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Aceves, Melancon Blow Saves as Red Sox Suffer Stunning 13-12 Loss

Prince Fielder, Clete Thomas

After eleven innings and an Alex Avila home run, the Boston Red Sox are still winless, losing their third straight game of the young season by a final score of 13-12.

Tigers Some Tough Kitties

The only good thing, the only bright spot in all of this is that The Red Sox won’t see the Tigers again for a long time. It’s a rare situation that eighteen hits and twelve runs doesn’t win the game for you. But, that’s what the case was for the Red Sox Sunday afternoon.

After being shut out on Saturday, the bats finally sprung to life but it just wasn’t enough. I’m not going to take anything away from Detroit here, they are indeed tough. This  lineup has really made the rest of the American league take note after this opening week, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle an entire year, but barring some major injury, they have just as good a shot as anyone to have the best record in baseball, and maybe even win over 100 games.

Closer Issues Must be Addressed

Boston was winning in the ninth by a score of 10-7 when Miguel Cabrera hit another home run to add to the two he had on Saturday. Boston did come back in the eleventh to score twice, but couldn’t hold the lead. It’s not like the Sox didn’t have chances.

Essentially, the Red Sox have the honor of (technically) blowing two saves in one game, something that should never happen. The Red Sox really need to do something about the back-end relievers. I understand that it’s only three games, but this is not a good sign. Daniel Bard hasn’t thrown a pitch yet as a starter and I can already tell you, the Sox would probably be better off moving him back to his old job and giving his spot to Vicente Padilla. It’s pretty obvious right now, after only three games, that they need a confident pitcher who can throw strikes.

Bard is that pitcher. I just wonder how long the Red Sox are going to scratch their heads at this situation until they realize that this is what they need to do. Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon, the second and third picks to take over the closer spot, both had a look Sunday and both had me looking away. You can’t mess around with your closers. That position doesn’t leave you much room for exterminations and guessing.

Rough Return for Buchholz

Clay Buchholz did not have the return he or anyone else was hoping for. It seemed like a real grind for Buchholz Sunday.

He started the game by throwing a 31-pitch first inning and unfortunately things didn’t get better. Every inning, with the exception of the fourth, was an absolute grind. He didn’t give up a lot of walks (only two in four innings), so that should at least tell us that his mechanics aren’t off and it’s not a confidence issue because he was certainly nipping the corners with breaking stuff that actually looked sharp.

He did, however, give up eight hits (and seven runs) during his outing. It was his first game back in almost a year and he was facing the stacked Detroit Tigers lineup.

On the upside, Vicente Padilla looked absolutely outstanding in his four scoreless innings of work (he only allowed two hits). He did it while throwing pitches that clocked in around 50-55MPH. He really kept the Tigers and down and was a breath of fresh air in a game that was just plain old ugly by a pitching stand point.

Red Sox Hitting Notes

Nick Punto, who Bobby Valentine had moved into the lead-off spot to “spark” the line-up, had three hits including and RBI “bloop” in the eleventh inning.

David Ortiz had a three-hit game; one double and two singles.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his first home run on the season (the only Red Sox player with a round-tripper). It was a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Aviles had three RBI on the day.

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