Buchholz content with outing vs. Twins

Buchholz content with outing vs. Twins
May 7, 2013, 1:15 am
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BOSTON -- Monday night was Clay Buchholz' worst start of the season. That's not even up for debate.

But it still wasn't all that bad.

In his first no-decision of the season, Buchholz allowed four runs on seven hits -- five doubles -- in six innings, while striking out nine and walking two on Monday night against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. His ERA went from a 1.01 to a 1.60, and he remains 6-0 in seven starts this season.

The Twins tagged Buchholz for two runs in the first inning, thanks to back-to-back doubles off the monster by Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham. Justin Morneau then ripped a liner up the middle to score Willingham, giving the Twins an early 2-0 lead.

Buchholz then loaded the bases with a pair of walks. But he got out of the jam strong with consecutive strikeouts.

After 1-2-3 innings in the second and third, Buchholz got into some more trouble in the top of the fourth inning, as he allowed back-to-back doubles again, this time by Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks, both down the right-field line.

Hicks' double scored Arcia to give the Twins a 3-0 lead.

Buchholz allowed one more run in the fifth inning on a Morneau sacrifice fly, before leaving the game with a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, and the Red Sox trailing 4-2.

So while it was his shortest outing of the season, it still wasn't all that bad.

"Very good stuff," said Red Sox manager John Farrell after Boston's extra-innings win. "I thought they did a good job of being aggressive early in the count. A couple of pitches that got out over the plate, with their aggressiveness, they squared up. But he was able to work his way out of that bases loaded jam in the first, to keep things from getting too far out of hand.

"But very similar stuff to what he had in his six previous starts. And in some cases, I thought he was even more powerful tonight. A high number of strikeouts. He worked deep into the game, his highest pitch count this year. But overall stuff was probably as good as he's had in any start this year."

The fact that Buchholz wasn't completely lights out on Monday might make Jack Morris happy, after he accused Buchholz of cheating last week.

But Buchholz said he didn't do anything different.

"For the most part, I felt good," said Buchholz. "That first inning, obviously drove the pitch count up more than you want it to be. Overall, I felt good.

"I did the same thing that I've done in all seven starts this year," he added. "So, it's not anywhere in my head. A couple days afterwards, hearing people talk about it in Toronto, that was a little different, because it was the last thing that I thought would be said about me. But that comes with when somebody's doing good, either a hitter or a pitcher. If a hitter's doing something that's out of the ordinary, as far as really good, everybody thinks they're taking steroids. Or if a pitcher's doing something, you've got to be putting something on the ball."