Papi powers up as Buchholz cools White Sox

May 5th, 2016

CHICAGO -- Clay Buchholz locked in after a rough first inning Wednesday night and earned his first win of the year in a 5-2 Red Sox victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

David Ortiz fueled the Boston lineup with a home run and three RBIs, and Xander Bogaerts had three singles, a walk and one RBI as the Red Sox won for the fourth time in five games. Ortiz's homer gave the Red Sox the lead and tied Gary Sheffield for 25th all-time at 509 career home runs.

"He he does it in such big moments," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He gives us a lift. He gives us the lead with one swing of the bat. We're 26, 27 games into this, and David is in such a good spot offensively. You kind of marvel at how consistent and powerful he is."

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Big Papi and other #ASGWorthy players

The White Sox got a first-inning lead after Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer, but starting pitcher Carlos Rodon struggled with command and left the game on the hook for the loss after throwing 110 pitches in six innings. The Red Sox grabbed the lead in the fifth and picked up two insurance runs off Chicago relievers Zach Putnam and Zach Duke. As for the White Sox, offense went silent in the late innings to break a three-game winning streak.

"Tonight it didn't happen," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But as far as belief, it's there, of being able to rally and getting something going."

Buchholz entered Wednesday with an 0-3 record and had allowed five earned runs in four of five starts, but he righted the ship by throwing seven strong innings and striking out six batters.


Ortiz tailing Yaz:
Ortiz's two-run homer to right, which gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead in the fifth, was No. 451 with Boston, putting him one behind Carl Yastrzemski for second on the team's all-time list. In typical Ortiz fashion, the blast came at the perfect time. The Red Sox didn't generate much offense in Tuesday's 4-1 loss and had scored just one run through the first four innings on Wednesday. Ortiz's homer was projected by Statcast™ at a distance of 411 feet. More >

"You know what happens when that is happening? You're getting old," said the 40-year-old Ortiz. "Like I say, every time they mention your name right next to those legends, that's an honor."

Abreu stays hot: Abreu turned on an inside fastball from Buchholz in the first, taking it into the left-field bullpen without a doubt for his fourth home run of the season. It was Abreu's only hit on the night, but he extended his hitting streaks to eight games and 13 straight against the Red Sox. Abreu also has 12 RBIs in his past 11 games, but his homer was all the White Sox got Wednesday.

"Buchholz was good," Ventura said. "[After the home run], he kind of stayed away from any type of rally we got. If it looked like we were getting steam, he snuffed it out. You tip the cap to him."

Buchholz settles in: When Buchholz gave up the towering, two-run shot to Abreu, the Red Sox had cause for concern, considering his shaky start to the season. But the righty settled down nicely from there. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base in the second, Buchholz retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced. More >

"To go seven innings, that's what everyone on the staff wants to do," he said. "They want to get into the seventh and then hand it over to the guys who have their job to do as well. If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be what everybody would want to do."

Two-out troubles: Rodon gave up a two-out RBI single to Bogaerts in the third, and again had trouble with two outs in the fifth. He walked Bogaerts before giving up the homer to Ortiz that put the White Sox behind. Rodon struck out six and at times looked efficient, but his command was spotty and Boston's timely hits were enough to pin Rodon with the loss. He is now 1-4 with a 4.36 ERA this season.

"You get David up there in that situation, he's tough," Ventura said. "I don't care what his age is, you just don't like him coming up in key situations, and [Rodon] paid for it." More >


"That's a Hall of Famer right there. I served up a cookie to him, and he hit it pretty deep. You have to tip your cap to him. He's done it 509 times now." -- Rodon, on Ortiz


• Rodon has surrendered a home run in each of his past three games, but Ortiz's shot was the first time a left-handed hitter has homered off Rodon in his Major League career.

• For Buchholz, this was his eighth consecutive quality start in his past nine games at American League Central parks.

• The Red Sox are 16-0 when leading after eight innings.


Due to flu-like symptoms, Hanley Ramirez was taken out of the lineup by Red Sox manager John Farrell roughly an hour before first pitch. Travis Shaw moved across the diamond from third to first base. Josh Rutledge was inserted into the lineup at third and contributed with two hits and an RBI.

"We've got a little bit of the flu bug running through the clubhouse, and it hit [Ramirez] today," Farrell said. "We'll check him tomorrow and hopefully he's ready to go."


Red Sox:
Lefty Henry Owens starts the finale of this three-game series (Wednesday night, 8:10 ET) against the White Sox. It is the third start for Owens since replacing the injured Joe Kelly in the rotation. Owens held the Yankees to two runs over six innings in his last start.

White Sox: Right-hander Erik Johnson will make his season debut when he starts against the Red Sox on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field. Johnson is 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA with Triple-A Charlotte this season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.