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Clay Buchholz out-duels David Price in return to mound

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

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Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz, because of a protracted struggle with an inflamed bursa sac (shoulder), missed more than three months, but he returned to the mound in vintage form against the Rays on Tuesday night ...

Buchholz twirled five shutout innnings, struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits. Of his 74 pitches, 44 went for strikes.

Per, Buchholz leaned heavily on his cutter and four-seamer and touched 94 mph with the latter. He also threw his change-up and curve for strikes in spots. While the average velo on his fastball (91.56) was a bit below his usual levels, but that's to be expected after his not pitching at the highest level for almost half a season. The important thing is that Buchholz showed command, threw strikes and managed to lower an ERA that was 1.71 headed into the night.

Oh, and the Red Sox also won, 2-0.

It's also worth noting that Buchholz's opposite number, reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price, also had a nifty evening. In eight innings of work, Price whiffed nine, walked none and allowed just three hits. As well, Mike Napoli's double to lead off the fifth could have easily been scored an error on center fielder Desmond Jennings. Price also logged a yeoman-like 127 pitches on the night. On that note ...

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