Clay Buchholz Comes Six Outs From History, Red Sox Top Rays
Clay Buchholz came within six outs of throwing his second career no hitter on Sunday when the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0. Buchholz last threw a no hitter six years ago in 2007. He struck out 11 in his eight inning effort.
The Red Sox scored four times in the third inning when Mike Napoli drove in two runs with a double. Will Middlebrooks almost hit it into an inning ending double play when a throwing error from Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar allowed two runs to score.
The Red Sox scored their fifth run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Middlebrooks hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Dustin Pedroia from third base, who had doubled earlier in the inning.
But the story today was not the offense, but Buchholz who now is 3-0 with an ERA of .064 to start the season. The Red Sox starting pitching has an ERA of 2.07, the best in the American League. The Red Sox starters have also not allowed more than three runs in any outing yet this year.
This was the second time in Buchholz’s career he has struck out ten or more batters. His WHIP on the season is a microscopic 1.07 and he has walked just six batters in 14 innings, allowing only nine hits in those innings.
Today’s start for Buchholz, advancing the Red Sox to 7-4 on the season, feels even better after Jon Lester‘s performance the day before going seven innings and allowing just one run. Joel Hanrahan allowed another run and the Red Sox would walk off with the win, leaving Lester with a no decision. He is 2-0 on the year with an ERA of 1.42.
Tomorrow the Red Sox wrap up their series with the Rays at 11:05am in the annual Patriot’s Day Game. Ryan Dempster will start for the first time since Wednesday night, when the Red Sox lost to the Orioles thanks to another blown save from Hanrahan.