The offense scored early & often and the bullpen was able to bend but not break and the Sox hold off the Oakland A's 11-6.
With Oakland scoring in the top of the second thanks to a Cliff Pennington RBI single, Boston's offense unleashed 11 unanswered runs in the second, third & fifth innings. In that span, David Ortiz hit two solo homers, Darnell McDonald hit a two run shot, and Mike Aviles hit a three run bomb to give the Sox an 11-1 lead.
And it appeared that it would be more than enough for Clay Buchholz as he was in cruise control for the six innings: allowing just one run on three hits while throwing only 72 pitches. Then he complete unraveled in the seventh. He loaded the bases before he could even record an out when he got Pennington to ground into a fielder's choice for one out.
Then two former Sox outfielders put in two damaging hits to end Buchholz's night. Coco Crisp with a shallow single to drive in two runs and Josh Reddick hitting a three run shot to make it an 11-6 game. Buchholz finished with his fifth straight start allowing at least five runs & eight hits and was clearly frustrated as Bobby Valentine came to take him out of the game.
Junichi Tazawa was brought in relief and he failed to get an out as he hit gave up a bloop hit to Yoenis Cespedes, then plunking Seth Smith, and finally after getting Anthony Recker to pop one up in the infield, Nick Punto dropped it to load the bases. It was starting to give horrible flashbacks to the debacle against the Yankees when the bullpen was destroyed for 13 runs. Thankfully Vicente Padilla struck out Daric Barton to get out of the jam and give Sox fans a sigh of relief.
But the relief was only temporarily, as the A's managed to get the bases loaded with no outs on Scott Atchison. Atchison managed to punch out Crisp and leaving the rest up to Franklin Morales. Morales was able to get Josh Reddick to ground one up the middle and Dustin Pedroia made a great effort to get the inning ending double play.
Alfredo Aceves came up in the ninth and had a relatively easy outing as he only gave up a two out double . He now has four straight scoreless appearances but he still couldn't get that ERA down to single digits. (Currently at 10.29.)
The Sox end the month .500. Not bad.
(Photo: Getty Images)