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Buchholz Out-Duels Greinke in Nail-Biting Pitchers’ Duel

Clay Buchholz pitched yet another gem Saturday. (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer)

It wasn’t always pretty (in fact, it wasn’t pretty), but the Red Sox defeated the Royals 1-0 in a game in which nobody could get any offense going. Each team mustered only five hits, and only Scott Podsednik of the Royals had multiple hits (one of those an error that was later reversed). The only run came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Adrian Beltre singled, J.D. Drew doubled, and Mike Lowell hit a sacrifice grounder.

The Red Sox had their chances, with a lead-off single and error in the 3rd wasted and back-to-back walks in the 5th leading to J.D. Drew grounding out with the bases loaded to end the inning. Adrian Beltre grounded into a double play to end the inning after an error loaded the bases. Still, there was nothing to be done by an oft-uninspired offense.

The only real good shot for the Royals to tie it up came in the 8th, with a lead-off double off of Daniel Bard, in for Clay Buchholz. A sacrifice pushed Jason Kendall (the last guy in the batting order, by the way) over to 3rd base with one out, before Bard made life a lot easier on himself by picking up a strikeout, followed by a sharp ground-out, nicely fielded by Dustin Pedroia. From there, it was easy pickings for Jonathan Papelbon to earn a save via a 1-2-3 inning.

Sox Stud of the Game: Clay Buchholz

Buchholz pitched seven innings of scoreless ball, effectively scattering four hits and four walks. Buchholz is really earning his spot in the rotation, by which I mean the third slot on the depth chart.

Sox Dud of the Game: Every Batter

It’s hard to believe that the Sox were only on the wrong end of two double plays, but when your opponents commit three errors in a game and you can’t take advantage of any of them, you can’t expect to win games too often, if at all.

That’s What He Said:

“We made him work a little bit … and he did a great job too.” – Victor Martinez on Zack Greinke

Game Notes:

W: Clay Buchholz (7-3)
L: Zack Greinke (1-6)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (12)

  • Mike Lowell got the start at 1st on the night, leading to Ortiz/Martinez as the three/four hitters.
  • J.D. Drew and David Ortiz doubled, included in the team’s five hits and five walks of offense.
  • Speaking of offense, 10 Red Sox were left on base in eight innings of trying.
  • Defending American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke is on pace to break the record for worst ever record (6-12) of such a titleholder the next year with at least 10 decisions.
  • Nobody will be talking about this game. Earlier in the evening, Roy Halladay pitched the 20th ever perfect game (good thing he’s not in the AL East anymore). It’s the first time two perfect games happened in the same season since 1880, when two happened within five days of each other.

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