The moment the Boston Red Sox stopped trying to compete with their big rivals using the same tactics, the sun came up over Fenway Park, and everything seems good and better again, while Clay Buchholz extends his perfect start to the season once again, keeping his team with the best record in the AL.
In 12 starts, Buchholz is 9-0, allowing six hits but only 2 runs in 6.2 innings as the Red Sox won 7-2 against the Los Angeles Angels, rebounding from the 9-5 win by the Angels in the series opener on Friday.
It wasn’t only about Buchholz, who also had a couple of weird fielding plays that luckily didn’t turn out worse on a day the Angels’ bats (going 7-of-33) couldn’t hit anything whenever the needed to. Albert Pujols was 0-3 and Josh Hamilton was 1-4, both continuing to be the highest paid underachievers in Baseball, something the Angels are growing increasingly worried about with their 27-35 start.
David Ortiz was awful in the series opener, striking out twice and flunking on all five appearances at bat. A day later, and everything was different. He hit his 12th home run of the season, a 434-footer in the sixth inning, a two-run score which gave the Red Sox their final score of the evening to cement the commanding lead. It was also his third homer of at least 430 feet this season, all of them hit at home.
But the most interesting moments in the game belonged to Buchholz, who continues picking up wins without doing anything too exciting, so his moments of error were probably a little bit more fascinating to watch. Buchholz later called it the most un-athletic, athletic play he ever made.
The first came in the fourth inning, as Alberto Callaspo got a hit going towards first. Buchholz was able to get under it, but misplayed it before grabbing it and managing to tag Callaspo while still lying on the ground. In the sixth, Howie Kendrick hit a strong grounder off Buchholz’ glove, which bounced behind the mound . Buchholz dropped his glove trying to chase the ball, but Kendrick got there before him, in one of his three hits of the day.
I think that ball knocked my glove off. It was a little nagging for a couple of innings, right after that ball hit off my glove and I threw to first, it bothered me.
Jonny Gomez, Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz were the big hitters for the Red Sox on the day, combining for six hits and six RBIs, while Jose Iglesias also got two hits. his average improving to .443, showing a lot of promise in third base after 21 games, hoping that the injury that kept him away from the game during April and May isn’t coming back to haunt him in somewhat of a breakout season.
The teams will play their third and final game of the series as Ryan Dempster, struggling all season at 3-6, hoping that his most recent start, a win against the Rangers in a 17-5 rout is an indication things are going to get better from now on.