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Sox can’t work second straight miracle

The Sports Xchange
April 21. 2014 11:16PM
Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz gave up seven hits and six runs while getting only one out in the third inning of Boston’s 7-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on Monday. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports 

BOSTON — The Baltimore Orioles jumped on Boston Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz for six runs in the third inning, driving him from the game with just one out in the inning, on their way to a 7-6 win Monday.

In the traditional early start on Patriots’ Day, the Orioles batted around in the third, scoring a season-high runs for one inning on a season-high seven hits in an inning. It was also a season high in runs and hits allowed by Red Sox pitching in one inning this season.

Every batter in the Orioles’ starting lineup had at least one hit in the game.

The Orioles opened up with five consecutive singles in the third, with two runs scoring, before center fielder Adam Jones was retired on a run-scoring fielder’s choice. After two more batters and two more hits, Buchholz was done, relieved by right-hander Burke Badenhop, who induced an inning-ending double play by shortstop Ryan Flaherty to end the Baltimore rally.

The Red Sox came back with three runs off left-hander Wei-Yin Chen in the fifth inning but after coming back from a five-run deficit for a win Sunday night, the hole was too much for Red Sox bats to overcome on Monday.“I’m impressed with both teams,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s a lot of pride involved. ... I was talking to (Jones) about the seventh inning and he was gassed, absolutely gassed. To have him say that, it just tells you what a challenge it was for these guys, professional athletes. I start getting worried sometimes we are putting these guys in harm’s way. There’s got to be a better way to do it. But we’ll take it.”

Buchholz took the loss, going 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and a walk with one strikeout. His record fell to 0-2 as his ERA climbed from 5.51 to 7.71

“He was a little bit flat,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Couldn’t seem to stop the momentum in that third inning. We get behind by those six runs and a hole that we did a great job of coming back. The bullpen did an outstanding job once again. But the six-run deficit in that third inning proved the difference.”

Buchholz, who slept at Fenway Park Sunday night, said his troubles were not because of the early start time.

“It’s awkward, probably might be the only time that I’ve ever pitched at 11 in the morning,” he said. “So that, like I said, had nothing to do with it. Sleeping here had nothing to do with it. I didn’t execute some pitches that got hit. They got a good lineup over there. You got to steadily maintain the execution of each pitch that you throw. If you don’t, you’re going to get hurt. That’s what happened.”

Chen got the win, going five innings, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He improved to 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA.

“I think overall my control was pretty good,” Chen said through an interpreter. “But later in the (game) maybe I’m a little bit fatigued, so my control was a little off. So they worked the count better than the earlier innings. But overall it was good.”

Showalter was satisfied with Chen’s outing.

“It’s very easy to get frustrated with pitchers. But these are the world champions over here,” Showalter said.

Catcher David Ross added a run for the Red Sox in the seventh with a solo home run, his first of the season, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 6-4.

The Orioles added a run in the eighth off left-hander Craig Breslow when Flaherty’s single scored Jones, but the Red Sox came back with a run in the bottom of the inning on first baseman Mike Napoli’s solo home run, his fourth of the season, off right-hander Darren O’Day. With the tying runs on base, and left-hander Brian Matusz pitching, Jonathan Herrera, pinch-hitting for Ross, struck out and shortstop Xander Bogaerts was caught stealing to end the inning.

The Red Sox threatened in the ninth off closer Tommy Hunter, scoring a run but that was all they would get as left fielder Mike Carp grounded out with runners on second and third to end the game.Notes: Orioles SS J.J. Hardy was out of the starting lineup for Monday morning’s finale in Boston. He left Sunday night’s game after the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain suffered while running the bases in the fifth. He is considered day to day. In Hardy’s absence, Ryan Flaherty started at SS with Jonathan Schoop back at 3B and Steve Lombardozzi at 2B. ... Nick Markakis was in the starting lineup, leading off, but instead of playing RF he was serving as the DH. ... Red Sox manager John Farrell said 1B Mike Napoli and RHP John Lackey also slept over at Fenway with a quick turnaround from Sunday’s night game to Monday’s morning game. Napoli was back in the starting lineup Monday morning after getting hit in the left knee with a pitch in the ninth inning Sunday night. ... 3B Brock Holt entered Monday’s game with a three-game hitting streak after getting called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. Playing in just his 54th major league game on Monday, Holt led off for the Red Sox, the first time in the leadoff spot since 2012 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is the fifth leadoff hitter the Red Sox have used this season.

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