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Sports

Stinky Sox Lose…Again

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BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 9:   Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox hands the ball over to Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox after the go-ahead run scored in the ninth by the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on September 9, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 9: Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox hands the ball over to Bobby Valentine #25 of the Boston Red Sox after the go-ahead run scored in the ninth by the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on September 9, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (AP) _ Clay Buchholz expected to hand the ball to Bobby
Valentine when the Red Sox manager made a ninth-inning visit to the
mound.

Valentine, however, was only checking on Buchholz, not pulling
him from the game.

“I just wanted to make sure he believed like I did, that he had
enough. He said, `Guaranteed,”’ Valentine said of his conference
with Buchholz with one out in the ninth. “All year long, Clay’s
been totally honest with me every chance. After eight, he felt
great. He wasn’t really stressed there in the ninth.”

Buchholz remained in the game until Omar Vizquel hit a sacrifice
fly to left, driving in the go-ahead run and Toronto held on for a
4-3 win.

The reeling Red Sox have lost 11 of their past 12 games and are
in last place in the AL East.

Buchholz (11-6) allowed four runs on seven hits over 8 2-3
innings, walking three and striking out four.

Rajai Davis started the ninth-inning rally with a blooper and
Anthony Gose followed with another single, prompting Valentine to
visit him on the mound.

Buchholz had thrown 113 pitches and believed that was it.

“I thought he was coming out to get me and he was like, `Oh, I
was just coming to check on how you were doing,”’ he explained.
“I was like, `Go back to the dugout and I’ll try to get a ground
ball double play right here.”’

After intentionally walking pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson, Buchholz
left a cutter over the middle of the plate that Vizquel drove just
deep enough to left to score Davis from third, ending Buchholz’s
afternoon.

“If somebody’s going to give up the runs, I’d rather it be me,
because I know when relievers come in, they give up the inherited
runs, they feel pretty bad about it,” Buchholz said. “I’d rather
put it all on me and that’s what I did.”

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia homered for the Red Sox.

Reliever Brandon Lyon (2-2) got the win and Casey Janssen picked
up his 20th save.

Toronto entered the series in last place in the AL East but left
Fenway Park two games ahead of the Red Sox. The Blue Jays have won
four straight overall and six in a row against Boston.

James Loney singled to open the Boston ninth and Cody Ross
nearly won it on a drive to left that was just foul. Ross ended up
striking out on a pitch he felt was outside enough that he was
trotting toward first when umpire Clint Fagan called it a strike.

Ellsbury flied out to deep center for the second out, then Mike
Aviles hit a foul pop that catcher Jeff Mathis got under easily to
complete the sweep for the Blue Jays.

NOTES: Boston activated OF Daniel Nava, who had been out since
Aug. 25 with a sprained left wrist that has been nagging him this
season. Nava pinch hit to lead off the eighth and grounded out. …
The Red Sox are in last place in the AL East, marking the latest in
a season they have held at least a share of last place since
September 1997 … Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks, on the DL with a
right wrist fracture since Aug. 11, turned 24 Sunday. … Toronto
tied a franchise single-season record with its sixth straight win
against Boston, matching the club record set from June 2-11, 1988.
… The Blue Jays improved to 10-5 against the Red Sox this season,
clinching their first season series victory against Boston since
2006.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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