The rain cleared out of the Boston area on Saturday night and Clay Buchholz couldn’t have been any happier with Mother Nature.
Buchholz was dominant on the mound last night picking up his third win over the Toronto Blue Jays this season as the Red Sox went on to beat the Jays 3-2 in front of 37,452 at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox improve to 75-54 on the season and maintain their 2.5 game lead over the Texas Rangers and 4.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card standings. They still trail the New York Yankees by 6 games in the AL East standings. The Blue Jays fall to 58-69.
Ironically enough, all three of Buchholz’ wins (3-3) this season are over the Blue Jays. His stuff was just downright nasty. His changeup and slider were really working for him as he kept fooling the Blue Jays hitters. He allowed just three hits (should have been only two) and a run while striking out nine and walking two.
When Terry Francona took him out of the game, the Fenway Faithful booed but it was the right decision as he had thrown a career-high 107 pitches in 8 1/3 innings.
It was obvious the fans knew why they were booing as Hideki Okajima allowed two hits against the only batters he faced with one of them coming into score. Jonathan Papelbon made sure of the win for the Red Sox as he retired the last two batters on just five pitches to notch his 32nd save of the season.
Ricky Romero spent most of the night teetering on the edge of disaster but only ended up allowing three runs. Romero went 5 1/3 innings, giving up 7 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5.
Four Jays relievers worked the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and two walks while recording four strikeouts.
Dustin Pedroia paced the Red Sox offense with a three-hit effort and added a RBI to the cause. Jacoby Ellsbury added two hits, a double and a triple, and also scored a run while Alex Gonzalez knocked in run on his only hit of the night. Victor Martinez drove in a run as well with a bases loaded walk and also had a hit.
Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew had the other hits. Jason Bay was on base three times, twice via the walk and he was hit by a pitch as well.
With Tim Wakefield not being able to make his next start, the Red Sox pushed tomorrow’s starter, Jon Lester, back to Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. The local nine will call upon Paul Byrd from Triple-A Pawtucket to make the start. He’ll go up the Blue Jays ace in Roy Halladay.