Notes: Sox hope to get six innings from Buchholz

Notes: Sox hope to get six innings from Buchholz
September 15, 2013, 8:15 pm
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BOSTON – Clay Buchholz will make his second start Sunday night since coming off the disabled list, where he missed more than three months.  He went five shutout innings Tuesday at Tampa Bay, giving up three hits and a walk with six strikeouts, throwing 74 pitches, 44 for strikes.
 
Manager John Farrell said he does not have a set number of pitches for the right-hander in the season-series finale against the Yankees at Fenway Park. But he will monitor both the number of pitches Buchholz throws as well as the stress level.
 
But the Sox would like Buchholz, who is 10-0 with a 1.61 ERA, to get into the sixth inning.
 
“We’re hopeful that he builds from his last outing in terms of duration,” Farrell said. “There’s not a hard-fast number of pitches to look at as a point in time. But if he walks out to start the sixth inning, that would be another step in the right direction.
 
In his last outing, Buchholz’s fastball averaged just under 92 mph and topped out just over 93, according to brooksbaseball.net. That is in line with the velocity he’s had for most of the season.
 
“The one thing that was encouraging [on Tuesday], there were a couple of pitches in Tampa where ne needed to get a strikeout and he reached back to get  a little extra velocity,” Farrell said. “Not that velocity is the end all-be all, but it’s a sign that arm strength is building. I would expect that to hopefully tick up a little bit tonight. But I think even before the injury he would pitch very comfortably in that low 90s, 92, 93 range. We saw a lot of that the other night in Tampa”
 
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Shane Victorino is not in the starting lineup, with Daniel Nava playing right field, batting second, and Jackie Bradley playing center, batting ninth.
 
“A night off,” Farrell said. “We’ve got a number of guys that are dealing with some minor things that they’re banged up with. Try to take advantage of not only getting another left-hander in the lineup tonight against [Ivan] Nova, but tomorrow being an off day and we may look at some things Tuesday and beyond to try to get some guys off their feet a little bit.”
 
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Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is also not in the starting lineup. He is dealing with flu-like symptoms that have been affecting some others on the team, too, Farrell said.
 
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The Sox will pay tribute to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is retiring after the season, before the game.
 
“If you’re a fan of the game, just a remarkable career, and has set the standard for all those who occupy the closer’s role,” Farrell said.
 
“He sets the bar in terms of consistency. And I think it’s directly related to how great of an athlete he is. You watch video from 15, 18 years ago and it’s the same delivery as the one he’ll use tonight if he gets to the mound. He's a  great athlete and that's the primary reason in my mind. Just from afar, that’s the view.
 
“He’s kept himself in such great shape and because physically being consistent it’s allowed him to be that way from a delivery standpoint, so along the way he’s had to make many many sacrifices and many many decisions. What he’s done is not by accident
 
“He’s a role model and I mean that in the greatest sense I can say it.”
 
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Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been sidelined by a fractured navicular bone in his right foot after fouling off a ball on Aug. 28, continued physical work on Sunday. There is no timetable yet for baseball activities or a return to the lineup.

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With Triple-A Pawtucket losing the International League championships to Durham on Saturday, several players will be joining the Sox on Tuesday, after Monday’s off-day. Pitching coach Rich Sauveur will join the coaching staff with manager Gary DiSarcina joining the staff later in the week.