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Buchholz escapes injury, can't dodge loss

7/24/2014

TORONTO -- There was a dazed aspect to Clay Buchholz’s pitching Wednesday night, and that was even before he took a comebacker from Munenori Kawasaki off the side of his head.

The Boston Red Sox barely had time to savor the 3-0 lead David Ortiz gave them with his fourth home run in three nights before Buchholz gave it all back in the bottom of the first, foreshadowing what would become a 6-4 Sox defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I’ll take the blame for this one, for sure," Buchholz said.

With a chance to put the Sox back in a winning mode, Buchholz instead went Jose Reyes single, Melky Cabrera four-pitch walk and Jose Bautista RBI double to the first three Toronto batters. The Sox cut down one run at the plate on a fielder’s choice, but Bautista beat Mike Napoli’s throw to the plate for a second run and Kawasaki kept the inning alive with his base hit off Buchholz’s noggin, Josh Thole followed with a ground-rule double, and the game was tied.

"I was lucky to get out of it without giving up more than I did," Buchholz said.

He also was fortunate to escape injury on the comebacker that missed his glove.

"Funny," he said. "As a pitcher, when the ball is hit at you. it looks like it’s coming back a thousand miles an hour or really slow. I felt like I got my glove up, but I was sort of falling away and it went over my glove."

The ball struck him in the temple, said Buchholz, who expressed relief it did not hit him in the face.

"I was dazed, for sure," said the right-hander, who was attended to by manager John Farrell and a trainer but remained in the game after throwing a couple of practice tosses. "Any time you’re hit by the ball, it’s going to take a second."

Farrell said he was satisfied that Buchholz could remain in the game.

"We checked him between innings," he said. "There were no lingering effects. For someone wondering about a concussion, he checked out with all field tests and was able to continue on."

But the night was anything but easy for Buchholz. Twice he hit the No. 9 batter in the Jays' order, Anthony Gose, with a pitch to lead off an inning. Buchholzwalked four, after walking just one over his previous five starts. And with the Sox leading 4-3 in the sixth, he left a changeup over the plate to Ryan Goins, who tripled into the gap to tie the score at 4-4 and scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts.