The Red Sox started off Tuesday night's game with some fire! Three straight hits! Their first first-inning run of the season coming on Xander Bogaerts' first RBI of the season! There was a real sense of drive and purpose!
Five hours later and they squeaked past the White Sox 6-4 after 14 exhausting innings.
It was an ugly victory. That first inning lead evaporated in an instant when Daniel Nava failed to come up with throws from Clay Buchholz and Jonathan Herrera. The Red Sox were once again just asking to be set to Benny Hill music, and while the bats were able to work plenty of free bases out of Chicago's pitching staff, when it actually came to hitting they came up entirely empty. Their next hit would not come until the ninth.
The one part of the team that didn't look like a complete mess in the first nine innings was to be found on the mound. Clay Buchholz was actually pretty good in his third start of the season. He was playing the nibbling game that so often seems to hurt pitchers, but he was playing it well and getting away with it. Other than the costly mistakes in the infield, the only damage Buchholz suffered came from one bad cutter to Alexei Ramirez that ended up in the stands.
So it was that the Red Sox went to the eighth down 3-1. A pair of leadoff walks gave them the setup needed to finally get back on the board, though A.J. Pierzynski, getting his third big opportunity to drive in runs, managed just an RBI sacrifice fly. Another pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs, but Jackie Bradley Jr. popped out to shallow left, leaving the Red Sox with just one run for their four walks in the frame.
Still, that got the Red Sox within one run, and that was a gap they could cover in the ninth. Again, it was a slightly underwhelming result after a pair of leadoff walks, particularly when Jonny Gomes managed to add the team's first base hit since the first with a swinging bunt. But Grady Sizemore's sacrifice fly still made it a 3-3 game, sending the two sides to extra innings after a clean half inning from Andrew Miller.
The extra frames would prove a lot more of the same for the Red Sox: free bases, few results. Once again in the eleventh the Red Sox turned two free leadoff baserunners into just one run on a Jonny Gomes sacrifice fly, and that wastefulness would cost them three more innings, as Edward Mujica was nickle-and-dimed for a run in the bottom of the frame. Finally, though, the fourteenth would see the Red Sox get their big hit with runners on. With no less than a shortstop pitching for Chicago, Jackie Bradley Jr. laced a double to right field, scoring Daniel Nava and Jonathan Herrera, both on base via what else but a pair of walks? Chris Capuano and Burke Badenhop finished off the bottom of the inning, and the Red Sox finally sent their fans off to bed with a win.