Buchholz feels fine, but is rusty

Updated: July 22, 2010, 9:54 AM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

OAKLAND, Calif. -- This wasn't exactly the way Clay Buchholz wanted to return to the Red Sox's starting rotation.

The Boston right-hander was activated from the disabled list Wednesday and made his first start in nearly a month after suffering a left hamstring strain on June 26. Buchholz worked four innings (he faced two batters in the fifth) and allowed five runs on six hits, including two home runs, with three walks, two strikeouts, one wild pitch and a balk as Oakland posted a 6-4 victory.

[+] EnlargeClay Buchholz
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesClay Buchholz gave up five runs in four innings in his return from the DL, including a two-run homer by Jack Cust in the third.

"It looked like he had a little rust," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "He left a couple of fastballs over the plate and they did a lot of damage. We got him up to 87 pitches, which is good because hopefully we can build on that. It looked like the game was a little quick today. He balked and did some things, but he hasn't been out in about a month. He'll be OK. He's healthy."

Buchholz, a first-time All-Star this season, saw his record fall to 10-5.

"I was rusty," he said. "My body felt fine and that's the big thing."

Offensively the Red Sox couldn't get it done again on Wednesday and have now scored four runs or fewer in eight straight games, which is the longest such streak since Francona became manager in 2004, according to ESPN's Stats and Information department.

But Buchholz took the blame for this one.

"Obviously, I don't want to go out there and throw four-plus innings and give up five runs," he said. "We're the Red Sox. We're good and we're going to fight adversity that we have to go through to get to the point we want to be at. We're still battling a couple of injuries to some guys, but the last couple of games have been awful. I didn't do my job out there today and it's hard to ask your team to come back and score you five or six runs when you only pitch four innings."

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

  • This Is More Like It
    In their 4-2 win, the Red Sox showed signs of the team we saw last season.
  • 'We're Fine'
    Claude Julien says there's no panic in the Bruins locker room after a Game 1 loss.
  • Wouldn't Miss It
    Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall lead an elite American field at the Boston Marathon.
  • Beyond Baseball
    It will be an emotional two days at Fenway as the Sox mark Marathon Monday.
  • Why They'll Run
    Six people impacted by the bombings share what motivated them to enter.

ALSO SEE

MORE MLB HEADLINES