BOSTON — The label “Rapid Reaction” for any game involving Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is a misnomer. There's nothing remotely rapid about any game he is pitching.
Until Chris Davis of the Orioles hit a two-run home run off Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross in the top of the ninth inning Saturday, giving Baltimore its final margin of victory in a 4-1 defeat of the Red Sox, we were looking at a 2-1 game that had dragged on for more than three hours.
Much of that can be laid at the feet of losing pitcher Buchholz, who places games in a state of suspended animation whenever he has men on base, and he had a lot of 'em Saturday.
Buchholz gave up 11 hits and walked one in six innings Saturday, but because 10 of those hits were singles and he left the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth innings, the Sox right-hander was able to keep this one close.
The Orioles scored both of their runs off Buchholz in the fourth, when they had five hits but stranded three when Buchholz struck out Alejandro de Aza and Steve Pearce.
The Sox, however, were able to counter with just one run off Orioles starter Chris Tillman and three Orioles relievers, the bullpen crew holding the Sox to just one hit in the final 3⅔ innings. The Red Sox have scored a total of four runs in the first two games against Baltimore.
Dusted up: Dustin Pedroia came to the plate three times with runners in scoring position, twice with runners on the corners, and ended three innings, grounding out and striking out twice.
Holt stays hot: Brock Holt started in center field and had three hits and a stolen base. He has started the season 11 for 19.
Rough afternoon for Ramirez: Hanley Ramirez had another tough afternoon in left field, a ball clanking out of his glove (yet scored a hit) at the Monster. He also failed to get the ball out of the infield in four at-bats, striking out once and hitting into a double play after David Ortiz opened the eighth with a walk, when the score was still 2-1.
Three hits for Papi: Ortiz reached base in all four plate appearances with a double, two singles and a walk.