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Earlier Saturday, it was announced that Tim Wakefield would be scratched from his next start due to a back injury. Without Wake for an undetermined amount of time, the Red Sox now must turn to Clay Buchholz, with the hopes he can fill the spot as the team’s No. 3 starter. With the way Clay Buchholz pitched Saturday night against the Blue Jays, the team may still be without a No. 3 starter…because Buchholz pitched like an ace.
Buchholz allowed just one run on three singles in 8.1 innings pitched to improve to 3-3. He finished with nine strikeouts, and remarkably, he has earned all three of his victories this season against the Blue Jays, which also means he’s 0-3 against everyone else. Inconsistency anybody?
Terry Francona pulled Buchholz with a 3-0 lead and one runner at first base in the ninth inning. Needing just two outs to earn the save, Hideki Okajima allowed an RBI double to Adam Lind and an RBI single to Lyle Overbay to make things interesting. Jonathan Papelbon, who has been shaky lately himself, came into the game and got the final two outs to earn his 32nd save of the season in Boston’s 3-2 victory.
The Red Sox scored their first run in the first inning on a Dustin Pedroia RBI single, and added two more in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Alex Gonzalez and a bases-loaded walk from Victor Martinez to cap the Sox scoring.
Allow me to give more props to Clay Buchholz. Not only did he register nine strikeouts, but he allowed just two walks and three hits, and I would say it was his best start since his no-hitter against the Orioles in 2007.
As effective as Buchholz was, Okajima was that much worse. In a tight 3-0 game, against a team that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn all night, he allowed an inherited runner to score and another run to cross the plate before leaving the game in disgrace. Ok…maybe that was a little rough.
“That was a terrific game,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. Well said, Tito.
W: Clay Buchholz (3-3)
L: Ricky Romero (11-6)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (32)