Red Sox Live Blog: Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia Help Sox Take Series Opener Against Tigers

Red Sox Live Blog: Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia Help Sox Take Series Opener Against TigersFinal, Red Sox 7-3: It looked a little dicey after Vicente Padilla let the first two runners reach in the ninth, but he bounced back with a double play and a strikeout to close it out.

We're headed downstairs, and we'll have all the reaction for you in a little bit.

End 8th, Red Sox 7-3: Octavio Dotel retires the two batters he faces, and the Tigers escape further damage.

Vicente Padilla comes on for the ninth inning for the Red Sox. Those extra two runs were big in the sense that it allows Bobby Valentine to go somewhere other than Alfredo Aceves to try and close this one out after Aceves had an extended outing on Sunday night in the Bronx.

Bottom 8th, Red Sox 7-3: That's just the insurance the Red Sox needed, as Will Middlebrooks hits an absolute missile to left field that felt like it got out of here in about a half of a second.

Middlebrooks' homer — a two-run shot — is his 13th of the season, and it gives Boston a four-run lead.

Octavio Dotel is coming on for the Tigers to try and get out of the eighth.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-3: If that's it for Clay Buchholz, and with Alfredo Aceves throwing in the bullpen it may be, that was a terrific outing from Clay Buchholz.

The right-hander looked like he might have some trouble early on, but he settled down beginning with the double play in the third.

Since then, he's allowed just one hit and one unearned run and is in line for his ninth win of the season if this score holds.

End 7th, Red Sox 5-3: Phil Coke did his job upon coming into the game getting a pair of groundouts off the bats of Carl Crawford and Dustin Pedroia, but the damage was done.

That could obviously be a big run for the Sox, pushing the lead to two and offering some breathing room for Clay Buchholz.

The right-hander is back out on the mound to start the eighth inning having thrown almost 95 pitches so far. His season high is 125, coming in a shutout on June 7 against Baltimore.

Vicente Padilla and Franklin Morales are loosening in the bullpen.

Bottom 7th, Red Sox 5-3: Kelly Shoppach, who is possibly in the lineup to be showcased with the deadline looming, was having an atrocious evening.

The catcher struck out twice and added an error that led to a Detroit run.

He's redeemed himself somewhat, though. Shoppach led off the inning with a triple and would later score on an RBI single from Jacoby Ellsbury.

That single has chased Max Scherzer from the game, and Phil Coke comes on to try and stop the bleeding.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-3: Clay Buchholz gave one of the runs back in the seventh inning, but it wasn't exactly his fault. Brennan Boesch was able to reach to begin the inning after Kelly Shoppach struggled to corral strike three and then hit Boesch in the back when throwing down to first.

Two batters later, Alex Avila hit a ringing double to the gap in right-center that brought Boesch all the way around from first. Buchholz would leave Avila there, and the run is unearned, but the Tigers creep closer as we head to the seventh-inning stretch.

End 6th, Red Sox 4-2: Dustin Pedroia is starting to show signs of finally being healthy, as he continues to regain his power stroke.

He showed that stroke off in the sixth when he deposited a high flyball into the Monster seats to give the Sox the lead.

You might want to give Carl Crawford a little bit of credit, too. He was on first when Pedroia went yard, after he worked a leadoff walk. Crawford then appeared to get the attention of Max Scherzer who eventually served up a home run on a 1-2 pitch.

Pedroia now has three RBIs on the night, just the second time he's done that all year. The first came way back on May 11 against Cleveland.

Mid 6th, 2-2: The turning point in this game might be the double play that Clay Buchholz induced in the third inning. He was looking at a big inning with the bases loaded and a run already in when he got Delmon Young to bounce into a 6-4-3 twin killing.

Since then, he's thrown three perfect innings, and there hasn't been much good contact off of the righty, either.

That's not to say the Tigers haven't barreled anything up, though. Will Middlebrooks made a very nice play in the sixth when he snagged a Miguel Cabrera line drive that was scorched at the rookie.

End 5th, 2-2: Max Scherzer is also settling in quite nicely, especially after a rough first inning.

The 6-foot-3 right-hander has thrown four straight scoreless innings after yielding two in the first, and he's retired eight of the last nine batters he's faced.

