Buchholz: 'I've felt pretty confident'


Buchholz: 'I've felt pretty confident'

BOSTON -- Wins and losses can be deceiving for a pitcher's end-of-the-year stat line. And whatever record Clay Buchholz finishes 2012 with, it won't show just how good he was on Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Buchholz got the no decision in a 3-1 Red Sox walk-off win. But had Cody Ross not provided his ninth-inning heroics, Buchholz would have received his fourth loss of the season after allowing just one run on six hits and a walk, while striking out six over eight innings.
"He definitely didn't deserve that loss tonight," said Ross afterwards. "And gladly, we came through for him. Because he threw tremendous."
With the no decision, Buchholz becomes the first Red Sox starter to allow one run or less over at least eight innings at Fenway Park and not win since Josh Beckett in May of 2009.
The one run that Buchholz gave up came in the top of the fourth inning on an Alex Rios sacrifice fly to right field that scored Adam Dunn from third.
Dunn led the inning off with a walk, something that seems to always come back and haunt Buchholz.
"Walks will kill you," said Buchholz after the game. "And every time I walk somebody to lead off an inning, it seems to always come around and score."
Dunn did just that. But Buchholz settled down and continued to look like the Red Sox ace.
"Clay was excellent," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "To walk a guy leading off an inning, who walks 150 times a year, is no fault. He made some good pitches on Dunn, who came around to score on another Konerko base hit to right. But other than that, he was perfect. he had a good breaking ball, excellent fastball, his changeup was down, both changeups down, competitive the whole way. He looked great."
In fact, Buchholz has been dominant lately, with a 4-1 record and a 2.63 ERA over his last seven starts, dating back to May. He's gone at least six innings in each of those seven starts, and has 45 strikeouts, compared to just nine walks.
He credits that to the confidence he has in his pitches early on in the game.
"That's where I'm at right now," said Buchholz. "It doesn't really matter what it feels like in the bullpen before the game. You've just got to go out there and trust it sometimes, even when you don't throw a good off-speed pitch, you have to keep going back to it. That's sort of what I'm doing right now.
"I feel like my past, probably, six starts, even if the results haven't been what you want them to be, I've felt pretty confident in almost all my pitches, each time I go out. I think that's a big key in going out and having success and keeping your team in a game like this."
Buchholz kept the Red Sox in the game for eight innings on Thursday night. He'll get a no-decision. But in reality, it was a whole lot better than that.

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright 'able to neutralize' top of Orioles lineup


Quotes, notes and stars: Wright 'able to neutralize' top of Orioles lineup

BALTIMORE -- Quotes, notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Orioles.



"He was able to neutralize their top half (of the lineup) and that was the biggest thing.'' - John Farrell on Steven Wright.

"He never broke stride, continued in a full-out gait around third base. It was a good heads-up play on his part.'' - Farrell on Mookie Betts scoring all the way from second on a swinging bunt.

"It kind of throws them off because then if I leave one up, I'm hoping the difference in the speed will get them out front.'' - Steven Wright on changing speeds on the knuckleball.

"Yeah, I do. Off the field. Not when I'm at the park, but off the field, I do.'' - Xander Bogaerts, acknowledging that he does think about his ongoing hitting streak.

"It was amazing. Hitting my first home run and putting us ahead three (more) runs, it's awesome.'' - Marco Hernandez on his first major league home run.



* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 23 games with two doubles.

* Marco Hernandez's three-run homer in the eighth inning was his first major league homer.

* Mookie Betts has now reached in 13 straight games against the Orioles.

* Betts has scored 14 runs in his last 11 games.

* In his last seven games, David Ortiz is 14-for-28 in his last seven games.

* Ortiz has seven homers in his last 12 games at Camden Yards and 12 homers in his last 16 games here.

* Ortiz has homered in each of his last three games, the 18th time in his career that he's done that.

* Steven Wright tossed a career-high 122 pitches.

* Wright became the third Red Sox starter to toss three consecutive complete games on the road since Roger Clemens in 1991-92.



1) Steven Wright

Wright's third complete game of the season was a gem, with just four hits allowed - just three them into the outfield. He's got a 1.79 ERA on the road this season.

2) Xander Bogaerts

In addition to extending his hitting streak to 23 games, Bogaerts had two doubles and knocked in two runs.

3) Marco Hernandez

Hernandez's first big league homer was a big one, extending what had been a two-run lead to a five-run cushion with a three-run blast in the eighth