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Clay Buchholz Effective, Red Sox Top Blue Jays 7-2

Scott Podsednik

On Friday night the Red Sox opened a three game series in Toronto by defeating the Blue Jays 7-2, pulling the teams into a tie for fourth place in the extremely tight American League East race. The win was led by the top half of the Sox order as well as another stronger outing by Clay Buchholz, who has been rebounding from a rough beginning to the season.

David Ortiz got things started with a solo home run in the second. On the tenth pitch from Jays starter Henderson Alvarez, Ortiz crushed a fastball the other way just over the wall, good for his 13th home run of the season. With two hits on the night, his average is up to .323 on the year with 37 RBI. He’s certainly entering early MVP consideration as his bat leads the Sox up the standings.

Adrian Gonzalez gave the Sox their second run when he singled home Daniel Nava in the third. The duo had three hits apiece and Nava scored three times batting second in the order. He has provided a nice spark in the outfield for the Red Sox amongst the vast array of injuries.

Buchholz was remarkably effective against the high-powered Jays sluggers, limiting them to two solo home runs over 8.0 innings of work. He allowed six hits and the two earned runs, on homers by Yunel Escobar and David Cooper, while striking out seven and walking two. His ERA on the year is still high, as it stands at 6.58.

In the seventh the Sox put the game out of reach as the top four hitters each delivered consecutive RBI. Scott Podsednik singled in Ryan Sweeney, Nava doubled him in, followed by another RBI single for Gonzalez scoring Nava, and finally a base hit by Ortiz to score Gonzalez. The four at bats scoring the four runs came on a total of nine pitches from Luis Perez, with the first run charged to Alvarez.

Alfredo Aceves closed the door on the win as the Sox improve to 27-25, three games out of the now first place Tampa Bay Rays. The win showed a strong team effort offensive, as well as another significant step forward for Buchholz as a reliable starter this year. With the team becoming gradually healthier, Boston might not be long for fourth place as they rise in the East.

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