No win for no-hit kid Buchholz vs. Orioles
BOSTON (AP)—The last time he faced the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park, Clay Buchholz overcame the nerves of his second major-league start and the mounting pressure of making baseball history to pitch a no-hitter.
Looks like he didn’t get all the jitters out of his system.
Brian Roberts greeted Buchholz with a game-opening double and was a home run short of the cycle Friday night as Baltimore knocked the Red Sox right-hander around in the first inning and beat Boston 7-3.
Brian Burres (7-5) pitched his longest outing in eight tries, allowing three runs and six hits before leaving with a 4-3 lead with one out in the seventh to outpitch the 23-year-old Texan who no-hit Baltimore on Sept. 1.
“That’s a long time ago. That’s over and done with,” Roberts said. “You certainly want to get off to a good start, whether it’s Roger Clemens or Buchholz or whoever. But Burres was the star of the game. He pitched really well and gave us what we needed. To pitch 6 1-3 here, that’s pretty good.”
Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo pulled up lame and left the game after singling with two outs in the ninth. Brandon Fahey let Jacoby Ellsbury’s grounder go through his legs at shortstop, then George Sherrill came on and walked Dustin Pedroia to load the bases before striking out Kevin Youkilis to earn his 28th save.
Manager Terry Francona said Lugo injured his left quadriceps and will be evaluated Saturday.
“He did it pretty good,” Francona said. “I think there’s a pretty good chance he didn’t just strain it.”
Buchholz retired just one of the first five batters he faced before settling down, striking out five out of six batters in the third and fourth innings. He gave up four runs, five hits and five walks in five innings.
“I haven’t been that nervous in a long time,” Buchholz (2-4) said. “Maybe (I was) trying a little bit too hard … being out there for the first time in a while, trying to prove a point, trying to let everybody know this is where I want to be and this is where I want to be for a long time.”
It was a little surprising to hear that from a guy who managed to keep his composure while pitching a no-hitter last fall. He followed that five days later with three innings of one-hit relief, also against the Orioles; none of the current Baltimore batters had ever gotten a hit off of him.
But he struggled this season before splitting a fingernail on his pitching hand and then spending time in the minors to work on his mechanics.
“I think it was just so new to me last year, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “Now I know what this team does: This team is here to win and produce championships. And to be a part of that, sometimes nerves might get the better of you.”
Roberts, who finished fourth in the fan balloting for final spot on the AL roster for the All-Star game, and No. 9 hitter Brandon Fahey had five of the Orioles’ seven hits.
“He’s not going to New York as an All-Star, but he’s an All-Star player for us and he’s an All-Star player for me,” said Baltimore manager Dave Trembley, whose team snapped a five-game losing streak and handed the Red Sox a rare home loss. “What he does for the club, and what he does to make the team go, speaks for itself. The way he played tonight was pretty darn good, pretty darn good.”
The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park from a 3-7 road trip to sweep Minnesota and—even with Friday’s loss—their 34-11 home record is the best in the AL.
Roberts led off the game with a double, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Fahey singled and Roberts tripled him home before scoring on Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-3.
But the home-crowd advantage didn’t help the Red Sox when a fan reached over the short wall in right and interfered with Sean Casey’s second-inning double. And it didn’t hold any sway with first base umpire Doug Eddings three batters later, with Casey on third, when Lugo was called out on a grounder to first even though replays showed he was safe by a step.
“I saw what you saw,” Francona said.
Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning, and the Red Sox were out a run.
Moss and Manny Ramirez both had two hits.
Red Sox RF J.D. Drew was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game with a “tweaked” back. Francona said he thinks Drew will be back Saturday. CF Coco Crisp sat out with a forearm injury of unknown nature and cause. … Boston DH David Ortiz, who has been on the DL since injuring a tendon sheath in his left wrist on May 30, took some practice swings in the batting cage before the game. … Orioles RF Nick Markakis walked three times but went 0-for-2 to snap a 17-game hitting streak. … Pedroia walked twice and ended a 17-game hitting streak. … Buchholz, who pitched three innings of one-hit relief on Sept. 6 in his other career appearance vs. Baltimore, was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game.