The AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox handed Jon Lester his first loss since May 25th, and kept Clay Buchholz winless since May 2nd over the weekend. The Sox managed to get a three run rally going the 8th inning of Friday night’s game, but it was not enough to erase the 7+ solid innings of work from Chicago starter Mark Buehrle.
“I was just trying to get on base to be honest with you, to get David [Ortiz] up with a chance to tie the game,” said Pedroia, whose 3-run homer put the Sox within 2. “I ended up getting a good pitch to hit and hit it. That was basically it.”
Carlos Quentin’s post-Sox-rally-homer and closer Bobby Jenks’ perfect ninth sent the Sox packing.
Tuesday, the only bright spot of Boston’s weekend, featured an 8-inning, one run gem by Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka benefitted from 4 double plays, and stuck out four batters. The Sox exploded against Chicago in the 6th inning, on Dustin Pedroia RBI single and a bases-clearing double by David Ortiz. Ortiz broke out of his recent slump on the road trip and was 3-5 with 3 RBI’s on the day.
“Papi knows when the ball is gone, but I guess Mother Nature doesn’t want me to hit it out tonight. The wind was blowing really hard tonight” said Ortiz, laughing about how he though his double had been a homer.
Sunday’s starter Clay Buchholz has struggled all season long. He hasn’t logged a win since May 2nd, and has a 2-8 record with a 6.32 ERA on the season. He seemed to be cruising along in the first inning, and the Jermaine Dye homer in the second did not seem so bad after Boston’s 3-run first innings. However, Buchholz imploded in the 3rd, giving up homers to Carlos Quentin and Jim Thome, and getting chased from the game after only 74 pitches. Boston’s offense picked it back up again in the 6th inning with Jason Bay hitting an RBI single and scoring on a wild pitch; but it was too little too late. Jenks pitched another perfect 9th to rack up his 24th save of the season.
After Sunday’s games, the Red Sox are 4.5 games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East, and lead the AL Wild Card by 1.5 games above the Minnesota Twins.
Tonight the Sox will try to split the series. Josh Beckett(10-8, 4.08 ERA) faces off against lefty John Danks (9-4, 3.21 ERA). First pitch is at 8:11pm at US Cellular Field.