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For a while, it seemed like “here we go again” with Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz on Saturday against the Rays. The righty was awful in his first outing of the season (4 IP, 7 ER), and was off to a rough start in the early going Saturday after allowing four runs, including a three-run homer to Luke Scott, in the first inning.
But, Buchholz (1-0) settled down nicely after that, allowing just one more run over the final six innings to earn his first win of the season in a 13-5 victory. In all, Buchholz allowed five runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.
The Sox offense stepped up in support of Buchholz again with 13 runs on 15 hits and five home runs, clubbing three of those of the reigning Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Hellickson.
Before the game, Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the disabled list after it was learned he would be out for at least six weeks (if not longer), so Bobby Valentine had to reform the lineup, slotting Mike Aviles at leadoff and Darnell McDonald into the starting lineup.
Aviles responded by going 3-5 with a double, home run and two runs scored. David Ortiz added four hits of his own, including the game-tying two-out, two-run HR in the fifth inning.
Cody Ross had his finest game in a Red Sox uniform in his first start in center field. He went 2-5 with four RBIs and a massive home run over everything in left field into the parking lot across the street.
Darnell McDonald was the only starter without a hit, but he did reach base twice via the walk.
Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin came on as a defensive replacement in the 9th, becoming just the eighth player from Taiwan to play in the major leagues. He was sent down to Pawtucket after the game.
The Red Sox will look for their first three-game win streak since last August (!!!) against the Rays on Sunday. Felix Doubront will be on the mound for the good guys.