Clay Buchholz suffered his fourth loss of the season, Friday night. (David Butler/USA Today Sports)
It was technically a quality start, but it sure didn’t feel like one.
Clay Buchholz took the loss once again, this time living on the wrong end of the Red Sox’ 4-2 defeat to the Indians, Friday night at Fenway Park.
And since he lasted six innings, and gave up three earned runs (four in total), Buchholz was tagged with his second quality start of the season. The problem was that the appearance included much of the discomfort that has accompanied too many of the the righty’s nine starts this season.
Buchholz allowed five hits and four walks, giving him more this season (24) than his entire 2015 campaign.
Yet, even with the methodical pace and lack of command, the narrative would have undoubtedly been different for Buchholz if not for Jason Kipnis’ three-run homer in the third. The blast came with nobody out, and landed deep into the right field seats.
Kipnis’ sixth homer of the season was the ninth given up by Buchholz, who had been staked to a 2-0 lead.
From the Red Sox point of view, their night was highlighted by Jackie Bradley Jr., who extended his hit streak to 25 games with a second-inning solo blast into the center field seats. (For more on Bradley Jr.’s streak, click here.)
With Bradley Jr.’s home run, the Red Sox broke their club mark for most consecutive games hitting at least one homer. The previous record was owned by the 1995 team.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– The offensive output wasn’t what the Red Sox had been used to at Fenway as of late, having come into the three-game set recording 10 or more hits in 13 of their last 14 home games. This time around Cleveland starter Corey Kluber held the Sox to just two runs on five hits over seven innings.
– Kluber allowed just one hit — a Xander Bogaerts double — from the third inning until he exited after the seventh.
– The Red Sox weren’t able to keep the Indians from plating their fourth run of the third inning despite a spectacular effort from Bradley Jr. The Sox center fielder unleashed a frozen rope to home after reeling in Jose Ramirez’s fly ball. But Francisco Lindor was just able to get his hand to home plate before catcher Christian Vazquez applied the tag.
– The Red Sox’ bid at getting at the Indians’ bullpen fell short in the eighth inning after a leadoff single from Dustin Pedroia off Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw. First, Bogaerts hit into a fielder’s choice. The frame was then ended on 4-5-3 double play off the bat of David Ortiz.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Mookie Betts helped get things going for the Red Sox in the first inning, leading off with a double and then scoring via Bogaerts’ ground out. The Sox have now out-scored their opponents, 45-15, in the first innings since April 11.
– The Red Sox bullpen did keep things close, with Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes and Robbie Ross Jr. closing things out with three scoreless frames.
– Blake Swihart handled his first foray into playing left field at Fenway Park without incident, hauling in all three of the catchable fly balls hit his way. His best grab came on a sinker liner of the bat of Mike Napoli in the seventh inning.