Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz Lead Red Sox to Victory in Anaheim

Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz Lead Red Sox to Victory in Anaheim Final, Red Sox 6-3: Did the Red Sox ever need that one. Clay Buchholz goes seven strong and David Ortiz homers twice to give the club a critical victory on a night when New York and Tampa Bay had already won.

With Buchholz's effort there has now been five straight very good starts by the rotation, which is far and away the best thing going for Boston right now.

The Sox are 4-4 on the trip and 5-0 against the Angels this year. We'll sum it all up for you a little later on.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 6-3: J.D. Drew tried to come in from third on a wild pitch but was thrown out. Or was he? Replays indicated that Drew's foot was in long before the tag, but Wally Bell didn't see it that way.

The Sox will have to settle for a three-run advantage with Jonathan Papelbon on the mound.

Mike Cameron is out after apparently hurting himself diving back into first base in the top of the ninth.

1:10 a.m.: Michael Kohn's major league debut is a difficult one. He throws 26 pitches but gets just one out, giving up a walk, a single and then a two-run double by J.D. Drew.

Rich Thompson is the new Angeles. pitcher.

End 8th, Red Sox 4-3: Jonathan Papelbon is being asked to get his first four-out save of the year. He has 25 percent of the work done so far after finishing the eighth with a grounder to second.

12:47 p.m.: As expected, the home run stands and the eighth inning continues to be a disaster for the Red Sox. With Daniel Bard having thrown three times in Seattle, Scott Atchison gets an unlikely eighth-inning call and gives up a two-run homer to Hideki Matsui. Pitching change. Jonathan Papelbon is in.

The Sox have given up eight runs in the eighth inning over the last four games.

12:44 p.m.: A two-run homer by Hideki Matsui is being reviewed. I think there is not enough evidence to overturn it, which would cut the Red Sox' lead to 4-3.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-1: So much for David Ortiz's poor second half. His second homer of the night and third in three games gives the Sox a bit of a cushion. Prior to the hot streak, Ortiz had gone nine games since the All-Star break without an extra-base hit.

Adrian Beltre is drilled by Fernando Rodney after the home run and both sides are issued warnings by home plate umpire Wally Bell. Beltre wasn't happy with the pitch and Terry Francona wasn't happy with the warning. 

Scott Atchison is your eighth-inning guy for this one, taking over for Clay Buchholz.

End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Some good fortune for Clay Buchholz in the seventh. With a runner on second and two outs he gets just enough of a liner off the bat of Erick Aybar to slow it down and deflect it to Jed Lowrie at second base. Inning over.

That is 114 pitches for Buchholz. What do you do, folks? Send him out to start the eighth or go straight to Daniel Bard? Buchholz has thrown more than 114 pitches just one this year and that was back in April.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Kevin Jepsen is the Angels third pitcher of the night and does his job in the seventh to keep the Sox scoreless since the third. Clay Buchholz heads back out there with a pitch count of 96.

The word on Dan Haren is that he suffered a right forearm contusion.

End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: That's 10 straight for Clay Buchholz, thanks in part to a running catch by Jeremy Hermida that ends the sixth. This has been quite a run for the starting rotation. If only the Sox can get the bats going again there could be a nice winning streak in them somewhere down the road.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-1: The return of Victor Martinez gave the Sox an instant boost but the offense remains less-than-inspiring and the margin for error is thin once again, just as it was those last two games in Seattle.

Clay Buchholz has thrown 81 pitches so the bullpen that has struggled so much of late will need to be up in an inning or so.

End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Perhaps Clay Buchholz needed about six innings or so to shake off the rust accumulated on the DL. He got four of them in his last start and after getting through a couple of rocky frames in this one Buchholz has begun to dominate.

Buchholz has retired seven straight and has struck out four in that stretch.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Francisco Rodriguez (not that one, a different one) needs one pitch to finish the fifth for Dan Haren. We will pass on word on Haren's condition when we hear.

11:30 p.m.: Not the way the Angels or Dan Haren wanted his debut to go. He pitches pretty well but lasts just one batter into the fifth and will be taken out. A Kevin Youkilis liner appeared to get him off the right elbow or forearm and if it swells up it would be impossible to be effective.

Francisco Rodriguez is on for in relief.

11:29 p.m.: You never want to see this. Dan Haren gets clocked by a Kevin Youkilis liner and is in some pain.

End 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Clay Buchholz finally has a clean inning and does so in impressive fashion. He strikes out the bottom third of the Angels' lineup and now has four Ks overall.

Anyone put money on the Royals and Zack Greinke against the Twins? Well, you lost. 19-1.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 2-1: Dan Haren has seven strikeouts through four innings, including three of the last four hitters he's faced. He has thrown four fewer pitches than Clay Buchholz in one more inning.

End 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: The Angels wasted the bases loaded, no-out situation in the second and do nothing with two singles in the third. Clay Buchholz has not been perfect (four hits, one walk, one hit batter) but he is surviving.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-1: David Ortiz reaches the 20-homer plateau for the ninth straight year with a shot down the line in right with two outs. It is Ortiz's second home run in three games and takes place in his return to Anaheim, where he won the Home Run Derby earlier this month.

