(AP Photo: Mark Duncan)
Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson matched up beautifully Monday night both going at least 7 innings, but neither of them factored in the decision. Daniel Bard came on in relief in the bottom of the 8th at Progressive Field in Cleveland, only to give up a double to Michael Brantley for the game-tying run, followed by another double off the bat of the white-hot Asdrubal Cabrera to slam the door, 3-2.
The Red Sox have won 7 of their last 9, and were leading for most of this game thanks to a solo home run hit by Carl Crawford in the fifth, his second of the year.
Buchholz took the mound tonight, giving up 4 hits and two earned runs over 7 and 1/3 innings and receiving his second straight no decision. Masterson's line was eerily similar, going 7 and 2/3 innings.
First pitch was at 8:10pm, an hour later than scheduled due to some passing showers over the ballpark, but once it was underway, the game took less than 3 hours.
Adrian Gonzalez continued his tear with a single tonight in a 1-3 performance including a walk, putting his batting average to .342. Kevin Youkilis' hit streak was snapped at 10 games tonight, going 0-3.
Scary moment in the top of the 8th when Dustin Pedroia, attempting to round 2nd base turned his left ankle, and had to exit the game. He was reluctant to put pressure down on the ankle, which he has had problems with in the past, including last season when he missed most of the final three months of the season. No word yet on the severity of the injury.
With the loss, Bard falls to 1-4 on the season and gets his second blown save. Since 2009, Bard only has 4 other losses, and is looking to figure out how to get back on the right track as quickly as possible. Bobby Jenks, similarly terrible this year, threw a 26-pitch bullpen session, and is looking to get his first action in a rehab start in the coming week.
Sox take on the Indians tomorrow night at 7:10pm from Progressive Field. With the win tonight, Cleveland moves to 30-15 on the year, and 8-2 against the AL East thus far.