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WEEI » This Just In » Buchholz dominant as Sox blank Birds
Thu, 06/07/2012 - 10:00pm  

Buchholz dominant as Sox blank Birds

For Clay Buchholz, the confounding start to the year now has given way to a run of excellence. He continued his recent upward trend with his best outing of the year, a complete-game shutout in the Red Sox' 7-0 victory over the Orioles at Fenway Park.

Buchholz seemed completely in command from start to finish, rarely seeming taxed over the course of his nine innings. Though he threw 125 pitches, he kept the Orioles in check for the entire night, permitting just four hits (three singles and a double) in delivering his third career complete-game shutout. He had a terrific fastball/curveball/changeup combination that left Baltimore unbalanced, and he attacked the strike zone, punching out six and walking one.

Buchholz got all the offensive support he needed in the bottom of the first inning, when Adrian Gonzalez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and lined a two-run double down the right field line (in the process improving to 5-for-7 with two walks against Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz). The Sox went on to score two more runs in both the second inning (on a Dustin Pedroia RBI fielder's choice groundout and a subsequent throwing error) and in the third (on a Daniel Nava two-run single).

That, in turn, permitted Buchholz to roll. He's received generous run support all year, as Thursday marked the ninth time (in 12 starts) that the Sox have scored at least six runs for him, but now, he has been a contributor to his team's success rather than an impediment that his lineup had to overcome. Buchholz now has four quality starts this year (all of which have come in his last six starts), and he is starting to resemble the pitcher on whom the team planned to depend this year.

For more from the game, click here for Closing Time. For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.




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