Atchison re-joins the Red Sox from Pawtucket

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Atchison re-joins the Red Sox from Pawtucket

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
PITTSBURGH Scott Atchison knows the drill. Hes done this many times before three times already this season alone.

After starting the season with Triple-A Pawtucket he was pressed into duty, making the Opening Day start for the PawSox when Alfredo Aceves was called up to the Red Sox Atchison is now in his third stint with the Red Sox after getting called up Friday when Michael Bowden was sent back down.

He has appeared in seven games, spanning 13 13 innings for the Sox this season.

He was first called up on May 5 and went a career-high 3 23 innings, throwing 67 pitches, as the Sox lost, 11-0, to the Angels. In all, he has allowed just two walks and 17 hits with nine strikeouts and seven earned runs for a 4.73 ERA with one save. Last season, Atchison and Daniel Bard offered the only measure of consistency in a bullpen that was better than just Baltimores and Kansas Citys in the American League.

The trips up and down I-95 between Boston and Pawtucket have not fazed Atchison.

Hes a pro, said manager Terry Francona. We call him and say Atch and he goes I know. Hes that guy that has that option. It helps save our staff but its not the best for him. We recognize that. Saying that, we love him. He knows that. We think he can pitch. Just, unfortunately, sometimes when guys have options, thats the way. It happened to Youk. That will go away.

Atchison knew coming into the season what it would be like.

Its kind of the same situation as last year a little bit, he said.

Obviously, I feel like Im throwing the ball pretty well. Ive had to go a little longer in games up here a few times, just trying to keep guys from being used. But its been a good year so far. Obviously, you always want to spend more time in the big leagues but hopefully thats coming.

Because hes made the trips back and forth so many times, settling in at each destination is easy.

It hasnt been too tough, he said. Usually its harder when you come up to the big leagues, especially if you dont necessarily know everybody. But I played with pretty much everybody last year, and played pretty much the whole year, and then through spring and the multiple times I came up this year. Each time I come up here its pretty easy to kind of just fit back in. Everybody knows me and I know them, too. So Im very comfortable coming in, which makes it much easier to go out and perform the more comfortable you are. But obviously you always want to be in one place, and it would be the big leagues. But if thats not the case, this is an easy situation to come into.

At 35, Atchison is on the older side to be making the frequent trips up and down. But it also makes it easier to understand the reasons.

I think maybe as a younger guy youre worrying about it so much more, going. Oh my God, am I ever going to get back? This is so tough' or 'Why is it me? or whatever the case may be, he said.

And now I just kind of take it. I know the situation. So, when I go to Triple A I just try to get back in the groove and throw. They run me out there pretty regularly, and try to just stay hot and stay sharp. So that when it comes its easy to come back up an get back in. When I come up here I just try to do my job and just hope that Im going to stick. But I know the situation so its easy to handle."

He also knows that because he still has options available (this is his last season with options), he is the easy choice to send down. It can be a mixed blessing.

"You never know if theyre having to send you through waivers if you get claimed and maybe you dont get claimed, you never know, Atchison said. Its kind of a stability thing to some extent where I know, I feel like Im going to be with Boston one way or another, there or here. And I enjoy this organization. So its not like I want to get out of here by any means. So, it can help and it can hurt. But it makes it easier for them to send me down knowing that they dont run the risk of losing me or whatever the case may be. But then at times, youre kind of like, Man, I wish I didnt have one so maybe I could stick up here easier. But, try not to think about that too much and just go out and throw.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.

 

First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

 

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.