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Boston at Tampa Bay

Scoreboard
Boston (88-58) «000020000240
Tampa Bay (78-65)000000000040

Buchholz strong in return, Red Sox extend lead over Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Boston manager John Farrell thought Clay Buchholz might be a little rusty after a long layoff. Turns out that wasn't the case for the Red Sox right-hander.

Buchholz allowed three hits over five innings in his first start since early June and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday night.

"A healthy Clay Buchholz is going to be a great addition," Farrell said. "He showed it tonight. To see him walk to the mound, I think it gave everybody a boost in confidence."

Buchholz (10-0), sidelined by a strained neck, hadn't pitched in the majors since beating the Los Angeles Angels on June 8.

"He looked great ... looked like he hadn't missed a day," Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "To be able to go into a game like this after not pitching in a big league game for that long, keep your poise and just make it look like it's any other game, it's tough to do."

Buchholz, who made three rehab starts in the minors, struck out Jose Molina with two on to end the second. He admitted that he was anxious before the game

"It felt pretty good," Buchholz said. "A long time coming for me, so I'm definitely happy to be back out there."

Jonny Gomes and Saltalamacchia both drove in a run for the Red Sox, who extended their lead over second-place Tampa Bay to 8½ games in the East. Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara finished a four-hitter. Uehara got the final four outs for his 19th save.

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price (8-8) lost his third straight start despite giving up just two runs and three hits in eight innings. The left-hander struck out nine.

The Rays, 4-12 since August 25, are leading the race for the second AL wild-card spot.

"You can't dwell on it," Price said. "We've got 19 games left, so you go now or we won't be hanging around in October."

Price retired 12 in a row before Mike Napoli doubled off the center field fence to open the fifth, a drive that Desmond Jennings jumped too early on.

"It's a play that should be made," Jennings said.

Gomes followed with a single that drove in Napoli to put the Red Sox up 1-0.

Gomes, who has 15 RBI over his last 17 games, scored to make it 2-0 later in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Saltalamacchia that required a leaping catch near the wall by Jennings.

Saltalamacchia threw out a runner attempting to steal second in both the third and fourth innings.

Uehara replaced Tazawa after Yunel Escobar hit a two-out double in the eighth. The Red Sox closer ended the threat by getting a foul popup from Wil Myers. The right-hander has retired the last 31 batters he has faced.

"Unbelievable," Buchholz said. "It's the only word I can use to describe him."

Notes

The announced crowd was 18,605. Tampa Bay started the day with the majors lowest home attendance average at 18,719. ... Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia hit leadoff for the first time this season and singled in four at-bats. Farrell didn't rule out Pedroia staying in the role until OF Jacoby Ellsbury returns from a foot injury. ... Ellsbury missed his fourth consecutive game and will not resume baseball activites for at least the next few days. ... Tampa Bay reliever Jesse Crain (strained right shoulder) had his second bullpen session and could throw batting practice within the next week. ...The Red Sox reinstated Buchholz from the 60-day disabled list and designated RHP Jose De La Torre for assignment.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Making his first start for the Red Sox since June 8, Clay Buchholz spins five shutout innings to move to 10-0 on the season. (USATSI)
Making his first start for the Red Sox since June 8, Clay Buchholz spins five shutout innings to move to 10-0 on the season. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

D. Price
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 2
BB 0
K 9
Boston

J. Gomes
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010020 .296
Shane Victorino, CF4000021 .292
David Ortiz, DH4000001 .310
Mike Napoli, 1B3110110 .260
Jonny Gomes, LF4111002 .239
Daniel Nava, RF2010000 .298
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C2001011 .259
Will Middlebrooks, 3B3000011 .242
Stephen Drew, SS3000021 .244
Totals2924219  
Batting
2B - Mike Napoli (35, Price)
SF - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2)
SH - Daniel Nava (2)
RBI - Jonny Gomes (48), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (54)
SB - Dustin Pedroia (17, 2nd base off Peralta/Molina)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Saltalamacchia-Drew, Saltalamacchia-Drew-Pedroia-Napoli
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Clay Buchholz (W,10-0) 5300160 1.61
Craig Breslow (H,14) 2000200 2.01
Junichi Tazawa (H,25) 0.2100010 2.84
Koji Uehara (S,19) 1.1000020 1.10
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 74-44, Craig Breslow 33-17, Junichi Tazawa 14-8, Koji Uehara 13-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 3-4, Craig Breslow 4-1, Koji Uehara 1-1
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 17, Craig Breslow 7, Junichi Tazawa 3, Koji Uehara 4
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, RF2010000 .249
   a-Wil Myers, PH-RF2000002 .290
Ben Zobrist, 2B4000001 .276
Evan Longoria, 3B4000030 .264
Matt Joyce, LF2000210 .244
James Loney, 1B3010012 .307
Luke Scott, DH2000021 .244
   b-Delmon Young, PH-DH1000001 .261
Desmond Jennings, CF3010010 .247
Jose Molina, C3000012 .242
Yunel Escobar, SS2010100 .261
Totals2804039  
a-hit into fielder's choice for DeJesus in the 6th
b-grounded out for Scott in the 7th
Batting
2B - Yunel Escobar (24, Tazawa)
CS - David DeJesus (2, 2nd base by Buchholz/Saltalamacchia), Matt Joyce (2, 2nd base by Buchholz/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 4
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
David Price (L,8-8) 8322090 3.45
Joel Peralta 1100100 2.76
WP - David Price 2 (6)
Pitches-Strikes - David Price 127-92, Joel Peralta 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - David Price 7-8
Batters Faced - David Price 27, Joel Peralta 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18605
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom