Red Sox Live Blog: Twins Prevent Mayor’s Cup Clinch, Top Sox 7-2


March 23, 2010

Red Sox Live Blog: Twins Prevent Mayor's Cup Clinch, Top Sox 7-2
Postgame, Twins 7-2: Dustin Pedroia will indeed get X-rays on his left wrist tomorrow, according to Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Pedroia was not expected to play as he had gone two straight and it was a day game after a night game. We will have an update for you when the results come in Wednesday.

It was all part of an ugly night in Hammond Stadium, where the Sox fall to 1-9 in their last 10 Grapefruit League games and see Clay Buchholz get lit up for five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Josh Beckett is on the mound against the Pirates on Wednesday. Follow all the action right here.

Twins 7-2, Final: The Sox are now 1-9 in their last 10 Grapefruit League games. This one offered up an injury to their star second baseman and a painful start by one of the candidates to fill in the back end of the rotation.

The Twins did all their scoring in the first three innings in improving to 2-3 against Boston and keeping alive hopes for a Mayor’s Cup win.

The two teams meet again Sunday at City of Palms Park. The Sox play the Pirates in Bradenton on Wednesday afternoon and we’ll follow along right here.

End 8th, Twins 7-1: The temperature has dropped, the crowd is sparse and the Red Sox just want to get home. Expect some pretty quick cuts in the ninth.

Mid 8th, Twins 7-1: The Sox finally break through when Angel Sanchez drives in a run with a single to right.

Alas, it will take a pretty impressive rally for Boston to clinch the Mayor’s Cup tonight. It will likely see its lead in the series fall to three games to two with a meeting against the Twins coming on Sunday at home. Tensions will run high.

End 7th, Twins 7-0: Daniel Bard gets all three men he faces in the seventh and has now allowed just one run and two measly hits in 7 1/3 innings this spring.

Remember, fireworks at Hammond Stadium after this one. It’s about all that’s keeping the 8,000-plus from heading home at this point.

Mid 7th, Twins 7-0: The Red Sox get their first hit since the second inning when David Ortiz doubles down the line in right.

No worries, Twins fans. Ortiz is left right there and we hit the seventh-inning stretch with Minnesota in command.

Daniel Bard is out for his second inning of work. He got the last out of the sixth.

End 6th, Twins 7-0: Hideki Okajima gets the first two outs and Daniel Bard the last of the sixth and things have finally started to move on a little bit here after the craziness of the first three innings.

I think there are fireworks after the game, so if you want to come down and check ’em out, it should be a good time.

Mid 6th, Twins 7-0: Three up, three down. Maybe I could just copy and paste that and use it a little later on; the Red Sox are getting nothing off Twins pitching today.

Hideki Okajima is on for his second inning of work.

The line on Minnesota starter Carl Pavano: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K

End 5th, Twins 7-0: The Sox have a grand total of two hits in this one and both came in the weird second inning when they had a double and a single and didn’t get anyone past second base (see note below).

At least Hideki Okajima did his job. He retired the Twins in order in the fifth.

Mid 5th, Twins 7-0: Hideki Okajima is on for the Sox after they waste a leadoff walk to David Ortiz in the top half of the fifth.

8:42 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia has not been sent for X-rays and will be re-evaluated in the morning. He was not around when we went to talk to Clay Buchholz.

End 4th, Twins 7-0: We got back to the press box in time to see Jonathan Papelbon strike out the last two men he faced in the fourth after allowing a walk and a double.

If you recall, Papelbon gave up five earned runs in 1/3 inning the other day.

Clay Buchholz said he never had a good feel for any of his pitches tonight but was unable to compensate. His control was poor, to say the least.

“It was trying to do too much,” Buchholz said.

We’ll have more on the rough outing for Clay a little later.

8:18 p.m.: Off to hear from Clay Buchholz. Back in a bit.

Mid 3rd, Twins 6-0: The Sox go quietly in the third, but we have the final eye-popping numbers on Clay Buchholz.

1 2/3 innings, 4 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3 wild pitches, 1 hit batter.

One step forward. Two steps back.

End 2nd, Twins 6-0: Five hits, two walks, one hit batter and a wild pitch. That adds up to five runs for the Twins and an early exit for Clay Buchholz.

Ramon Ramirez came on and gave up an RBI single to Jason Kubel — who was 1-for-2 in the inning — before getting out of the mess with a pop to second.

7:59 p.m.: Yours truly has not been in Fort Myers since the start of spring training but this may go down as one of the worst innings of the spring so far.

Not only have they lost Dustin Pedroia to a wrist injury, but they cannot get Clay Buchholz through the second inning as he had everything go wrong before being replaced by Ramon Ramirez.

It was a whole mess of ugliness we will recap in a bit. For now, know that Pedroia said he landed awkwardly on the diving stop of Denard Span’s hard grounder in the first.

