Buchholz improves to 9-0 for Red Sox
Boston ace Clay Buchholz could easily joke about his fielding night with the start he's off to this season.
David Ortiz rebounded from a rough first game with a long two-run homer and drove in three runs to help Buchholz improve to 9-0, earning the Red Sox a split of a day-night doubleheader with a 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
Buchholz gave up two runs on six hits, striking out four and walking one over 6 2-3 innings to match Arizona's Patrick Corbin (9-0) as the majors' only unbeaten pitcher with at least nine wins, but he left in the seventh with what the team called "neck tightness."
It was quite a fielding night for Boston's ace.
Howie Kendrick hit a hard grounder off Buchholz's glove in the sixth. It bounced behind the mound and he dropped his glove and raced toward the ball, but Kendrick beat it out.
"I think that ball knocked my glove off," he said, adding that when he spun and threw to first he irritated his neck. "It was a little nagging for a couple of innings, right after that ball hit off my glove and I threw to first, it bothered me."
Buchholz had another adventure fielding a grounder. In the fourth, Alberto Callaspo hit a high chop toward first, the pitcher got under it, but misplayed it before grabbing it and, while lying on the ground, reached to tag Callaspo before he reached the bag.
"I told Salty (catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia) it was the most un-athletic, athletic play I've ever made," he said.
Boston manager John Farrell didn't think the neck problem was anything serious. Buchholz didn't either.
Buchholz missed a start last month with an irritation in his collarbone area.
The victory snapped Boston's nine-game losing streak against Los Angeles.
"We played a good game the first game and this game we didn't do what we needed to do," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't know about feeling satisfied. You want to pour your heart into every game and when you don't win, you're disappointed."
Ortiz went 0 for 5, struck out twice and stranded six runners in the Red Sox' 9-5 loss in the opener.
With Boston leading the nightcap 4-2 in the sixth, Dustin Pedroia had an RBI single off reliever Jerome Williams before Ortiz hit a deep homer into the right-field seats, about 20 rows up into the corner. He stood and admired the ball's flight before slowly rounding the bases.
After Mike Trout's run-scoring single cut it to 3-1, Boston added an unearned run in the fifth on David Ross' RBI single after Mike Napoli reached on an infield hit and advanced on the same play when third baseman Callaspo bounced the throw past first for an error.
Wilson gave up four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits, walking three and striking out five in five innings.
In the opener, Tommy Hanson (3-2) allowed two runs in five innings for the win, striking out Ortiz twice and getting him to ground out weakly with two runners on in all three at-bats.
"The first at-bat he didn't look very good on the breaking ball. I felt like I threw him a really good one," Hanson said. "Same with the second at-bat. That third time around with the tying run on third, I'd rather face Ortiz in that situation than Pedroia, who hit two line drives on me. I threw him a first-pitch slider and he grounded out, which worked out for me."
The Angels built a big lead when reliever Franklin Morales walked three straight batters and allowed four runs in the seventh inning, making it 7-2.
"I felt like it was an opportunity to get him some work in advance of a potential spot start next week," Farrell said. "Then, obviously, we saw what happened in the seventh inning -- lost the strike zone as we got deeper into (the inning) and that ended up being the difference in today's game."
Trout added a pair of doubles high off the Green Monster and collected three hits for the Angels.
The Angels went 6-0 overall against the Red Sox last season. Los Angeles won its ninth consecutive game against Boston in the clubs' first meeting this year.
The game was a makeup from Friday night's rainout.
Felix Doubront (4-3) gave up three runs and six hits over six innings.
The Red Sox stranded eight runners in the first four innings-- two in each -- and 14 overall. Boston made it closer by scoring three runs with two outs in the ninth.
Los Angeles held a 3-2 lead until Morales' wildness in the seventh. Trumbo had an RBI double before the left-hander threw nine consecutive balls to end his appearance and force home the final two runs. Clayton Mortensen relieved and allowed Aybar's infield hit that made it 7-2 before J.B. Shuck hit a flyball for his second out of the inning to end it.
NOTES: Boston OF Shane Victorino was activated from the 15-day DL before Game 2. He's been out since May 21 with a strained left hamstring. Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Los Angeles recalled OF Brad Hawpe from Triple-A Salt Lake before Saturday's first game. He played in the second and went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, also missing a fly ball for an error. ... The Angels previously had won five straight in Fenway in 2008 and 1974. ... Pedroia and teammate Jose Iglesias each hit safely in both games and extended their hitting streaks to 12. ... Angels LHP Sean Burnett, on the 15-day DL with an elbow impingement, is expected to start throwing off a mound in the next few days. ... Los Angeles lost 17 of 19 against Boston before the winning streak.