Buchholz wins again as Red Sox rout Blue Jays 10-1
TORONTO — The Boston Red Sox were pounding the ball all over the place Wednesday night. Clay Buchholz appreciated the support, but he sure didn’t need it.
Buchholz pitched seven shutout innings to earn his major league-leading sixth win, Mike Napoli hit two of Boston’s five home runs and the Red Sox routed the Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 on Wednesday night.
“An outstanding night tonight again from Clay,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He was in command and control the entire seven innings.”
Stephen Drew hit a two-run shot in the second inning and Napoli went back-to-back with Daniel Nava in the fourth as the Red Sox won their majors-best 19th game and improved to 8-3 away from home, the best road record in the big leagues.
The Red Sox have hit 16 home runs in five games at Rogers Centre this season. That’s one more than they’ve hit in their other 22 games combined.
“When the roof is closed and it’s warm in here, the ball definitely flies,” Farrell said. “We’ve got guys that obviously can hit some good fly balls that carry here. This is a very good hitter’s ballpark and we were able to put some good swings on pitches.”
Napoli hit a solo shot into the second deck in center in the fourth and followed up with a three-run shot into the third deck in the seventh. Napoli, who also doubled in the ninth, has six home runs this season and leads the majors with 21 extra-base hits.
“Impressive, to say the least,” Farrell said.
Buchholz (6-0) allowed two hits, walked three and struck out eight, improving to 7-0 in his past eight starts at Toronto. The right-hander lowered his ERA to an AL-best 1.01. Only St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook (0.98) is better.
“Overall I felt really good with everything today,” Buchholz said.
Buchholz is off to the best beginning to a season by a Red Sox pitcher since Josh Beckett opened 7-0 in his first seven starts of 2007. He said his curveball was the best it’s been all season.
“Today it definitely had a little bit more bite to it, it was a little bit more sharp,” Buchholz said.
Boston catcher David Ross, however, thought the two-seam fastball was Buchholz’s best pitch.
“A lot of those guys knew what was coming and still couldn’t hit it,” Ross said. “As far as how he can execute four to five pitches on both sides of the plate, there’s not many other guys like that in the big leagues. That’s why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Alex Wilson got two outs in the eighth and Clayton Mortensen worked the final 1 1-3 innings for Boston.
The Blue Jays didn’t get a runner past first base until Adam Lind walked and went to third on Melky Cabrera’s single in the seventh. But Cabrera was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double before J.P. Arencibia struck out to end the inning.
“Buchholz just never gave us anything,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons lamented.
After rallying to beat the Red Sox 9-7 in Tuesday’s series opener, the last-place Blue Jays couldn’t maintain any momentum, losing for the seventh time in nine games. Toronto has won consecutive games just once this season, April 12 and 13 at Kansas City.
Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle (1-2) surrendered three home runs for the second straight start and has allowed nine home runs in six starts this season. Buehrle gave up five runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked a season-high three and struck out one.
Three of Boston’s first five outs were fly balls to the warning track. After Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch in the second, Drew made sure he cleared the wall by homering into the second deck in right, his first.
Napoli led off the fourth with a drive to center, his fifth, and Nava followed with a shot to left, his fifth. It was the fourth time this season the Red Sox have hit consecutive homers, and the second time they’ve done it against Toronto.
Boston chased Buehrle and broke the game open with a four-run seventh, doing all its damage with two outs. Esmil Rogers came on after a two-out walk to Jonny Gomes, who went to third on Dustin Pedroia’s single and scored on a wild pitch. Ortiz was intentionally walked before Napoli clubbed his second home run of the night. For Napoli, it was the 11th multihomer game of his career and his first this season.
“The game was still manageable going into the seventh inning there and then it exploded on us,” Gibbons said.
Ortiz went 1 for 3 and has hit safely in all 10 games since coming off the disabled list.
“David’s presence can’t be understated in any way,” Farrell said.
Pinch hitting for Ortiz, Mike Carp hit a solo drive off Justin Germano in the ninth, his second. Napoli followed with a double and scored on Nava’s single to center.
Brett Lawrie drove in Toronto’s only run with an RBI triple off Wilson in the eighth.
WHITE SOX 5, RANGERS 2
ARLINGTON, Texas — Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza homered in the seventh inning and Chicago ended a three-game losing streak with a win over Texas.
