Clay Buchholz pitched a splendid game tonight in Cleveland, as he held the Indians to one run over seven innings, but the bullpen cost him the game as Daniel Bard blew another save, and it wound up 3-2 Tribe.
Buchholz allowed just a home run to the red-hot Asdrubal Cabrera, but Cabrera had three hits on the night, including the game-winning hit in the eighth off Bard. It was Bard's fourth loss of 2011.
A golden opportunity went for nothing in the ninth, as Carl Crawford, who his his second homer of 2011 earlier, did the worst thing he could do with first and third and one out. He hit a hard ground ball at second base, and it was turned into an easy DP.
Just like Saturday night, the Red Sox entered the 8th inning with a lead and an opportunity to go into first, but another horrible outing by the bullpen cost them dearly. I know Terry Francona has done his best to keep Bard's inning total down, but he maybe suffering from overuse right now. With the exception of Jonathan Papelbon, this pen is really a sore spot this season.
That's the fourth straight loss by the Sox to the Indians in Cleveland, who have MLB's best home record.
New York and Tampa Bay both lost, so the Sox remain 1/2 game back.
Dustin Pedroia left the game with some kind of left leg injury (I was praying it had nothing to do with his injured foot of last season) in the 8th inning after stumbling rounding second base (Pete Abrham of the Boston Globe later tweeted that it was just jammed and he's OK) , and the word on Daisuke Matsuzaka looks a lot worse. He's returned to Japan for "family business" and will be back in the US by the end of the month to be examined by Angels' team physician Lewis Yocum, a noted elbow specialist.
This smells like Tommy John surgery on the horizon.
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