The Boston Red Sox's disappointing season has been rife with injuries, and now they might not be getting back Will Middlebrooks .
The Red Sox play their first game since learning the rookie third baseman may be out for the season as their series against the Cleveland Indians continues Saturday night.
Buchholz provided the Red Sox (56-58) a much-needed lift from one of their starters. Boston had lost 13 of its previous 20 as its starters went 3-10 with a 5.82 ERA, including a 9.00 mark during the three-game skid.
"Just what the doctor ordered," manager Bobby Valentine said.
Unfortunately for Valentine's Red Sox, Middlebrooks will need to follow doctor's orders for the immediate future. He was taken for X-rays after he was hit by a pitch in Friday's ninth inning, and it turns out he suffered a broken right wrist.
Middlebrooks had been one of Boston's bright spots this season, hitting .288 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs.
"He got hit pretty good," Valentine said. "He was in a lot of pain. ... I was hoping it got more meat, but it was straight on the bone."
While it seems unlikely Middlebrooks will return before this season ends, Boston already had pushed back the return of slugger David Ortiz . The Red Sox originally hoped to activate him Sunday, but Valentine said Friday that won't happen.
With Boston's lineup dealing with disappointing news, its rotation hopes to build off Buchholz's outing with another strong start.
Morales allowed one run and three hits in six innings of a 6-4 victory over Minnesota on Sunday, improving to 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in six starts this year."I think it's an easy decision. We just have to figure out all the parts," Valentine said of Morales earning another start. "He wants to start and I want him to start. We can't always count on a guy getting injured to get him out there."
The left-hander is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in six relief appearances against the Indians, including two scoreless outings in 2012.
Cleveland (52-61), which had won its previous two following an 11-game losing streak, hopes to get more offense than it did against Buchholz.
Asdrubal Cabrera had both of the Indians' hits Friday. He's hitting .333 in his last 17 games.
Cleveland will hand the ball to Zach McAllister (4-4, 3.60), who tries to avoid a third straight loss following his worst outing of the season.
McAllister gave up nine runs - two earned - in 1 2-3 innings of a 14-3 loss to Minnesota on Monday."Once the hits started coming, they didn't stop," he said.
The right-hander made his first start against the Red Sox on May 12, allowing four runs in seven innings of a 4-1 loss.
|Boston Red Sox|
|August 06, 2012||Vicente Padilla||15-Day DL||Strained right biceps|
|July 31, 2012||Ryan Sweeney||60-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
|July 31, 2012||Josh Beckett||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
|July 29, 2012||Daniel Nava||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|July 21, 2012||Mike Aviles||Day-to-Day||Turf toe|
|July 17, 2012||David Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right Achilles strain|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Travis Hafner||15-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|June 30, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||60-Day DL||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 29, 2012||Lonnie Chisenhall||Day-to-Day||Fractured right ulna - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 05, 2012||Jose Lopez||Day-to-Day||Sore lower back|
|May 27, 2012||Jack Hannahan||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Brent Lillibridge enjoyed his brief stay in Boston, and then had more fun helping the Cleveland Indians beat his former Red Sox teammates.
Lillibridge homered, drove in two runs and scored on a squeeze bunt to back Zack McAllister's strong pitching in the Indians' 5-2 victory on Saturday night.
Lillibridge also threw out a runner at the plate, made an acrobatic tag at third base, and was cheered by a crowd that probably was scratching its head at why someone with a .181 batting average was in the lineup.
"It's been a rough year, so it felt really good to contribute," said Lillibridge, who was traded from Chicago to Boston to Cleveland in less than month.
"He was huge," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's very versatile and did a lot tonight."
Acta was more delighted with the rookie McAllister (5-4), who working a career-high eight innings.
"Zach was THE man out there," Acta said. "Right-hand batters were 0 for 14 against him. He had 19 of 27 first-pitch strikes and gave a rest to our bullpen. He was just fantastic."
McAllister allowed three hits, including a two-run double by Adrian Gonzalez . He struck out four without issuing a walk.
"The kid was throwing the ball where he wanted to throw it," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "That low and away pitch was really effective."
Chris Perez pitched the ninth to earn his 31st save in 35 chances for Cleveland, 3-1 since an 11-game losing streak.
Boston has lost eight of 11.
Lillibridge, acquired July 24 from Boston for minor league pitcher Jose De La Torre, tied a career high with three hits. He hit his first homer in nearly a year and had an RBI single off Franklin Morales (3-2). He raised his average 21 points to .202 and doubled his season RBI output to four.
Lillibridge made it 1-0 in the third with his first homer since Aug. 31, 2011, when he was with the White Sox. After hitting 13 homers for Chicago last year, he was sent to Boston on June 24 in the deal for Kevin Youkilis .
He joked with shortstop Mike Aviles during the game.
"I told Mike I didn't expected to beat up on the Red Sox," Lillibridge said. "They are a good group of guys."
Lillibridge also was involved in three odd plays in the field as Boston went ahead 2-1 in the fourth.
After Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, McAllister fielded Carl Crawford 's bunt and turned to third, where Lillibridge was off the bag. Ellsbury advanced, and Crawford was safe, too, on McAllister's late throw to first.
Next, Dustin Pedroia hit a roller to Lillibridge, who had Ellsbury caught between third and home, but couldn't make a play anywhere, loading the bases.
Gonzalez followed with a drive high off the wall in left, scoring two runs. Pedroia also tried to score and was thrown out on a strong relay throw by Lillibridge.
"We gave them five outs that inning," Acta said. "But Zach didn't get rattled, and we came back and won. Everything was possible because of Zach's effort."
Cleveland tied it at 2 in the fifth. Brantley walked, moved up on a balk, took third on a groundout, and scored on Lillibridge's line single to left.
"I ended up just trying to drive in more runs than I let in," said Lillibridge, who added another defensive gem.
In the sixth, Ellsbury was out trying to stretch a leadoff double. Lillibridge took the throw from center fielder Brantley and made a sprawling tag on the infield side of the bag.
In the bottom half, after a walk and hit batter, Cleveland executed a double steal. Morales intentionally walked Carlos Santana and was replaced by Andrew Miller . Brantley's sacrifice fly made it 3-2.
Morales, a converted reliever making his seventh start, gave up only the two hits to Lillibridge in 5 2-3 innings, but allowed three runs.
Lillibridge opened the seventh with a hustle double. He took third on a groundout, and scored on Lou Marson 's bunt to make it 4-2.
Ezequiel Carrera had an RBI single in the eighth for Cleveland.
NOTES: The start was delayed 18 minutes because Indians Hall of Fame ceremonies ran long. Right-hander Gaylord Perry , late outfielder Jack Graney , and trainer Jim Warfield were all inducted. ... Indians RHP Roberto Hernandez will start Wednesday in Los Angeles, his first game since being arrested in the Dominican Republic in January. It was discovered he was 31, three years older than listed, and using the identity of a distant cousin, Fausto Carmona. ... Boston called up 3B Danny Valencia from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Will Middlebrooks , who was placed on the disabled list with a broken right wrist. Boston has had 25 players on the DL this year.