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Mitch's Sports Report: Messi Cleans U.S. Clock; Buchholz Being Just OK Not Good Enough For Red Sox

Before Clay Buchholz lost his spot in the starting rotation for the Boston Red Sox and was relegated to bullpen duty, one of the biggest problems that led to that demotion was giving up runs in the first inning. On his return to the rotation yesterday, not much had changed.

Buchholz did not have a bad outing overall. He gave up three runs in five innings of work, but allowed a lead-off home run in the first to Tim Anderson, and gave up another solo homer in the fourth to Todd Frazier as the Red Sox fell to the Chicago White Sox 3-1 last night. On another night against another team perhaps the Red Sox offense could have given Buchholz a win, but Chicago had their ace Chris Sale on the mound and he struck out nine while keeping the prolific Red Sox bats at bay. The Pale Hose have now taken the first two games of the four-game set and it won't get any easier tonight with Jose Quintana on the mound for Chicago. Though he' struggled in recent outings, he still has a 2.63 ERA coming into the game and there hasn't been much to feel confident about with tonight's Red Sox starter Eddie Rodriguez, who's scuffled since coming off the disabled list and has an ERA hovering just under seven.

The NY Mets lost their starter Bartolo Colon after he was struck ion the hand by a line drive facing the first batter of the game last night, so the Mets had to rely on their bullpen the rest of the way, and they got the job done in a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals in Queens. Yoenis Cespedes hit his eighteenth home run of the year to power the Mets offense. Asbrudal Cabrera also went deep. Hansel Robles and four other relievers kept the defending champs off balance the rest of the way, and Robles went three and two thirds after throwing forty-one pitches as recently as Sunday. No word yet on how serious the injury to Colon will prove to be.

The NY Yankees have been rocked by the Colorado Rockies in inter-league play out in Denver, and the hard times continued at the Stadium in the Bronx yesterday as the Rockies came away with an 8-4 win. Charlie Blackmon hit two home runs and Nolan Arenado blasted his league leading twenty-first in the victory. This was a pitching rematch between Chad Bettis, who recorded a career best eight strikeouts, and Ivan Nova, who took the loss for the Yankees, dropping his record to 5-5 on the season.

The Vermont Mountaineers fell to the Newport Gulls 7-4 at Recreational Field despite another good start by Jon Stiever, who pitched into the fifth allowing just two runs, but the relief corps couldn't stop the Gulls offense, allowing four runs.

The Upper Valley Nighthawks stopped their three-game losing skid with an eighteen hit attack and 10-7 win over the division leading Keene Swamp Bats, and yes, I do love saying "swamp bats."

Argentina is home to arguably the greatest soccer player in the world, and after yesterday's Copa America  semi-final, the U.S. mens' team would say there's no argument to be had.

Lionel Messi scored on a free kick and assisted on two other goals in Argentina's 4-Nil shut-out in Houston last night. Messi has five times been named world player of the year and his goal last night moved him into first place all-time as his country's leading scorer. He's also the leading scorer in this Copa America tournament, with five goals already as his team heads to the final. They'll face either Chile or Colombia for the championship on Sunday and if they win it would be Argentina's first major soccer title since the 1993 Copa tournament.

They're finishing up the group stages in the Euro championships, and yesterday Germany won the top spot in Group C defeating Northern Ireland 1-Nil, but the Irish have already secured a spot in the round of sixteen knockout stage thanks to Turkey defeating the Czech Republic 2-Nil yesterday in Group Play. The Turks still have a chance to move on despite finishing third in their group. But they'll need some help from another team to finish with a worse group stage record if they're going to make the round of sixteen.

Poland finishes just a point behind Germany in group C after a 1-Nil victory over Ukraine, who were ousted mathematically even before their match with Poland started.

Croatia beat Spain 2-1 in Group D play and so the Spaniards finish in second place, with the privilege next of taking on one of the world's best teams in Italy in the first round of the knockout stage. Spain is pretty good too, and they're the defending Euro champs, but their loss to the Croatians indicates they're not quite the same team that won it all last time out. Croatia still has a group stage game left to play and could win the group with another victory.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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