Buchholz looks to return to form

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Buchholz looks to return to form

BOSTON Clay Buchholz has been working on ways to improve his outings and his 9.09 ERA. He lasted just 3 23 innings in his last outing with the bullpen going 13 13 innings in Sundays 17-inning loss to the Orioles. He has pitched seven innings just once, and has not had a quality start in his six outings. He has already given up 33 earned runs this season. In 14 starts last season, he gave up 32 earned runs.

He addressed some of his issues before Thursdays series opener against the Indians. Buchholz is scheduled to pitch Friday.

Its been a rough six starts to start the season off. Theres been times where in an outing youre thinking about, OK, this is going to be the outing that changes everything. And then something, a big inning happens and it brings you back to square one. So thats what Ive been doing, figure out a way to minimize the damage in those big innings. I was just telling a couple guys, the innings split, theres been four innings where Ive given up 18 runs in just those four innings this year. Thats about half the runs that Ive given up all year. So find a way to get through that big inning without letting it get too big.

Do you need one or two good starts to get on a roll?

Yeah, thats usually how it works. Its just like the hitters being contagious as far as somebody catching fire, another guy catches fire and then the whole lineup is hitting. I think its the same thing with us. Everybody else has been pitching pretty good. Im like that last link as far as getting this team on a roll and taking the pressure off everybody else. Taking the pressure off the bullpen being able to throw six, seven innings every time out. Let the bullpen do their job instead of having to come in in the fourth or fifth inning.

How difficult has the start of the season been for you?

Its not the most comfortable situation. I dont think anybody ever goes out on the mound and expects to do bad or doesnt expect to do good. So when things go wrong out there you just have to find a way to slow the game down and minimize the big innings and minimize damage.

Do you feel like people are picking on you?

No, not really. I think it comes with the territory. Im part of this organization for a reason. I believe everybody on this team can help this team win. Whenever you put a guy out there for five or six outings in a row and it doesnt turn out the way it should or you want it to, its a little frustrating for everybody.

What are some of the things youve been working on specifically since your last start?

I think mechanically staying over the rubber. If you rush to home plate, that causes the pitches not to go where they want to go and I think thats been a big deal. When trouble starts happening you try to make the pitches better than they need to be and by doing that they get worse. So its something that goes on when the game gets quick out there. Guys forget what they need to do to throw a pitch where they need to throw it and get an out. So thats basically it. I think all the pitches are there. The last couple starts when Ive been able to throw a pitch for a strike I think its been the hitters have been able to get in a sequence with me because Id throw a fastball, then a changeup, then a curveball, then a fastball again. So its been sort of a deal where they could sort of guess with me. So I got to change that up a little bit and go out and if something bad happens, get the ball back and keep playing.

Has the game been speeding up on you?

Not to the point where it did right when I got up here but I think it speeds up on everybody. The big thing is if you can step off the mound, and take a deep breath, and gather yourself and your thoughts and not let the last hitter affect what youre doing with the next one.

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.