BOSTON – You know you’ve been pitching pretty well when you give up just two runs and your ERA goes up. But that’s what happened to Clay Buchholz Saturday afternoon.
Buchholz entered the game with a major league-leading 0.41 ERA. After giving up just two runs over eight innings on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts his ERA stood at 0.90. Buchholz threw 104 pitches, 70 for strikes.
"I feel good. Obviously, when the numbers are good, that makes you feel a little bit better. But I feel like I've done the work in between my starts to prepare for the next start and everything's going really well now. You've got the defensive plays that are made behind you. Timely hitting is key and having a steady defense behind you, that makes any pitcher feel good."
He improved to 4-0 as the Red Sox beat the Royals 4-3 at Fenway Park.
“Efficient once again,” said manager John Farrell. “The curveball that he threw to [Eric] Hosmer to end the eighth inning for the groundball double play after they’re in a first and third situation, his poise, he looks not only confident but very relaxed on the mound. And just the number of strikes that the throws, the first pitch strike percentage was very good today. They’re a free-swinging team, and he was able to be extremely efficient through the eight innings.”
* The Red Sox wore their home white uniforms, but with ‘Boston’ written across the front instead of the traditional ‘Red Sox.’ The shirts will be signed by the players and auctioned off with the proceeds going to the One Fund Boston, helping the people who were most affected by the terrorist attacks this week.
* In their 16th game of the season, it was the first time the Sox faced a team with a record above .500. The Royals are now 8-7.
* The Sox won their season-high seventh straight game. It is their longest win streak since a nine-game stretch from June 3-12, 2011.
* Their 12-4 record is their best to start a season since they began 2002 with an identical record. They are eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. Their 12 wins in April are the most since going 14-8 in 2009.
* The Sox are 15-6 at home against the Royals since 2008, and 23-10 at home since the start of the 2005 season.
* Red Sox starters have allowed three or fewer runs in all 16 games this season, the team’s longest stretch to start a season. Their previous longest was nine straight games in 1916. According to Elias, it matches the 1981 and 1978 A’s as the longest such streak in American League history.
* The Sox are 8-0 in starts by Buchholz and Jon Lester this season.
* Ryan Dempster is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. He is 0-1 with a 2.65 ERA. In three career games against the Royals he is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA.
* Allen Webster is scheduled to start the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader. This would be his major league debut. In two starts for Triple-A Pawtucket he is 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA, giving up one run over 10 innings, with 12 strikeouts and three walks. In four spring training appearances, he posted a 1.64 ERA, giving up two earned runs in 11 innings. He recorded 14 strikeouts with just one walk. A roster move will have to be made to add him to the 25-man roster.