By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BALTIMORE -- In all likelihood, Kyle Weiland's start Tuesday night was his last for the Red Sox in a while. With Jon Lester set to come off the disabled list and start Monday, Weiland's spot in the rotation will soon disappear.
But though he lost in his second major league start, Weiland showed improvement over his major league debut which came in the final game of the first half.
He went six innings Tuesday and allowed three runs on six hits, finishing with exactly 100 pitches.
"I thought he represented himself very well," said manager Terry Francona after the 6-2 loss by the Red Sox. "I thought this was a (better) look than the last outing . . . I think (the experience he's had) is valuable. It's not an easy thing to do to come up and pitch in the big leagues first of all, and then (to do it) in a pennant race.
"He has poise, he likes to compete. I think it's exciting what he can do."
Weiland gave up two runs in the second and another run in the third but then blanked the Orioles over his final three innings.
"I did a better job of controlling the emotions and adrenaline than last time," said Weiland.
One thing that bothered Weiland was issuing three walks, which he attributed to a mix of command issues and perhaps not yet trusting his stuff enough against big league hitters.
"The same pitch that got hitters out at Pawtucket can get big league hitters out," he said. "You just have to make your pitch. There's better discipline (up here) and when you fall behind, it's a lot easier to get beat."
Clay Buchholz, who threw from a distance of 120 feet Monday and is scheduled to do so again Wednesday, with an eye toward a mound session Friday.
Buchholz has been on the DL for just over a month with lower back spasms and recently had a period of two weeks in which he didn't throw at all, hoping to rest the back.
Monday, the signs were encouraging, though Buchholz won't know how much improvement he's made until he throws off a mound.
"When he gets to the mound, that's been the sticking point," said Terry Francona. "We've taken pretty significant time off and (Monday) was such a good day that I think everybody was really pleased.
"I know we have some hurdles to get through, but still, everything went well. The guys who were with him said you would never know (he had been sore). It looked like a guy doing his normal long toss."
"I think it's still going to take a little bit of time," cautioned Buchholz. "But at the same time (Monday) was a good step in the right direction."
Buchholz's described his long layoff as "pretty stressful. Obviously, we've got real good things going on right now and not being a part of that when you want to be is the hardest thing. I'm trying to keep in the right frame of mind. If I'm back and able to pitch in August and September and into October, that's what I want."
Buchholz has talked to Josh Beckett, who went through problems with his back last season, for some perspective.
"It's getting better," said Buchholz. "Certain stretches that I wasn't able to do, I can do now. But when I throw off the mound, that will (determine) everything."
His arm strength has been maintained, but Buchholz believes he'll probably need "a couple" of rehab starts before rejoining the rotation.
Jarrod Saltalamachia smoked a two-run homer in the fifth, lining a 94 mph fastball over the scoreboard in right for his eighth homer of the season and second in as many nights.
This was the second time this season that Saltalamacchia has homered in consecutive starts. The last time was May 20 and May 22.
"I feel good," said Saltalamacchia. "I've been feeling good. The three days off for the All-Star break kind of gets your timing off a little bit and it takes a few games to get back into it, but I feel good at the plate."
Saltalamacchia didn't hit a homer through May 14; since then, he's hit eight.
With the DH spot vacant due for a second straight game as David Ortiz serves his three-game suspension, Francona had Carl Crawford in the DH spot Tuesday night.
On Monday, he used Jacoby Ellsbury as the DH. By using Crawford Tuesday, Francona thought it was possible to come back and have Crawford in the outfield for Wednesday's matinee.
The plan is to have Kevin Youkilis DH Wednesday, with Yamaico Navarro taking over at third.
Bobby Jenks, who was examined by the Red Sox medical staff Monday, received an injection in his back.
An MRI confirmed that the problems are muscular in nature.