Red Sox Live Blog: Clay Buchholz Struggles As Sox Drop 6-5 Decision to Orioles

Red Sox Live Blog: Clay Buchholz Struggles As Sox Drop 6-5 Decision to Orioles

Final, Orioles 6-5: And that does it, as the Orioles come away with the 6-5 win. 

The Sox went quietly in the ninth thanks to a dominant performance from lefty Zach Phillips.

End 8th, Orioles 6-5: Matt Albers turns in a good second inning of relief, but he did have to work around a two-out infield single.

The single came off the bat of John Ruettiger (of the Rudy fame). It was a close play at first, but naturally, Ruettiger was hustling in true Rudy fashion the entire way and beat it out. 

No worries for Albers, though, who tosses another scoreless frame.

Mid 8th, Orioles 6-5: It looked like Armando Galarraga was going to have himself a fine little inning. Then, Ryan Flaherty struck.

The O's shortstop — and Maine native — dropped a Pedro Ciriaco popup with two outs to start the damage.

Daniel Nava would eventually lace an RBI single to right to bring the Sox within one, and they had a chance to do even more damage, but Galarraga was able to wiggle out of a bases loaded jam with the lead intact. 

End 7th, Orioles 6-4: Far from flawless Matt Albers was in the seventh, but the right-hander gets out of the inning unscathed.

Albers gave up a single to Nick Johnson to open the inning, but he then helped himself by picking off the pinch runner who came on for Johnson.

Albers also worked around a deep double surrendered to right-center, thanks in large part to a nice defensive play from second baseman Tony Thomas.

Naturally, Thomas will lead off the eighth.

Mid 7th, Orioles 6-4: The Sox get back within a pair thanks to a run in the bottom of the seventh. 

It was a Drew Hedman sacrifice fly that plated Daniel Nava bringing the Sox within two.

Now, Matt Albers comes on to face his former team looking to keep the deficit at just two.

Bottom 6th, 6-3: Last week, Mark Melancon said he expected to pitch back-to-back outings soon. Well, he received his wish.

He made his second straight appearance on Friday, but this time he surrendered a run.

Mid 6th, 5-3: Nate Spears walked and Bobby Valentine replaced him with speedster Shannon Wilkerson. Needless to say, that extra boost of speed helped.

Minor leaguer Mauro Gomez hit a sharp line drive off Kevin Gregg to left field, which brought in Wilkerson for another Red Sox run.

Jose Iglesias isn't having the best of days at the plate, grounding out to go 0-for-3 so far.

Bottom 5th, 5-2: Credit to Clay Buchholz for being able to settle down in the fifth inning. He retired Nick Johnson, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.

I think this will be his limit, but we'll see if the Red Sox coaches will look to stretch him out into the sixth inning.

Mid 5th, 5-2: Yeah, so did I mention that Darnell McDonald is on fire? He's now 3-for-3 today.

The bases were loaded for Josh Kroeger to capitalize and bring the Sox back into the game. But Kroeger ended up grounding into a double play. Threat is over.

Bottom 4th, 5-2: Robert Andino is back in the house for the Orioles, hurting the Red Sox once again.

He belted an RBI single to score the fifth run of the game. With that, pitching coach Bob McClure met with Clay Buchholz and the rest of the infield on the mound.

Not a good outing for Buchholz today, either.

Mid 4th, 4-2: The Red Sox just issued a statement on Bobby Jenks' DUI arrest.

“We have been made aware of a situation regarding Bobby Jenks and take such matters seriously.  We are gathering information and will refrain from further comment at this time.”

This was a quick inning, Spears lined out to right field, Mauro Gomez grounded out and Nick Punto flied out to left.

Bottom 3rd, 4-2: This time around, it was Nick Markakis who took Clay Buchholz out of the park.

After Nick Johnson doubled, Markakis nailed the pitch over the left field wall.

Mid 3rd, 2-2: Darnell McDonald continues to swing the bat really well, getting his second hit of the game.

Entering the game, he was 9-for-20 in official spring training games and has totaled a .429 batting average.

He said a few days ago this was probably his best spring training in his career.

Bottom 2nd, 2-2: This was more of what Clay Buchholz was looking for this inning. Although Mark Reynolds made good contact on a pitch, it soared into Jason Repko's glove.

Buchholz also struck out Wilson Betemit and got another fly out from Steve Tolleson. One, two, three inning.

Mid 2nd, 2-2: A lengthy inning over here, but it started with Jason Repko's RBI single that scored Darnell McDonald.

A wild pitch by Jason Hammel allowed Lars Anderson to cross home plate and score.

Repko has had a really nice stretch over the last week and is knocking on the door of getting on the roster.

Bottom 1st, Orioles 2-0: Adam Jones unloaded a two-run homer on Clay Buchholz that brought in Nick Markakis.

For the record, Buccholz said he doesn't even think about his back issues from last year anymore. It's not even in his memory bank.

He'll have to prove he's back to form on the mound.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Jose Iglesias struck on three pitches — two fastball — from Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel.

Obviously, his offense and at-bats have been scrutinized and remains a work in progress. He's taken baby steps forward this spring.

Hammel also struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

12:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups.

Red Sox
Nick Punto, 3B
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Darnell McDonald, CF
Josh Kroeger, RF
Lars Anderson, 1B
Jason Repko, LF
Nate Spears, 2B
Mauro Gomez, DH

Clay Buchholz, P

Nolan Reimold, LF
Nick Johnson, 1B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Wilson Betemit, DH
Steve Tolleson, 2B
Robert Andino, SS

Jason Hammel, P

8 a.m.: Clay Buchholz will be toeing the rubber for the Red Sox against the Orioles in Sarasota at 1:05 p.m. The right-hander last tossed five innings against the Rays on Sunday, surrendering just four hits and one run, which came off a round-tripper.

The Red Sox, however, will be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia, who underwent X-Rays that came out negative after being plunked with a ball, will sit the game out as he heals from a right forearm contusion. The team is just being cautious, but Valentine plans to slide in either Pedro Ciriaco or Nate Spears to play second base in Pedroia's place.

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