The impressive start to the season for Clay Buchholz continued as he led the Red Sox to a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros Thursday night at Fenway Park. With the win the Red Sox are now 15-7 on the year to lead the American League East.
Buchholz threw 7 2/3 innings allowing two runs on six hits while striking out ten. He didn't have his best stuff early on, but settled down nicely, retiring 11 straight hitters at one point. He picked up his fifth win in five starts, which leads the entire American League and also becomes the fourth pitcher in Red Sox history to record five wins in the month of April.
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Daniel Bard pitched a scoreless ninth after being recalled from Double-A Portland earlier in the day.
The Red Sox scored early and often, scoring five times in the first three innings off Houston starter Phillip Humber. David Ortiz (2 RBIs) led the way going 3-for-4, including his first home run of the season. Mike Carp continued to make the most of his playing opportunities collecting two hits, including a double. Jarrod Saltalamacchia collected two hits as well in the win.
The teams will continue their four-game series tomorrow night (7:05, NESN). Ryan Dempster will get the call for the Red Sox and be opposed by former Red Sox Erik Bedard.
What they'll be saying: Even though Buchholz didn't have command of all of his pitches, he found what was working and continued to dominate the opposition. In giving up the two runs his ERA rises to 1.19, over one for the first time this season, which still leads the American League ... It was good to see the Red Sox bats get going early in the game taking advantage of their scoring opportunities. Ortiz seems locked and loaded since coming off the disabled list last week as he is now 11-for-20 on the year and looked better running the bases than in his past few games. The Red Sox are now 11-0 when scoring first.