Sunday, December 8, 2013
The Associated Press
CLEVELAND - Clay Buchholz gave the Boston Red Sox a quick cure with a two-hit, complete-game victory.
WHO: Red Sox (Morales 3-2) at Indians (McAllister 4-4)
TV: 6 p.m., NESN
Buchholz pitched a two-hitter, Cody Ross hit a two-run homer, and the Red Sox broke a three-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Friday night.
But this win didn't come without a cost for the Red Sox as hot-hitting rookie Will Middlebrooks was sent for X-rays after being hit by a pitch.
Middlebrooks was hurt after Ross hit a two-run homer to support Buchholz's masterful effort. Boston had already done enough to secure the victory.
"Just what the doctor ordered," Manager Bobby Valentine said of Buchholz's performance. "He was terrific. He was excellent. He was in control the whole way."
Middlebrooks left in the ninth after being struck in the right wrist by Esmil Rogers. Valentine hopes the third baseman, batting .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBI, isn't lost for long.
"He got hit pretty good," Valentine said. "He was in a lot of pain. I don't think he's in there (Saturday). I was hoping it got more meat but it was straight on the bone."
Buchholz (10-3) gave up one earned run in his second complete game this season and fifth of his career. The right-hander improved to 8-2 in 17 starts following a loss the last two years.
"Everybody wants to win every night," Buchholz said of being a skid stopper. "When you do it, sure it feels good."
Ross broke a 1-1 tie with a 420-foot shot over the wall in center field off Chris Seddon (0-1) in the sixth.
Asdrubal Cabrera had both Cleveland hits, including his 13th homer, but the Indians had their two-game winning streak broken and lost for the 12th time in 14 games.
"That's the best I've seen a guy against us, and we've seen some pretty good pitching this year," Indians Manager Manny Acta said. "We couldn't do anything. He was way too good mixing his pitches."
Buchholz said he threw two types of change-ups, a curve, and spotted his fastball on both sides of the plate.
He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in five consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Boston starter since Tim Wakefield did it six times in a row in 2002. Buchholz didn't get a decision in three of those outings.
He gave up Cabrera's one-out homer in the first and an unearned run in the sixth. He struck out six, walked none, and moved to 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 11 starts since May 27.
NOTES: Boston LHP Felix Doubront will miss his next start, and RHP Aaron Cook will start Wednesday against Baltimore. Valentine said Doubront's velocity has been down, and he might be helped by skipping a start. ... OF Scott Podsednik, signed by Boston before the game, started in left. He was traded to Arizona on July 31, but was released after declining an assignment to the minors.