Mid 2nd, Twins 1-0: Before we get to an unusual second inning for the Red Sox, you should know that Dustin Pedroia has left this game. We have no word why but he did make an aggressive dive on a hard grounder in the first and may have hurt something. Obviously we will have updates when we get them.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox get a double and a single and nobody gets past second base. Here’s how it happened:

Kevin Youkilis led off with a double to the gap in right-center field. After a fly to left by David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre lined a single to left that shortstop J.J. Hardy mistimed his jump and Youkilis had to freeze to make sure it went through.

Jason Varitek then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

End 1st, Twins 1-0: A bit of a rocky beginning for Clay Buchholz, who didn’t get much help from his defense.

Leadoff man Denard Span reached when Dustin Pedroia made a great diving stab of a hard grounder but threw the ball away. I guess those cancel each other out in a way.

Two wild pitches moved Span to third and he trotted home when the richest man in Minnesota, Joe Mauer, tapped to first.

Both wild pitches appeared to be breaking balls which dove into the dirt. Buchholz, who also walked Orlando Hudson, rallied to strike out Justin Morneau and pulled the string beautifully to fan Michael Cuddyer.

Mid 1st, 0-0: That’s the Carl Pavano everyone has always wanted to see on a consistent basis. Well, maybe not everyone.

With hard stuff sinking down in the zone he gets Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew on three straight groundouts.

We didn’t see Pavano tweak anything, but we’ll alert you when we do.

6:50 p.m.: I don’t normally like to do this since there are likely many readers in New England longing for warmer days and nights, but it is a picture perfect evening in Fort Myers.

Sorry about that. Just had to throw it out there. When I tell my neighbors in the press box it’s just passed over for boring small talk.

There is the persistent breeze blowing to right here at Hammond Stadium. The last time we were here Red Sox right fielder Jeremy Hermida was a busy man tracking down balls which carried well.

A reminder. This game will be televised on NESN on tape delay once the Bruins and their post-game are complete. If you cannot wait, keep it right here.

6:12 p.m.: For all you Midwesterners pining for the Twins lineup, here you go:

Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B

5:15 p.m.: We’ve just left City of Palms Park and after a plumbing debacle at the Crowne Plaza in Fort Myers forced a shuffling of rooms, we’ve settled in to bring you a few tidbits before heading to Hammond Stadium.

First things first, here is the Red Sox lineup:

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF
Kevin Youkilis, 1b
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Jeremy Hazelbaker, LF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF

Terry Francona spoke about several items just a moment ago. Here are a few updates from around the clubhouse:

– Boof Bonser said that the groin issue he felt Monday didn’t occur until the last batter he faced. Francona said the club will give him some time before resuming any major activities, just to make sure he is OK.

“We’ll monitor him to see what we’ll do the next two, three days. I don’t know if we know that yet,” Francona said.

– Mike Lowell will play first base Wednesday against the Pirates in Brazelton.

– Alan Embree will throw in a minor league game Wednesday.

– There is little or no progress on the condition of Jed Lowrie, who has been out for some time with mono.

“The update is that he doesn’t feel that well, he doesn’t feel well enough to do anything aside from walking…He’s stuck in neutral.”

– Buchholz will throw about four innings against Minnesota.

“It is a Mayor’s Cup game so we reserve the right to stretch him out a bit,” Francona joked.

– Jonathan Papelbon, who is set to throw against the Twins, is feeling better after a migraine hindered an appearance the other day.

“He said he feels fine. That usually is one day where he just looks like he got beat up,” Francona said.

There were some interesting scenes in the Sox’ clubhouse, one involving several players joking around on our NESN cameras with the Mayor’s Cup trophy, a constant target for sarcastic comments. Also, commercial spots involving a Jenga game were being filmed. Pedroia was one player who took his turn knocking things over.

We have a take on a few other players either up or down, but will reserve those for the game as each comes up and does something either good or bad. See you at the stadium.

8:00 a.m.: Red Sox Nation is on pins and needles as the club heads to Hammond Stadium to try to clinch its fourth straight Mayor’s Cup title over the Minnesota Twins.

Boston has taken three of the first four meetings between the teams this spring and can assure itself of the cup with a victory when it sends Clay Buchholz to the mound. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Buchholz has not faced major league hitters since March 13, when he threw three scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh at City of Palms Park. He worked four scoreless frames in a minor league game Thursday.

While the final results do not always mean much in Grapefruit League play, the Sox would love to see Buchholz keep some runs off the board. In three split-squad games between Sunday and Monday, Boston pitchers gave up 34 runs, including 10 long balls.

Also slated to get some work in is Jonathan Papelbon, who was reached for five earned runs in Sunday’s 10-7 loss to Houston.

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