Chris Sale (3-2) settled down after a rough second inning to make it through seven. The left-hander struck out seven and walked two.
Texas managed only two runs in the second despite a homer, three singles and a walk. Sale then faced only one batter over the minimum 15 the next five innings.
Gillaspie’s homer leading off the seventh against rookie Nick Tepesch (2-2) broke a 2-all tie. Tyler Flowers snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a single before De Aza’s fifth homer of the season.
ANGELS 5, ATHLETICS 4
OAKLAND, Calif. — Mark Trumbo went deep for the third consecutive day, and Howie Kendrick and Mike Trout also homered as Los Angeles beat Oakland to end a four-game losing streak.
C.J. Wilson (3-0) remained undefeated despite a season-high five walks. He allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Wilson struck out five and stranded six runners in scoring position.
Josh Donaldson, Nate Freiman and Luke Montz each had an RBI double for the A’s, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Adam Rosales also drove in a run.
Tommy Milone (3-3) gave up four runs on seven hits over seven innings. He did not walk a batter and matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. Milone has lost three consecutive starts.
YANKEES 5, ASTROS 4
NEW YORK — Robinson Cano homered and Eduardo Nunez scored the tiebreaking run after a sixth-inning double to send New York past Houston.
Ben Francisco hit his first home run for New York and three relievers supplied spotless work after fill-in starter David Phelps wasted a four-run lead.
With the score tied 4-all, Nunez doubled down the left-field line against Paul Clemens (1-1) to begin the sixth. Nunez advanced on a wild pitch and, with one out and runners at the corners, Wesley Wright was brought in to face Ichiro Suzuki, who put the Yankees ahead with a groundout.
Boone Logan (2-1) got the win and Mariano Rivera closed for his 11th consecutive save.
MARINERS 8, ORIOLES 3
SEATTLE — Michael Morse hit an opposite-field two-run homer and Aaron Harang pitched six solid innings for his first win as Seattle beat Baltimore.
Morse’s homer was the highlight on a night when the Mariners scored four times with two outs off Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen (2-3). Michael Saunders had three hits and scored three times, while Kendrys Morales had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth inning.
Morse became the first Seattle hitter to have nine homers in the team’s first 30 games since Mike Cameron in 2002. Cameron’s total included a four-homer game.
Harang (1-3) retired 12 of the first 13 he faced took a one-hit shutout into the sixth.
ROYALS 9, RAYS 8
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Elliot Johnson homered against his former team and Kansas City rallied from an early five-run hole to beat Tampa Rays on a cold, blustery night.
Lorenzo Cain and Jeff Francoeur each drove in a pair of runs for the Royals, who trailed 5-0 in the third inning before slowly chipping away at the Tampa Bay lead.
They eventually pulled ahead with a five-run sixth off Rays reliever Jake McGee (0-2), and then held on through the final three innings for their second straight comeback win.
Bruce Chen (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Royals starter Luis Mendoza, and Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth inning in a light drizzle for his seventh save.
TWINS 6, TIGERS 2
DETROIT — Scott Diamond pitched six solid innings and Minnesota got to Anibal Sanchez early in a win over Detroit that snapped the Tigers’ five-game winning streak.
Sanchez (3-2) was coming off a 17-strikeout performance against Atlanta, and he fanned five in the first two innings against the Twins — but Minnesota scored two runs in the first and another in the second. Diamond (2-2) didn’t allow a hit until Jhonny Peralta’s single in the fifth.
The Tigers fought back after trailing 3-0, but reliever Bruce Rondon allowed two more runs in the seventh to make it 5-2. Chris Parmelee hit a solo homer in the eighth.
Diamond allowed two runs and four hits and was pulled after 88 pitches.
INDIANS 6, PHILLIES 0
CLEVELAND — Ryan Raburn tied a career high with four hits and Trevor Bauer allowed one hit in five strong innings for his first AL win as Cleveland beat Philadelphia.
Raburn drove in two runs with a single in the third and a double in the fifth. He has 12 hits in his last 14 at-bats, totaling four homers, nine RBIs and five runs scored in the last four games.
The Indians have won a season-high four straight, outscoring their opponents 39-5 in that span.
Bauer (1-1), called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, walked six while striking out five and combined with four relievers for the shutout.
Cliff Lee (2-2) allowed five runs in six innings for the Phillies.