Of course, his pitch count is getting up there, too, which will happen when you throw 23 pitches in the first inning.

Mid 5th, 2-2: Carl Crawford is making his presence felt so far.

The outfielder drove in a run in the first inning with a triple, and now he's chipping in on defense, too, by running down an Austin Jackson line drive to left.

Clay Buchholz is settling in nicely, and we're still all tied up halfway through this one.

End 4th, 2-2: It's a fight of the efficient on the mound at Fenway.

Both Scherzer and Buchholz have faced their share of adversity and location issues so far, but overall each pitcher has found a nice groove in and around the strike zone.

Mid 4th, 2-2: After a 25-pitch third inning, Buchholz finally settled down nicely again in the top of the fourth.

Buchholz was efficient in the fourth, throwing just 10 pitches utilizing his breaking ball, inducing three straight groundouts to give the Sox offense another shot.

Buchholz seems to be finding more consistency with his changeup as the game flows along, and if he can settle in with his fastball then we could be in for another dominant showing, tonight.

End 3rd, 2-2: A Ciriaco single led things off, but the Sox were unable to capitalize on the quick burst of energy.

The threat ended quickly as Scherzer is making quick work of the Boston bats through three.

Scherzer has thrown just 47 pitches and is exerting his power on the Sox with three strikeouts. He's reaching up to 98 mph on his fastball too, better catch up boys.

Mid 3rd, 2-2: Buchholz allowed yet another blast off the Monster, and the Tigers made him pay for the mistake.

Omar Infante blasted a leadoff triple off the left-center field wall and a Miguel Cabrera single up the middle gave the Tigers the game-tying run.

Buchholz has started a bit shaky through three innings, as he seems to be making mistakes with his command of the strike zone. The Tigers batters are making him pay for the errors, too, but he can only hope to settle into the same sort of rhythm seen over his past few starts.

End 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox caught a break in the fist when Omar Infante threw away a Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but that free base was quickly given back.

Either Saltalamacchia or Ryan Sweeney must have missed a sign — or saw a sign that wasn't live — as Saltalamacchia was thrown out trying to steal second base. He's not the fastest man in the world, so you have to think that someone dropped the ball there.Scherzer uses it to his advantage and posts a scoreless second.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-1: Much better inning for Clay Buchholz in the second inning.

Buchholz sent the Tigers down in order with a flyout and a pair of groundouts to cap a nice shutdown inning, especially given the fact that the Sox got him the lead in the bottom half of the first.

End 1st, Red Sox 2-1: When Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are doing their thing atop the Red Sox lineup, they have the potential to be one of the best 1-2 combos in baseball.

They showed how dynamic they can be in the first inning when Ellsbury opened the inning by working a nine-pitch walk before coming around to score on a Crawford triple to left. Austin Jackson helped out some by misplaying the ball off the wall, but it was pretty awesome to see Crawford and Ellsbury race around the bases.

Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI groundout to short to give the Red Sox the lead.

Scherzer had to throw 23 pitches in the first, as well, thanks in large part to a terrific at-bat from Ellsbury in working the walk.

Mid 1st, Tigers 1-0: It was a less than promising start to the first inning for Clay Buchholz after he gave up a leadoff home run to Austin Jackson and Quintin Berry followed with a ringing double off of the Monster.

However, the Red Sox right-hander was able to get through the meat of the Detroit order without anymore trouble as he got Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Delmon Young to escape without any more trouble.

Buchholz made a nice play to stab a hard-hit ground ball by Cabrera and then used the offspeed stuff to strike out Fielder to get back in control of the inning.

Top 1st, Tigers 1-0: Clay Buchholz's second pitch of the night to Austin Jackson is a strike — and it is hit into the Monster seats to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

7:14 p.m.: Clay Buchholz's first pitch of the night to Austin Jackson is a ball, and we're under way from Fenway Park.

7:06 p.m.: Yankee killer Pedro Ciriaco just got one of the biggest ovations during pregame lineups. Hurting the Yankees is a good way to become popular in this city. We're about five minutes away from first pitch.

6:21 p.m.: Let's get to know the Red Sox' opponent for the next three games, shall we?

