So there's good news tonight: the Red Sox won. They defeated the Orioles 5-1, and they did so thanks to another strong outing from Clay Buchholz, who went seven innings with, of course, just that one run allowe.
That's the good news. The bad news: both Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez left midway through the game. Yes, it's time for an injury scare double feature.
To get back to the good news, Clay Buchholz' excellent final line comes as a pleasant surprise given how the Orioles opened the game. Manny Machado started things off by shooting a single right back up the middle on just the second pitch of the night. Had he not proceeded to get himself caught stealing, the Red Sox might have been facing an early hole, with Jimmy Paredes lacing a single to right and Chris Davis drawing a walk before Buchholz could escape the inning.
And that was about as dicey as it got through the first five. Leaning heavily on his secondary offerings, including the curveball, changeup, and cutter, Buchholz struck out two in a scoreless second, and didn't allow more than two baserunners in an inning again until the sixth, when the Orioles finally got on the board thanks to a leaoff double and one out single from Chrises Parmelee and Davis respectively.
At that point, the one run was enough to put the Orioles ahead, with the Red Sox reverting to their old, worst habits behind Buchholz. In one of the most perfect examples of what 2015 has meant for the Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez had left the game after getting hit in the hand by a line drive off the bat of Xander Bogaerts in the fifth. The official diagnosis is a "left hand contusion", which either means a bruise, or that the hand in question has fallen off and burst into flames. One of the two.
Finally, though, the Sox got on the board in the sixth, albeit with some help from the Orioles. The first two batters of the frame, Alejandro De Aza and Sandy Leon, both reached on errors, with De Aza scoring when Mookie Betts hit a ground ball single to to right. With Brock Holt's productive out moving both runners up, Dustin Pedroia was able to score both of them with a single into left.
After which he pulled up hurt at first base because, again, this is 2015 and even when things go right they go terribly, terribly wrong.
Now with Travis Shaw at first, David Ortiz saw to putting the game largely away by crushing a low fastball from Bud Norris into the seats in center field for a two-run shot. That put the Sox ahead 5-1, with Buchholz, Tazawa, and Uehara keeping the Orioles in check for the final three innings.
Certainly a positive result, and a game with some nice performances. But until Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez are back on the field, it's going to be hard to celebrate much of anything.