Clay Buchholz struck out 11 batters over eight innings. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Red Sox waste terrific performance from Clay Buchholz

DJ Bean
May 15, 2015 - 8:49 pm
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Clay Buchholz didn'€™t put the Red Sox in a jam all night. That came once his night was done, and with it came a 2-1 loss Friday in Seattle. After a masterful eight innings from Buchholz, Tommy Layne allowed an infield single to Brad Miller with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Robinson Cano grounded out to advance Miller to second, at which point Junichi Tazawa relieved Layne. Tazawa allowed the game-winning hit to Nelson Cruz to give Seattle the victory and drop the Sox to 17-19 on the season. Buchholz was dominant, as he retired 15 batters in a row after a double from Cano in the bottom of the first inning. Buchholz struck out a season-high 11 batters and walked none. The second hit he allowed tied the game, however, as a Seth Smith solo shot broke up Buchholz'€™ string of consecutive batters retired. The Sox had taken the lead in the bottom of the second when Xander Bogaerts tripled off J.A. Happ to score Shane Victorino from second base. Victorino had singled with one out and stolen second after Pablo Sandoval had lined out. That would prove to be the extent of Boston's offense on the night, however. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Clay Buchholz. The importance of starting pitching was stressed even more entering this series with the Mariners, and Buchholz was able to follow Joe Kelly'€™s strong performance Thursday with one of his own. Boston'€™s hitters could have stood to reward his performance better. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX - The Red Sox have now scored two runs or less in four straight games. Fortunately for them, they'€™ve managed to go 2-2 in that stretch with barely any offense. Unfortunately for them, that "The Red Sox have now scored two runs or less in four straight games"€ part. - Buchholz has struck out 10 or more batters twice this season and has zero wins to show for it. He also received a no-decision when he fanned 10 Rays on April 23, a game that saw him allow one run and get one run of support. - Mike Napoli made it to third base after singling and being advanced twice in the fourth inning, but he was thrown out to end the inning during a pickle that registered as a 1-3-6-2-5 caught stealing.  WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX - Buchholz'€™ eight innings pitched made Friday'€™s start the deepest he'€™s gone into a game this season. He threw 102 pitches on the night. - Though Friday marked just his fifth career start against the Mariners, Buchholz'€™ numbers against Seattle'€™s hitters going into the night did not suggest a dominant performance was in the works. In fact, while Buchholz fanned Smith in all three plate appearances between the two entering Friday, he did not have prior success against the batters he would end up silencing. All four of the Mariners hitters in Friday'€™s lineup with at least six plate appearances vs. Buchholz entering the game (Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Logan Morrison and Kyle Seager) were hitting .343 or better against the right-hander. No real damage was done, however, as Cano'€™s double and Seager'€™s seventh-inning single were the only hits he allowed to the foursome Friday.

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