Game 25: Red Sox at Blue Jays - Can bats stay hot for Buchholz?
Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer
If Friday night was any indication of what the Boston Red Sox can do with a fully healthy lineup, then the first 23 games of the season were a simple bump in the road and the next 138 will be fun watching this team.
The Red Sox offense came to life, scoring eight runs on a season-high 16 hits against the Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy was nearly flawless through seven innings to pick up his first win this season. Together, that's a recipe for success, one the Red Sox saw play out plenty en route to a championship last year.
With a struggling Clay Buchholz going against a potent Blue Jay offense, Boston will need those bats again this afternoon. Buchholz is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and many wonder if this may be Buchholz's last chance to prove he's regaining strength and doesn't need to go on the DL. In his last start, Buchholz lasted 2 1/3 innings while giving up six runs on seven hits to the Orioles. He has only pitched 18 2/3 innings with 16 earned runs on 33 hits (four home runs), but has 16 strikeouts and just three walks. His command is there, but Buchholz is lacking velocity. He's had a lot of success against the Blue Jays, however, with a 9-5 record and 2.44 ERA over his career.
Here's the Red Sox (11-13) lineup for today's game (first pitch - 1:07 pm ET):
1) Pedroia, 2B 2) Victorino, RF 3) Ortiz, DH 4) Carp, 1B 5) Sizemore, LF 6) Pierzynski, C 7) Middlebrooks, 3B 8) Herrera, SS 9) Bradley Jr., CF Buchholz, P
Brandon Morrow will start for Toronto (11-12). Morrow, like Buchholz, had an injury-riddled 2013 and is trying to recover. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA in 19 2/3 innings (four starts). He has struck out 23 and walked eight. In his most recent outing, he gave up two runs on three hits in five innings to the Indians, but the Jays lost 6-4.
Papi climbing the list
With a home run Friday, David Ortiz hit his 378th in a Red Sox uniform. That brings him within one of tying Dwight Evans (379) for fourth on the list. His home run was also his 33rd in Toronto's Rogers Centre, the second-most all-time among visiting players. Alex Rodriguez* has 36.
Just don't even Chris Capuano struck out the side in order in the eighth inning Friday. This upped his scoreless innings streak to 14 this season and a combined 20 2/3 innings dating to 2013. It was the first time Capuano has struck out the side in over two years (April 12, 2012), when he was with the Dodgers against the Pirates. Capuano, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara have now combined for 38 strikeouts with only three walks over 32 scoreless innings this year.
This and that Xander Bogaerts now has a nine-game hitting streak. He gets a day off today ... Mike Napoli has reached base 20 straight games (career-high). He, too, is out of the lineup, likely due to his 2-for-16 lifetime stats against Morrow ... Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in his return. He now has nine extra-base hits in nine games at Toronto ... Boston earned its 300th win over the Blue Jays. The Red Sox lead the all-time series 300-241.
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