Clay Buchholz went 7 1/3 innings in his return on Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners while earning his third win of the season in a 5-4 victory for the Boston Red Sox. He allowed four runs which all came on the three home runs he allowed, including two in the second inning after retiring the first three batters in the first inning. Overall, he pitched well enough to get a victory, but there is some cause for concern after the three long-balls.
The 29-year-old pitched fairly well with seven hits allowed and no walks. He only struck out two batters, both in the seventh inning when it looked as if he was finally able to take real control of his change-up and cutter. He did reach up to 94 on the radar gun and looked to have control for the most part.
In the early innings, the right-hander had trouble locating all of his pitches, but was able to get it far enough off the sweet spot of the bat to force quick outs. He only threw 76 pitches before being pulled after a spectacular diving catch from Jonny Gomes to keep the tying run from reaching scoring position.
With the Red Sox having trouble scoring runs this season, Buchholz needs to keep the ball in the park while also keeping his control. It might be mostly mental, but the shoulder injury is something of the past and he needs to push through it in order for the Red Sox to rely on him every five days.