WAPPINGERS FALLS - Two-time All-Star Clay Buchholz’s road back to Boston started on a Sunday afternoon in Wappingers Falls in front of 5,124 at Dutchess Stadium. The Red Sox righthander was pitching in a game for the first time since being sent to the disabled list on June 8th with the team he began his professional career with. After facing eight batters in the first and getting two outs, Buchholz departed with the game tied at three. Plenty more offense was in store, however, and the ‘Gades came out on top 11-9 thanks to five runs in the eighth inning.
Buchholz got immediate support in the top of the first following two straight singles by Forrestt Allday and Tzu-Wei Lin. A walk by Chris Kirsch loaded the bases before Kevin Mager’s groundball to short was thrown away by Patrick Blair on a force attempt at second base. Two runs came in to score on the error, and Danny Bethea made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
The inning only got more interesting when the Renegades came to bat against the talented big leaguer. Julian Ridings sent a deep fly ball to left that was dropped by Mager, who then bobbled it on the throw back in, allowing Ridings to score on the pair of errors. After a walk to Darryl George, Ariel Soriano rocketed a triple off the left field wall to make it 3-2. The center fielder Manuel Margot tried throwing Soriano out at third, but the ball skipped into the Spinners dugout and Soriano was awarded home plate to tie the score.
The action picked up once again with the ‘Gades leading 6-5 in the top of the seventh. A leadoff single by Lin and a Margot RBI triple tied the score before Corey MacDonald walked Mager to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Bethea’s grounder to second cleared the bases with a 4-6-3 double play, but Margot scored to give the Spinners their first lead at 7-6. After a leadoff home run in the sixth, Romanski did it one more time in the eighth, taking Rick Teasley deep over the left field wall to put Lowell ahead 8-6.
But Hudson Valley stormed back with a monstrous eighth inning against the lefthander Mike Adams. Two straight singles by Ridings and George allowed Soriano to blast an RBI double down the left field line to make it a one run game. Omar Narvaez was then hit on the arm to load the bases, and the ‘Gades didn’t disappoint after Ty Young and James Harris hit RBI singles to give them a 9-8 lead and keep the bases loaded. Blair rolled a grounder to second and Deiner Lopez threw out Narvaez for the first out. The weekend only got sweeter for John Alexander, who was the difference maker with the game-winning two run single which extended the lead to 11-8. Lowell threatened against Teasley in the top of the ninth after Bethea brought in Margot from third with a sacrifice fly. With Romanski representing the tying run in the on-deck circle, Teasley struck out Carlos Asuaje looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the evening and give the ‘Gades the sweep.
All nine Renegades had a base hit, while seven of them finished with two or more, as the Renegades set new season highs with 11 runs on 18 hits. Alexander finished the weekend 6-for-11 with six RBIs and has a hit in four straight games.
Continuing his journey back to the Boston Red Sox, Buchholz will make his next rehab start on Friday night for either Double-A Portland or Triple-A Pawtucket.