So we lose against Brian Bannister, we lose against Kyle Davies, and we win against Zack Greinke?
Thank Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, and the gloves behind them in the field.
It was another one of those nights that reinforces the maturation of Buchholz, who didn't have his best command. He fell behind in a few counts, but managed to get by on a combination of his strong stuff and good movement to induce a few whiffs (only 4 strikeouts, but 12 swinging strikes) and a ton of groundballs. Clay kept it low, and the Royals couldn't score.
It didn't hurt that he had some nice defense behind him. The infield was all over the place tonight, making good picks on tough balls, and turning some difficult double plays to get Clay out of trouble.
Daniel Bard faced some trouble in the 8th inning when he allowed a leadoff double to Jason Kendall. After a sacrifice bunt put him on third base with only 1 out, Bard got a clutch strikeout on Mike Aviles, and Dustin Pedroia made a fantastic diving play to save a hit and the tying run, getting David DeJesus out for the first time that night.
For everything they did do with their gloves, the bats went quiet at the worst times tonight. The Red Sox stranded 10 team baserunners, and since they were getting on early, 21 combined individual left on base. It was an ugly night without any big hits--the only run scored on a Mike Lowell groundout in the 2nd inning--but one turned out to be enough for the Red Sox.
The Sox have a very good chance to grab a tie in the series tomorrow, as Jon Lester takes on Gil Meche.