Red Sox falter late in 5-3 loss to Pirates

J. Meric

The Red Sox were ahead 3-1 until the eighth, but could not hold on as the substitutes entered the game and John Farrell turned to experimentation.

The bad news is that the Red Sox lost to the Pirates today, 5-3. The good news is that they won the major league portion of the game, only falling behind when the substitutes entered the game and John Farrell turned to experimentation.

Clay Buchholz turned in another strong start for the Red Sox, providing five innings of one-run ball. With his breaking pitches working for him, Buchholz was largely able to avoid damage, getting a few silly looking swings along the way. While he did leave a few balls high in the zone, the one run was not the result of a mistake, but a 3-2 fastball challenging Garrett Jones with the bases empty. Jones got a hold of it, and rounded the bases with a long ball, but it seemed to be more or less the pitch Buchholz wanted to throw.

While Jones' solo shot would give the Pirates the 1-0 lead in the second, the Red Sox didn't waste any time returning fire. Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the inning with a hard double off the wall in left, and while Neil Walker was well placed at second to reel in Jonny Gomes' effort, David Ross dropped a single in front of Travis Snider in right, and then made it all the way to third when Snider let the ball get past him. Jose Iglesias found the hole between second and short for another single to bring Ross home, and just like that is was 2-1 in favor of Boston after two.

Clay Buchholz would allow a double to the opposing pitcher of all players to start off the third, but buckled down and allowed little else in his outing. The same could not be said for Jeff Locke, who found himself the victim of a Will Middlebrooks triple off the top of the scoreboard, and a third run when Jarrod Saltalamacchia picked up his second hit to drive the young third baseman in.

Boston's lead would hold up all the way into the eighth, but that's when experimentation got the better of John Farrell. Perhaps testing Junichi Tazawa's limits, Farrell left his reliever in after he had already recorded six outs. The results weren't great. Tazawa would walk the next two batters before being pulled in favor of Anthony Carter, who gave up an RBI single to Alex Presley, then allowed Pedro Alvarez to seal the deal with a long ball to left. The Pirates took a 5-3 lead, and the Red Sox could muster no rally with their final six outs.

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