Buchholz still spotless this spring

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Buchholz still spotless this spring

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. Clay Buchholz is still unscored on this spring after a four-inning outing against the Orioles at City of Palms Park Wednesday night which the Red Sox won, 2-1.

Buchholz gave up four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He worked two perfect innings -- the first, when he opened the game striking out Matt Angle and Randy Winn, and the third. He faced five batters in each of his other two innings, stranding two runners in each.

It felt pretty similar to last outing, Buchholz said. I went out and did what I wanted to do in the first inning, and sort of got a little out of whack in the second, third and, fourth. But battled in some tough spots tonight with getting some runners on with less than two outs, and being able to get some contact at some guys, and get out of it.

"It was nice to see him pitch well but also pitch out of the stretch and pitch with some runners on base and continue to make his quality pitches, manager Terry Francona said. I thought he looked terrific"

Buchholz has not given up a run in his three starts, spanning nine innings. That doesnt impress him, though. It was a split-squad game for the Os, with Baltimore beating the Twins in Sarasota earlier in the day.

No, its spring training, he said. If it was during the season, it might be something. But everybodys still working on stuff. Even the hitters out here are still trying to get their timing down and everything, and us as pitchers are trying to go out there and throw all our pitchers and mix them all in. So, nah, its not a big deal right now.

He mixed his pitches well, showed a hard cutter, sharp curveball, and some good changeups, said one scout in attendance. He looked in control.

Red Sox pitchers combined to hold the Os to five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Bobby Jenks pitched perfect fifth inning with two strikeouts. Scott Atchison pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout.

He had two beautiful innings," Francona said of Atchison. He doesn't blow you away with his stuff, but he hits his spots, he throws strikes, he works quick. He does everything you're supposed to."

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.