Valentine: Buchholz was 'very much improved'

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Valentine: Buchholz was 'very much improved'

MINNEAPOLIS -- It wasn't artistic by any stretch and it won't wow anyone taking a look at the pitching line.
But Clay Buchholz got his second win of the season Wednesday night and said he felt the start represented a step forward for him.
Buchholz pitched 5 13 inning and allowed 10 hits and three walks while being charged for five runs in the Sox' 7-6 win over the Minnesota Twins.
"I felt like I threw some good pitches,'' said Buchholz. "I executed pitches better today than I have all season. Going into the sixth inning, I can deal with (giving up just one). We came out on top, but from an individual standpoint, I've got to do better.''
Things unraveled in a hurry for Buchholz in the sixth after he struck out Sean Burroughs to lead off the inning.
Two singles, a double by Denard Span and a walk to Jamey Carroll saw the Twins pull to within four runs as the Boston bullpen was asked to bail out Buchholz.
Buchholz liked the improvement he showed keeping the ball down in the strike zone, which has been a failure of his in the first three starts. He also used his changeup more effectively than he had prior to Wednesday night.
"It's a pitch that I've been able to go to at will (in past seasons),'' said Buchholz of the change. "Today was a step forward for that. I felt really good in the delivery with the changeup.''
Bobby Valentine said Buchholz was "very much improved. He scattered singles around the ballpark and kept the ball down much better. He just ran out of gas (in the sixth).''
Still, there's plenty of room for additional improvement.
Buchholz still sports an 8.87 ERA after four outings and has allowed at least five earned runs or more in each of those outings.
What's more, he's allowing far too many baserunners. On Wednesday, he allowed 13 hitters to reach over 5 13 innings and had just one 1-2-3 inning.
"It's been like that all year,'' lamented Buchholz. "I've had two clean innings all season. It's a struggle when you're out there throwing pitches and guys are putting them in play. It's the way it goes. It can't stay like that all year.
"I've got to be positive about it and take the good things out of it.''
Starting with the victory.
"We'll take that Clay Buchholz and take our chances with that,'' concluded Valentine.

Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

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Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

BOSTON -- There have been a significant amount of question marks surrounding David Price throughout his inaugural season with the Boston Red Sox.

Is he an ace? Is he mentally tough enough? Can he handle Boston?

Just to name a few.

Much like any player imported to Boston, the claim “He can’t handle the pressure in Boston” arises every so often.

And Price hasn’t always been his own best friend, frequently relying on the line “It’s me going out there and making pitches,” in addition to the claim that he’s never satisfied.

Price’s mellow demeanor isn’t something Boston fans are accustomed to -- they prefer Rick Porcello snarling at opponents.

Sometimes it might have seemed as if he lacked a killer instinct or didn’t have a sense of urgency, but Bryan Holaday, who played with Price in Detroit, has seen that’s not the case.

‘I’m sure he [pressing], it’s the nature of this game,” Holaday said about Price’s struggles earlier in the season. “Everybody wants to be at their best all the time and it’s not easy to do.”

However, he says that knowing full well that Price won’t display those emotions -- to anyone.

“He does such a good job on the mental side of things that even if he was, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Holaday said before Price’s start Saturday night. “He’s never going to express anything like that. If he was [pressing], it’s nothing that anyone would be able to notice.”

There’s a lot to be said for that, too. Although baseball is driven on analytics, there’s no question that mental game is crucial, especially in the clubhouse. And a fly on the wall can easily see that Price’s presence is not only respected, but enjoyed by his teammates in the clubhouse.

“Everyday he gets up he wants to get better and that’s what makes him so good,” Holaday said. “He has that drive to be better everyday and come out and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and works his ass off. That’s why he is who he is. Any pitcher at that level, you don’t get that way by luck.”

Price may never be Boston’s favorite pitcher.

He may never be the “ace” in everyone’s eyes.

But based on Holday’s interpretations from his time in Detroit and Boston, Price will work hard to turn his first few months with the Red Sox into a minor footnote of his career.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
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Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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David Price LHP