Thank God we didn't have to listen to Chris Berman make the call on that one, or Bobby Valentine try to analyze it.

End 2nd, 1-1: When he didn't get a called third strike against Hideki Matsui to start the second, Clay Buchholz was visibly annoyed. He then fell apart for a period of about eight pitches to load the bases with no outs. No worry. Buchholz gets two popups and a fly to left to strand all three. Huge turnaround by the righty there.

Mid 2nd, 1-1: Kevin Cash, Dusty Brown and Gustavo Molina did not record one single RBI in Victor Martinez's absence. Martinez picks one up on the first pitch he sees in a month.

Martinez drives in Adrian Beltre, who legged out his second triple of the year when his drive to center went off the glove of Torii Hunter and Hunter was slow to pick the ball up as he thought it bounced over the wall.

As nice as it was to see all of that develop, the image of Beltre limping into third base with a grimace on his face is a bit unsettling. I know they need every win right now, but the Sox may want to get Beltre just a day off somewhere.

The Sox had a good chance to score more off Dan Haren after Jed Lowrie followed Victor's hit with a double. But Mike Cameron struck out and Martinez was thrown out at home trying to score on Jeremy Hermida's grounder to first. Marco Scutaro grounded into a fielder's choice to end it.

End 1st, Angels 1-0: Clay Buchholz gets three lazy ground balls to second for three easy outs. Unfortunately, he mixed in a home run to Bobby Abreu, who had been struggling mightily until launching a hanging changeup into the seats.

My sincere apologies for neglecting to include the lineups in my pregame entries. It is my daily routine but somehow escaped my mind. Although you've already seen some of them, here are the starters for both teams:

Red Sox

Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
Jed Lowrie, 2B
Mike Cameron, CF
Jeremy Hermida, LF

Angels

Erick Aybar, SS
Maicer Izturis, 2B
Bobby Abreu, RF
Torii Hunter, CF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Jeff Mathis, C

We also have a brief analysis of the matchups on the Boston end of things.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Dan Haren's first pitch as a member of the Angels results in a foul pop off the bat of Marco Scutaro. His fifth results in his first strikeout with the team, J.D. Drew the victim.

Kevin Youkilis followed with a hard single to left that gives him a seven game-hitting streak, during which he has hit .429 (12-for-28).

David Ortiz strikes out to end it.

9:47 p.m.: The no-hitters keep coming, as do the wins for the Rays, who get the first no-no in franchise history when Matt Garza does the deed against Detroit. Garza faced the minimum. It is the fifth no-hitter in the majors this season.

Oh, the Yankees won, too. If we are not in must-win territory yet, we're pretty darn close.

8:55 p.m.: We talked earlier about the impact the Dan Haren acquisition will haveon the various American League races. Another series with repercussions regarding the wild card chase is Detroit and Tampa Bay, which is showcasing a double no-hitter in the sixth as I type this.

8:30 p.m.: The rumor mill's latest offerings give us word that both Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez have been dangled by the Red Sox, all while the club seeks to add help in the bullpen.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Sox and Mets had a deal involving Ramirez for catcher Rod Barajas fall through.

With Victor Martinez back, perhaps Boston's pursuit of a catcher will cool, but if the word they have on Jason Varitek is not good (pure speculation), then maybe more depth at the position will be needed.

In other news out of Anaheim, Dustin Pedroia did some light running at Anaheim. He was supposed to see Dr. Lewis Yocum upon arrival in LA, but no word on that yet.

Also, Mike Lowell could be activated by Friday. He continues to rehab from a sore hip at Pawtucket. It'll be interesting to see how the Sox handle that roster move, especially as it comes a day before the trade deadline.

Oh yeah, other reports have both the Rangers and Tigers cooling a bit on Lowell. Both have scouted him in Pawtucket.

7:56 p.m.: While Victor Martinez is all the way back Jacoby Ellsbury has taken another step. Ellsbury was 1-for-3 in a Gulf Coast League game Monday afternoon, the first rehab game for the injured outfielder.

7:27 p.m.: OK, when I last addressed you Joel Pineiro was slated to start for the Angels with Dan Haren going Wednesday. We learned after that that Haren is starting in the series opener. Small potatoes, right?

Well, it is in a way since the big news is the return of Victor Martinez. He will be activated from the disabled list and bat sixth.

More on all the developments in Anaheim in a bit.

8:30 a.m.:Hopefully the rust that Clay Buchholz had in his first start back from the disabled list will be gone when the righty takes the hill in the opener in Anaheim against the Angels.

Buchholz lasted just four innings and gave up five runs in his return from a nearly one-month layoff with a left hamstring strain Wednesday in Oakland. Despite the rough outing, he remains 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA on the road.

Even if Buchholz is on his game, however, it might not matter. The Red Sox' bats remained quiet and their bullpen a mess in splitting four games over the weekend in Seattle. Four starters failed to get a win despite posting a collective 1.98 ERA.

Joel Pineiro goes for the Angels, who bolstered their rotation with the acquisition of Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

First pitch is 10:05 p.m.