BOSTON -- Now that they've clinched their first American League East title since 2007, the Boston Red Sox are going about the business of trying to wrap up the best overall record in the league.
But Saturday night, one night after their celebration, they ran into a stingy Mark Buehrle, who helped the last-place Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox and previously undefeated Clay Buchholz.
By finishing first overall, the Red Sox would avoid both Detroit and Oakland and get to play the winner of the one-game wild card play-in. In their first postseason since 2009, they would also guarantee home field advantage in the American League Championship Series should they win their Division Series.
Boston's lead over Oakland dropped to 1 1/2 games after the A's beat Minnesota earlier Saturday.
Buchholz (11-1) was hit with a two-out, three-run rally in the fourth inning and pitched the first six innings, the longest of his three outings since coming off the disabled list (neck, shoulder) earlier this month.
Adam Lind's long RBI double was the key to the inning, as was a Buchholz throwing error.
Buehrle (12-9) ended a two-start losing streak, going six innings and yielding a run and five hits.
Reliever Dustin McGowan gave up an unearned run in the seventh, Sergio Santos worked a perfect eight and Casey Janssen pitched a perfect ninth (two strikeouts) for his 33rd save after J.P. Arencibia snapped an 0-for-27 slump with an RBI single off the left field wall in the ninth.
In working the six innings, Buehrle cleared 200 innings for the 13th straight season.
Buchholz had allowed no earned runs and just five hits in his first 14 innings since coming off the disabled list, retiring the first nine hitters in this game (two on nice defensive plays). Jose Reyes hit the first pitch of the fourth inning for a single but was thrown out stealing. The Jays had two outs and nobody on when Brett Lowrie hit a grounder to third. Rookie Xander Bogaerts double pumped before throwing and Lawrie hustled out a single.
Adam Lind then hit a long double off the glove of center fielder Shane Victorino, scoring Lawrie. Moses Sierra singled Lind to third and Rajai Davis then blooped an RBI single to left center. Sierra took third on the hit and scored when Buchholz threw a pickoff attempt at first base away.
The only run Buchholz had allowed in his two post-DL starts, against the New York Yankees, was also unearned as a result of an errant Buchholz pickoff throw.
NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia and his 10-game hitting streak were rested, but Pedroia tried to talk manager John Farrell out of the move. John McDonald, not eligible for the postseason because he was acquired after Sept. 1, played 2B and made a sparling backhanded pickup of a Lind one-hopper in short right field in the second inning. ... The Blue Jays placed CF Colby Rasmus, who suffered a freak eye injury Friday night, on the disabled list, ending his season. The injury is a contusion and will be checked again in a few days after the swelling goes down. Rasmus was hit on the left eye by a warmup throw by RF Anthony Gose as Rasmus went to take his position in the first inning. ... IF Will Middlebrooks made his professional debut at first base. The Red Sox hope he's available there for postseason emergencies. ... RHP R.A. Dickey, who hasn't lost since Aug. 21, faces the Red Sox and LHP Felix Doubront in the series finale on Sunday. Doubront, fighting for his postseason life, hasn't pitched since his second straight poor start on Sept. 6. ... LHP Henry Owens was named pitcher of the year in the Red Sox system and 2B Mookie Betts was tabbed as the offensive player of the year. Both minor leaguers were honored before Saturday night's game.
- Sports & Recreation
- Red Sox
- Clay Buchholz
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Mark Buehrle
- Adam Lind