Clay Buchholz has matured a lot this season and he proved that Thursday when he buckled down after allowing a couple of first inning runs.
The young righty was roughed up in his first inning, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk. After getting out of that inning with runners on second and third, the Sox hurler ended up allowing just one more run and three hits before being removed before the seventh.
Following the Rays’ third run in the fourth inning, Buchholz retired the next nine straight batters.
“It was a little bit of a rocky start,” Francona said. “But then he buckled down and started pitching. He stranded Zaun after that double and really started pitching well.”
Buchholz’s strong finish was contagious as the bullpen came in and pitched just as well, if not better. The pen shut down the Rays over the remaining three inning, holding them hitless in the span while registering five strikeouts to just one walk.
“Actually, [Buchholz] was OK to go back out, but it’s just when we get Wagner up, we’re kind of committed to either getting him in the game or not pitching him. And at the point when Buch was just a shade over 90, it seemed like the right thing to do — to go ahead and give [Billy] Wagner a clean inning.”