Red Sox notes: Buchholz 'feeling better'

Red Sox notes: Buchholz 'feeling better'
August 4, 2013, 7:15 pm
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BOSTON -- Clay Buchholz played catch in the Fenway Park outfield from about 150 feet before Sunday's game with the Diamondbacks.

He said he was working at about 80 percent intensity during the throwing session, and explained that he doesn't do that type of long toss all that often even when he's fully healthy.

"It was just another test," he said. "It's feeling better."

Buchholz intimated that Sunday's long-toss session was a chance for him to ramp up the intensity of his throwing.

"I'm not hoping or thinking I'm going to feel something when I throw so I'm able to let loose a little bit more right now," he said. "Even if it's only four throws that are higher intensity than the day before, that's encouraging for me for the next time that I do go out and throw or play long toss to get into it a little bit more."  

Buchholz said that his shoulder/neck injury doesn't need to be 100 percent to pitch, but he expects to feel better before he is sent to make a rehab assignment.

"There's nobody 100 percent," he said. "There's always something that's going on with everybody's body throughout the season. Whenever I said I want to be 100 percent, [I meant] I just don't want to feel something that feels like if I make one throw it could turn into something more. Once I get to that point, that's when I'll go do rehab or do whatever they want me to do."

* Shane Victorino did something on Sunday that manager John Farrell said the switch-hitting Victorino probably hasn't done since he was 18 or 19 years old: He hit right-handed against a right-handed pitcher.

Victorino struck out in the top of the first inning while hitting from the left side of the plate against Arizona righty Brandon McCarthy. Then in the third inning -- after slamming his left hip into the right field wall in the top half of the third -- he hit right-handed against McCarthy and for his next three at-bats in the game.

He was hit by two pitches and singled twice from the right side on Sunday.

Victorino refused to answer questions on his switch after the game, but Farrell explained that it had to do with both Victorino's slump from the left side and the bumps and bruises he's sustained to the left side of his body recently.

"He feels locked in on the right side, that's part of going to the right side today where he doesn't feel as comfortable from the left side," Farrell said.

"Part of it is he's a little bit banged up on the left side," Farrell added, "and he feels like he's in a stronger position from the right side of the plate."

From the right side of the plate this season, Victorino is batting .309 (34-for-110). From the left side, he's hitting .273 (53-for-194).

* Matt Thornton was taken out of Sunday's game in the eighth inning after facing just one batter. Having allowed a single to Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, Thornton felt a pull in his right oblique while pitching to Arizona shortstop Didi Gregorious.

"We'll check him tomorrow to see the severity of it," Farrell said. "He felt it in the second pitch of that final at-bat. And then a couple pitches after that, you could see it from the dugout he was starting to get a little more upright and protected. We clearly had to get him out of there."

Lefty Drake Britton came in to strike out Gregorious -- Arizona's No. 9 hitter -- and finish off the eighth inning without allowing a run.

"In that situation again, Drake Britton again, facing the heart of their order, all right handed, doesn't back away from the challenge," Farrell said. "He's poised. Excellent job on his part."