American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 30th
(All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (11-12) at Boston Red Sox (10-11), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Tommy Milone (3-1, 2.00)
Boston - Clay Buchholz (2-1, 8.87)
(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox figure to get a better reception this
evening at Fenway Park than they did the last time they were there, as they
return home to begin a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics.
Boston was booed off the field on April 21 when the team blew a nine-run lead
and lost 15-9 to the New York Yankees. Following that game, which manager
Bobby Valentine called rock bottom, the Red Sox won six straight games and
almost pulled off a perfect seven-game road trip before falling on Sunday to
the Chicago White Sox, 4-1.
Josh Beckett (2-3) was charged for three runs on six hits and three walks
while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings for Boston, which failed to move
over .500 for the first time this season.
Still, the Red Sox return to Fenway tonight riding a five-game home losing
streak, their longest skid since a six-game slide there from April 6-19, 2010.
A visit from the Athletics, though, could cure what ails them, as Boston is
17-5 against them in the last 22 meetings in Beantown.
Hoping to continue that trend tonight will be righty Clay Buchholz, who is 2-1
with a 8.87 ERA. Buchholz beat the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday but was not
sharp, as he allowed five runs and 10 hits with three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
"I executed pitches a lot better today than I have in the last three starts,"
Buchholz said. "It's been a struggle with location, command of each pitch. I
had really good command of a couple of offspeed pitches tonight."
Buchholz has faced the A's five times and is 1-2 against them with a 7.84 ERA.
Oakland, meanwhile, endured a heartbreaking loss on Sunday in Baltimore, as it
blew a two-run ninth inning lead and fell 5-2 thanks to Wilson Betemit's
three-run walkoff home run.
A's starter Bartolo Colon pitched 8 1/3 innings but was lifted after giving up
singles to J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in the ninth.
Colon's throwing error put runners on second and third before Grant Balfour
(0-1) served up Wieters' double. After an intentional walk to Chris Davis,
Betemit belted his winning homer.
"That's what good teams do," said Balfour after the loss. "They make the most
of bad pitches and put good swings on it and that's what happened."A's starter
Bartolo Colon pitched 8 1/3 innings but was lifted after giving up singles to
J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in the ninth.
Heading to the hill for the A's tonight will be lefty Tommy Milone, who was
magnificent in beating the White Sox on Tuesday. Milone scattered three hits
over eight scoreless innings in that one, as he improved to 3-1, while
lowering his ERA to 2.00.
Milone has never faced the Red Sox.
04/30 10:44:10 ET
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