Clay Buchholz doesn’t know what hit him as Dustin Garneau circles the bases after hitting a homer on Thursday. (David Butler II-USA Today Sports)
It became apparent this wouldn’t be the Red Sox’ night on the first Red Sox at-bat of the evening.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., looking to extend the longest hitting streak in the majors to 30 games, launched a Jon Gray offering deep to right field. What looked like a surefire homer off the bat instead nestled into the glove of Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Bradley would hit another ball to the base of the center field wall later in the game with the same result, bringing to an end one of the most uplifting stretches of baseball in recent Red Sox history and halting his hitting streak at 29 games.
On the flip side, right-hander Clay Buchholz saw a streak of his own continue, and it might cost him his spot in the rotation. Buchholz allowed a trio of two-run homers and got booed off the field, taking the loss in an 8-2 defeat.
The Red Sox didn’t have a chance in this one because Buchholz didn’t give it to them. After David Ortiz gave the Sox a 2-0 lead with his 12th homer of the season in the first, the Rockies tied it on a Carlos Gonzalez homer in the fourth, and then took control with consecutive two-run homers leading off the fifth as Buchholz saw his ERA climb to 6.35.
The only drama thereafter was whether Bradley could extend his streak. He got his last chance leading off the eighth, but grounded out routinely to second on the first pitch. The game ended with Bradley on deck.
Buchholz has now allowed 28 runs on the 12 home runs he has surrendered. Only two of the 12 have been solo shots.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— David Ortiz stayed smoldering with a two-run homer in the first, his 12th of the year, and he later added his league-leading 22nd double. He also leads the league with 45 RBIs.
— Bradley’s hitting streak may have ended, but shortstop Xander Bogaerts extended a streak of his own with a single in the first. He has now hit in 19 straight.
— Right-hander Heath Hembree gave the Red Sox three innings of one-run (unearned) ball, leaving the bullpen intact for a series that opens in Toronto on Friday.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Ugh. Buchholz. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and six runs. The home run once again proved his undoing, as he allowed three of them, all two-run shots.
— Bradley’s hitting streak ended, even though he crushed the ball twice.
— Third baseman Travis Shaw made his sixth error of the season, leading to an unearned run.
— The rampaging offense was surprisingly silenced by right-hander Jon Gray, who started the night with a 6.75 ERA, but limited the Sox to five hits over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.