Nationals deny Braves
ATLANTA — Jordan Zimmermann turned in another dominant performance with two-hit ball over eight innings, Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in the fourth and the Washington Nationals finally beat the Atlanta Braves, 2-0.
The Braves had won five in a row this season over their NL East rival, and nine straight dating to last season.
Zimmermann (5-1) made sure that streak ended with another dominating performance, snapping a three-game losing streak that had knocked the Nationals under .500.
Atlanta starter Paul Maholm (3-3) nearly matched Zimmermann. He allowed only three hits in eight innings, retiring the last 13 batters he faced.
But Desmond provided all the runs that Washington needed, homering to left-center on a 1-1 pitch in the fourth after Bryce Harper led off with a walk.
PIRATES 6, BREWERS 4
MILWAUKEE — Starling Marte hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Brandon Inge had a go-ahead RBI single to rally Pittsburgh to a victory over Milwaukee, snapping the Pirates’ nine-game losing streak against the Brewers.
Pedro Alvarez added a run-scoring single to cap a four-run eighth as Pittsburgh won for the 10th time in its last 15 games and ended Milwaukee’s eight-game home winning streak.
Bryan Morris (1-1) got the last two outs of the seventh for his first career victory. Mark Melancon pitched the eighth and Jason Grilli the ninth for his 11th save.
John Axford (0-3) gave up all four runs while getting just two outs in the eighth for the Brewers.
CARDINALS 4, REDS 2
ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn won his 10th straight decision, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings to lead the Cardinals over the Reds.
Lynn (5-0) struck out five and walked two, improving to 10-0 in 10 starts and one relief appearing since losing to Milwaukee on Sept. 7.
It’s the second straight quick start for Lynn, who was 6-0 with a 1.48 ERA through May 7 last season, then went 12-7 with a 4.46 ERA the rest of the way.
METS 7, MARLINS 6
MIAMI — Jordany Valdespin hit a three-run, pinch-homer, and the Mets rallied Wednesday to break a six-game losing streak and avert a series sweep, beating the Marlins.
The Mets’ dormant offense finally came alive after they fell behind 4-1. Valdespin put New York ahead to stay in the sixth inning with his second homer, and NL RBIs leader John Buck added a two-run double in the seventh.
Buck and David Wright each had three of New York’s 13 hits. Wright hit his third homer for the Mets, who totaled only 11 runs during their losing streak.
CUBS 6, PADRES 2
CHICAGO — Scott Feldman retired 18 straight on his way to his first career complete game and the Cubs took advantage of former No. 1 pick Andrew Cashner’s wildness in a 6-2 win over the Padres.
Feldman (2-3) earned his second straight win, allowing two runs and three hits while walking one. After Chase Headley singled with two outs in the first, Feldman retired the next 18 batters.
Feldman had 12 strikeouts to set a new career high. He also had an RBI double in the second to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Starlin Castro was 2 for 4 with two runs scored for the Cubs.
Cashner, making his first start against the team that made him its No. 1 pick in 2008, lasted four innings and gave up five runs, four earned.
GIANTS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 6
PHOENIX — Brandon Belt hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the San Francisco Giants rallied against Arizona’s bullpen for the third straight game, beating the Diamondbacks to complete a three-game sweep.
Belt hit a two-run single off Brad Ziegler in the opener and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer off Arizona closer J.J. Putz on Tuesday.
Belt finished off the series of comebacks with his homer off David Hernandez (1-2), giving San Francisco its first road sweep over the Diamondbacks since July 22-25, 2010.
Angel Pagan led off the game with a homer, Hunter Pence added a 460-foot solo shot and George Kontos (2-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings after starter Tim Lincecum struggled. Sergio Romo extended his scoreless streak against Arizona to 27 innings in the ninth for his 11th save.
Chad Pennington homered and matched a career-high with four RBIs for the Diamondbacks.
ROCKIES 7, DODGERS 3
LOS ANGELES — Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez each hit two-run doubles, and center fielder Dexter Fowler robbed Adrian Gonzalez of what would have been his second home run of the game, leading the Rockies to a victory over the Dodgers.
Reliever Josh Outman (1-0) got credit for the victory in the rubber game of the series, allowing one hit over two scoreless innings.
Josh Beckett (0-4) gave up five runs and five hits in four innings before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. It’s the first time in Beckett’s 13-year career that the three-time All-Star and 2003 World Series MVP has gone winless in his first six starts.
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