever I needed some swings and misses and threw some cutters off of some heaters.”

Saturday’s performance was just a continuation of the run he’s been on of late. Over his last 10 starts dating back to May 10, he has an ERA of 1.99 and is 5-2. Most recently, he’s gone seven-plus innings and allowed one earned run or less over his last four starts, going a perfect 4-0 with an 0.87 ERA in that span.

While it may not be exactly like his pre-injury stretch of 2013 where he went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA over his first 12 starts of the year, it’s pretty close.

“Very similar,” Farrell said. “Anytime you’re talking about a guy who is going to go seven or eight innings pretty much each time out with low runs allowed, it’s a very similar run.”

Buchholz was in control from the start, allowing just one hit over the first 16 batters of the game and retired 12 straight hitters between the second and fifth innings. The one run the Astros did score came in the ninth when Luis Valbuena drove in Jose Altuve, who extended his 12-game hit streak earlier in the frame.

The Astros came in to the game riding a five-game win streak and had recorded at least 11 hits and scored at least five runs in their last four games against the Red Sox.

“All of his pitches, there’s nothing straight,” Astros catcher Hank Conger said of Buchholz. “Everything is going away or coming into you. So, you can’t really guess. You have to see it out of the hand. He did an outstanding job today. We’ve been playing good baseball, for him to go out there and throw the way he did right there, hats off.”

Buchholz has now won five straight starts, his longest since his 11-0 mark to open the 2013 season. It’s the longest streak by a Red Sox starter this season and by now there’s no question as to who the Red Sox’ ace of the staff is.

“He’s been on a run the last 10 starts where he’s been in control,” Farrell said. “That was the case again today for the full nine inning of work. A number of pitches with men on base that he was able to execute. He’s in such a good place mentally where he’s completing his delivery, commanding four pitches for strikes. In control today.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who threw a much-needed complete game win against the Astros at Fenway Park.

[0:00:09] ... fastball in the itself that in and I was able to throw curve balls and the change ups and and counselor award of counseling to throw for striking. You know his Lester team's offense pitch against ...
[0:01:59] ... performance to which did the used in the day before the all star break last year. Yes that was heavily on their own month of August that a gazelle total moron so not nervous. It's good ...




Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who threw a much-needed complete game win against the Astros at Fenway Park.

[0:00:09] ... fastball in the itself that in you know was able to throw curve balls and the change ups and and counselor award of counseling to throw for striking. You know his last two teams and that's ...
[0:01:59] ... performance to which did they used in the day before the all star break last year. Yes that was heavily on their own month of August that a gazelle total moron so not nervous. It's good ...




If there was any question as to who the Red Sox‘ stopper is, Clay Buchholz once again proved he’s that guy.

Clay Buchholz led the Red Sox over the Astros Saturday at Fenway Park. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz led the Red Sox over the Astros Saturday at Fenway Park. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If there was any question as to who the Red Sox’ stopper is, Clay Buchholz once again proved he’s that guy.

Taking to the mound following a Red Sox loss the game prior for the seventh time in his last nine starts, Buchholz once again delivered, leading the Red Sox to a 6-1 win over the Astros on the Fourth of July at Fenway Park.

Of those seven games, the Red Sox have now won four of them. Overall, Buchholz was won his last four starts and the Red Sox have won six of his last seven.

Saturday, the right-hander tossed a complete game and was completely in control of the Astros hitters, allowing just one run coming in the ninth. He allowed just six hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out eight while throwing 110 pitches, 80 for strikes.

It was the first complete game for a Red Sox pitcher this season.

The Red Sox gave Buchholz all the offense he would need in the first two innings. Xander Bogaerts drove home Mookie Betts with a sharp, two-strike single to right field in the first inning and then Betts’ sacrifice fly to left field in the second inning brought home Shane Victorino, who singled in his first major league at-bat since May 23.

They would tack on an unearned run in the fifth inning when Brock Holt reached on an error by catcher Hank Conger and then scored on a double by Bogaerts. The Red Sox chased Houston starter Collin McHugh from the game in the sixth when Betts doubled home Sandy Leon, who singled earlier in the inning.

Finally, the Red Sox capped the scoring in the eighth, adding two more runs when Betts laced a double to dead center field scoring Victorino and the Alejandro De Aza, pinch-hitting for Hanley Ramirez, beat out an infield single with the bases loaded on a head first dive into first base.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to 28-12 when scoring first.

