BOSTON — The Red Sox’s first two home games of 2014 have ended in crushing fashion.
The Red Sox, who dropped Friday’s home opener after Edward Mujica imploded in the ninth inning, suffered an 11-inning loss Saturday. Boston will turn to Jon Lester in Sunday’s series finale as it looks to salvage at least one game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Clay Buchholz’s rough season debut was the big story Saturday. It wasn’t the only story, though, so let’s go over some notes.
– Will Middlebrooks (right calf cramp) and Mike Carp (low back tightness) were scratched just minutes before the game.
Carp, who suffered the injury during batting practice, entered the game in the 10th inning after David Ortiz pinch hit for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Middlebrooks strained his right calf during pregame sprints and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday morning, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.
– Buchholz gave up six earned runs on a career-high 13 hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three, didn?t walk anyone and surrendered two home runs while throwing 72 pitches (54 strikes).
Buchholz said after the game he felt fine physically. The right-hander simply mislocated on several pitches, and the Brewers, who frequently swung early in counts, made him pay.
– The Brewers compiled 19 hits. They also did everything in their power to keep the Red Sox in the game.
Milwaukee committed two errors amid some very shoddy defense. The Brewers squandered several offensive opportunities, too, leaving 13 men on base and going 6-for-23 with runners in scoring position.
– Chris Capuano and Brandon Workman helped settle things down after Buchholz?s horrendous outing.
Capuano pitched the Red Sox out of Buchholz-induced trouble in the fifth inning. The left-hander, who exited after two scoreless frames, got the Red Sox out of a first-and-third, one-out jam.
Workman, who tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, maneuvered Boston out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the seventh inning after the first two hitters reached against Capuano.
– Ho-hum. Koji Uehara — pitching with the game tied — struck out the side in the ninth inning on 13 pitches.
– Junichi Tazawa actually recorded four outs in a scoreless 10th inning. Tazawa struck out Jean Segura with two outs, but the pitch — located in the dirt — got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski. By the time Pierzynski tracked it down, he couldn?t do anything with it.
Tazawa escaped the bases-loaded jam one batter later.
– Burke Badenhop surrendered one run on two doubles in the 11th inning. It was the first and only run allowed by the Red Sox?s bullpen.
– Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts each collected two hits.
Napoli crushed a three-run homer to dead center in the third inning. It was Napoli?s second homer of the season, and both have been smoked to straightaway center.
– Craig Breslow, who has been brought along slowly because of last season?s heavy workload, was eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday, but the Red Sox weren?t ready to make the move.
Breslow, who pitched in back-to-back games with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday and Friday, will rest Saturday and Sunday before the team reevaluates the left-handed reliever.
Workman likely will be optioned back to Triple-A when Breslow returns.
– Shane Victorino, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, still is being kept away from his teammates while battling the flu.
There currently is no timetable for Victorino?s return, and Farrell said before Saturday?s game he?s unsure if the outfielder?s illness will add time to his DL stint.