The Tigers, everyone's pick to win the AL Central this season, stumbled out of the gates some (despite sweeping Boston to open the season), but they've rebounded as of late.

Jim Leyland's bunch is 14-6 in its last 20 games, and they're right back in the playoff hunt. They begin play just 1 1/2 games behind Chicago in the AL Central and one game behind Oakland and Los Angeles in the race for the wild cards.

Unsurprisingly, the turnaround has coincided with improved play from Miguel Cabrera. One of the best right-handed batters in all of baseball, Cabera has been tremendous over the last 72 games, going back to May 10. He's hitting .350 over that stretch with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs. Those 61 runs batted in are tied for the most in the AL over that stretch.

As he usually does, Cabrera put on a show in batting practice before Monday's game. He was hitting rockets all over Fenway, including one ball that went over the Volvo sign and landed across the street on the parking garage. He also hit one that hit halfway up the light tower — in right-center field.

5:39 p.m.: Bobby Valentine was also asked about the trade deadline, which of course, is less than 24 hours away.

"I like my team," Valentine said. "I think we're a good team, and if there's any way that Ben thinks he can improve it, for this year or beyond, I'm sure he's gonna do that.

"But this is a good group of guys that I don't see any gaping holes. I see more holes on the other team than I see on ours."

5:20 p.m.:OK, for the updates.

It was speculated that David Ortiz would return Wednesday, but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen. Bobby Valentine admitted that Ortiz wasn't able to do agility drills on Sunday, but he did run in the pool on Monday. Valentine cautioned that there was no real return for Wednesday set in stone, and he's still not sure what the "magical day" will be for his return. Doesn't sound like it will be Wednesday, though.

Andrew Bailey is on his way to Florida. The right-handed reliever is headed to the Gulf Coast for the latest step in his rehab, and he could throw in a game as early as Wednesday, according to Valentine.

Daisuke Matsuzaka's trap injury has just about healed, and he'll take the latest step in his rehab on Monday night. Valentine said he'll throw 75-90 pitches in Pawtucket and go from there. If there's any sort of problems, though, he'll throw about 45. Valentine said that Matsuzaka is healthy, now it's just a matter of building up his workload again.

Mike Aviles won't die from his nagging turf toe injury. Valentine joked that the injury isn't life-threatening. The shortstop isn't in the lineup for the series opener, but he's available to pinch hit if needed.

Finally, Scott Atchison had another MRI on Monday, and the Sox are awaiting the results of that.

5:05 p.m.: Happy Monday, and greetings from Fenway Park on a picture-perefect evening for baseball.

We'll get to some injury updates in a few, but for now, here are the lineups for the opener of this series with the Tigers.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Pedro Ciriaco, SS

Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF
Quintin Berry, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Delmon Young, DH
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Omar Infante, 2B

10 a.m.: The Red Sox couldn't afford to lose their weekend series in New York, and with an extra-inning win on Sunday night, they ensured they wouldn't.

Of course, they still have a long way to go.

The Sox, who still sit in the AL East cellar and four games back in the wild card, open another huge series on Monday night as they return home on short rest. The Detroit Tigers will be waiting for Boston with the three-game series ready to get under way.

There's a good chance it could be a crazy few days, too, with the trade deadline looming at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Rumors are already flying, and that's only expected to intensify as between now and the Tuesday deadline.

Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox' best pitcher in the last few weeks, will look to set the tone for the series against the Tigers, who are one of the wild card leaders. The right-hander has a 2.53 ERA this month after an impressive seven-inning effort in Texas last week where he gave up just one run to one of baseball's best offenses.

Buchholz will be opposed by Max Scherzer in the opener. The right-hander beat the Red Sox on May 31 at Fenway Park behind seven innings of three-run work. The Sox did hammer Scherzer in his season debut, though, back in April. Boston tagged Scherzer seven runs on eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings on an Easter Sunday matinee that the Tigers eventually won in extra innings.

First pitch for Monday night is set for 7:10 p.m. However, stick with NESN and NESN.com with late-breaking news with pregame coverage starting on air at 5:30 p.m. and updates all day online both here and on the website.

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