Buchholz happy with walk-free rehab outing

Buchholz happy with walk-free rehab outing
June 14, 2014, 11:15 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

Clay Buchholz made a big step in his return to the Red Sox on Saturday, pitching a minor league rehab start in Triple-A Pawtucket.

Buchholz pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits including two solo home runs. He didn't walk a batter - which may be the most important stat - and struck out five. Buchholz threw 62 pitches, 42 for strikes.

After the game, Buchholz was pleased with his outing and how he felt on the mound.

"One of the home runs was a good pitch, right where I wanted it [but] just sort of ran into his bat," Buchholz told reporters. "The cutter in . . . the first one that I gave up. And the second was just the two-seam I was trying to go away with it and I left it up in the zone and it got hit.

"But overall I felt really good with everything, how it came out. Command was pretty good. When i missed with a pitch I was able to correct it. That was the struggle for me for the last couple starts out there. So that's the main thing I wanted to get down here to do."

Buchholz was placed on the DL on May 28 with a hyperextended left knee. This was his first outing since a rough start against the Braves on May 26 in which he went just 3.0 innings giving up six runs on four hits and eight walks.

Saturday was a different story. He said the knee wasn't an issue at all, either.

"I threw a lot of first-pitch curveballs for strikes, lot of changeups, cutters, fastballs, so I mixed in everything that I had," Buchholz said.

Buchholz hit the low 90's, but told reporters he's "not worried about velocity."

"It's about how much command of each pitch I have and how confident I am out there to throw them," he said. "It was a good step for me."

Now that his first rehab start is in the books, he hopes it's his last. Buchholz said he would rather come back up to Boston than make another start with the PawSox.

"You want to be out there and help your team win and help your team battle," he said. "It's been sort of up and down for us this year. Whenever I'm good and I'm out there pitching I feel like I give the team a pretty good chance to win. So that's what I want to get back to. Yeah, pretty anxious to get back out on a big league mound."

Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both played in the game on Saturday as well. Victorino went 0-for-2 and Middlebrooks went 1-for-3.

The PawSox lost 3-0 to the Charlotte Knights in 7 innings.