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Tampa Bay takes second game of the series on Akinora Iwamura’s two-run homerun in the eighth

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RED SOX FALL TO THE RAYS 2-1; MOVE TO 15-11
Tampa
Bay
takes second game of the series on Akinora Iwamura’s two-run homerun in the eighth

(April 26, 2008) – The Red Sox offense was silent tonight, scoring only one run in the game but it appeared as if it was all they were going to need because rookie Clay Buchholz was on his game – for the first seven innings he pitched. After pitching seven innings of one hit ball and retiring 13 consecutive Rays hitters after a B.J. Upton fourth inning double, Buchholz surrendered a two-run game winning homerun to second baseman Akinora Iwamura to give the Rays the 2-1 win.

The rookie pitcher got off to rough start in the first – walking B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena back-to-back – but was able to get fellow rookie Evan Longoria to end the inning. As the game went along, Buchholz appeared to get better as the pitch count rose. He ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth inning when pinch-hitter Dioneer Navarro broke up Buchholz’s streak of retiring 13 consecutive Tampa Bay hitters with a base hit. As long as shortstop Jason Bartlett did his job by not grounding into an inning ending double to get Iwamura and the rest of the top of the Rays line up to the plate.

Buchholz was left in the game just a tad bit too long and received his second loss of the season. Although he got the loss, the Sox rookie pitcher pitched magnificent. Nothing bad should be said about Buchholz. As the game went along it appeared as if Buchholz got stronger. Now we all know in sports as the game continues that can not happen but it was because his confidence level was growing as the game continued. That is the reason he looked as if he was getting stronger.

Coco Crisp scored the lone Boston run in the top of the fifth inning when he led off the inning with a single into right field. The speedy center fielder would advance two bases on an Edwin Jackson wild pitch that went to the back stop, allowing Crisp to advance to third base. It appeared as if Jackson was going to get out of the inning unscathed – striking out catcher Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo – but it was not going to be. Jacoby Ellsbury, who was a last minute addition to the line up, slapped a base hit down to third and just barely beat the throw to first to drive in Crisp from third.

The Red Sox will try to ward of the sweep in tomorrow’s matinee with the Rays in the abbreviated road trip to St. Petersburg, Florida. Josh Beckett will make his fourth start of the season and look to improve his record to 3-1. After starting the season on the disabled list with back and hip problems, Beckett has only gotten better and stronger with each outing. In his first start of the season, he failed to get through the fifth inning but in his last start on against the arch-nemesis Yankees, Beckett pitched eight complete innings allowing three earned runs on six hits and five strike outs. Beckett’s 2-1 record, 5.12 ERA and 16 strike outs will be opposed by Rays righty James Shields who has been Tampa Bay’s ace while Scott Kazmir is on the disabled list. Shields is coming off a 6-4 win against the Toronto Blue Jays were he completed seven innings allowing two runs on six hits with five strikes. Overall on the young season the Rays “Ace” is 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 21 strike outs.

WIN: Scott Dohman (2-0)

LOSS: Clay Buchholz (1-2)

SAVE: Troy Percival (5)

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Game Notes:

Injury Report:

Mike Lowell made his first rehab assignment last night and due to come off the disabled list some time in the next couple of days. David Ortiz was scratched from the starting line up for tonight’s second game with the Rays because of a bruised knee. Sox put Sean Casey on the 15-day DL with a strained right hip flexor and recalled Brandon Moss from Pawtucket. (My opinion is that Moss is going to become the next Lou Merloni.)

Clay Buchholz went into the bottom of the fourth with a no-hitter until B.J. Upton broke it up with a double down the left field line.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Akinori Iwamura, TAMPA BAY 1-4 HR, 2-RBIs
  1. B.J. Upton, TAMPA BAY 1-2 Double and an outfield assist
  1. Clay Buchholz, BOSTON 8IP 3H, 2ER, 2BB, 8K

1 comment:

luis said...

GOOOOOO RAYS!!! GO BACK TO BEAN TOWN