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

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Buchholz was in control all game long. Between the second and sixth innings he retired 12 straight Astros hitters.

— Victorino in his first game back from the DL went 2-for-4. Dating back to earlier in the year he now has a seven-game hit streak.

— Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a single and a double to extend his hit streak to four games. Over that span he’s batting .500 (9-for-18).

— Leon, who entered the game 0 for his last 14, reached base four times, including three singles. It was his second career three-hit game, as he had one back on April 13.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Mike Napoli went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s now hitless in his last nine at-bats. Overall, he’s two for his last 27.

— Ramirez went 0-for-4, which snapped an eight-game hit streak for the left fielder.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-45): L, 3-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-45): L, 3-0, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Joe Kelly suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks. The righty struck out seven and is now 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA after two starts in Pawtucket.

— The Pawtucket offense combined for just five hits. Left fielder Carlos Peguero notched the only extra-base hit, doubling to left in the bottom of the second. He finished the day 1-for-4 and is now hitting .259. Jemile Weeks, Quintin Berry, Rusney Castillo and Travis Shaw all recorded singles.

— Daniel Nava, on a rehab assignment, went 0-for-2 with a walk, while Allen Craig went 0-for-4.

— With Friday’€™s loss, the PawSox dropped a season-high six consecutive games.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (29-52): L, 11-4, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— Starter Heri Quevedo lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on five hits and allowed five walks with one strikeout. The 25-year-old righty fell to 0-5 in six starts with Portland and now has an 8.86 ERA.

— Right-hander Simon Mercedes relieved Quevedo and pitched four innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with one strikeout.

— Shortstop Marco Hernandez and third baseman Carlos Asuaje posted two-hit games for the Sea Dogs. Hernandez went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Asuaje went 2-for-4. Hernandez has hit safely in his last four games and has recorded two hits in his last three. He is hitting .313 on the year.

— Left fielder Keury De La Cruz drove in a pair of runs for Portland and finished the day 1-for-3 with a double. The lefty is hitting .216 with 30 RBIs through 68 games this season.

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (41-38): L, 5-1, and W, 3-0, at Myrtle Beach (Indians)

— Teddy Stankiewicz went the distance in Game 2 to earn the victory, allowing just three hits over seven shutout innings. The right-hander matched a career-high in strikeouts with nine and walked none. Stankiewicz is now 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts with Salem this year.

— Salem scored all three runs in the top of the sixth, as first baseman Mario Martinez drove in two on a single to right. Second baseman Tzu-Wei Lin tacked on the third with a bases loaded single to left, bringing Martinez to the plate. Lin finished the day 3-for-4, raising his average to .290 on the season.

— Game 1 was a continuation of Thursday’€™s suspended game. Salem held a 1-0 lead after 4 1/2 innings before the contest was halted in the bottom of the fifth due to rain. Myrtle Beach scored all five runs in the bottom of the eighth off of right-hander Taylor Grover. Grover took the loss, falling to 2-2.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (43-36): W, 4-3, at Hickory (Rangers)

— Jalen Beeks improved to 7-4 on the season, earning the win in a six-inning effort. The left-hander allowed three earned runs on seven hits and walked none and struck out two. Beeks has a 4.27 ERA through 15 starts this year.

— Right-hander Jamie Callahan notched his first save of the year, tossing three scoreless innings of relief. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Callahan has a 1-5 record with a 6.04 ERA in 16 games, including six starts.

— Left fielder Bryan Hudson went 1-for-3 with two RBIs to lift the Greenville offense. Second baseman Yoan Moncada went 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

SHORT SEASON LOWELL SPINNERS (11-4): W, 2-1, at Connecticut (Tigers)

— Lowell scored both runs in the top of the ninth inning. Second baseman Chad De La Guerra kicked off the rally with a single to center. He scored on a single to center off the bat of Josh Ockimey after 2015 first-round pick Andrew Benintendi, who made his pro debut Friday, moved De La Guerra to second on another single to center. Benintendi scored the second run on a single to right by Mitchell Gunsolus. Benintendi, who played center field and batted third, finished the day 2-for-4.

— Jose Almonte started for the Spinners, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The 19-year-old right-hander gave up one just one hit and walked three and struck out four.

— Right-hander Enfember Martinez came on in the sixth and earned the win. He finished out the game, going 3 1/3 innings and giving up one earned run on two hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Martinez is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four appearances with Lowell this season.

Blog Author: 
Emily McCarthy